Get there fast, then take it slow.
Personally, we’re not one for mega hotels. Especially in Bali, where big hotels mean having to spend your precious few moments on holidays listening to (Australian) tourists ten Bintangs deep at the pool by lunchtime. Sound like a Bali experience you’ve had? Well, we’re going to sprinkle a little bit of knowledge dust on you and tell you where you should be staying, and it just opened late last year. The Slow is an island stay in Canggu. The raw concrete and organic wood interior pairs with custom made furniture and an impeccably chosen art collection, which fuse seamlessly with the tropical greenery that surrounds the space. You can keep the madness of Kuta and Seminyak well away from your stream of consciousness with their bar, restaurant, private pools, and a flagship store for brand new menswear line, NON – TYPE, the brainchild of George Gorrow and Gareth Moody who’ll you know from their days at the helm of Ksubi. We caught up with the stylish bastards to find out more about The Slow and their new brand NON TYPE.
Opening an island stay and starting a label is a massive undertaking, what was the initial inspiration?
George Gorrow: We first moved to Bali just ready to relax and watch grass grow; to raise a family, surf and enjoy the simple freedoms life has to offer. It was short-lived though, as my wife and I got asked to come to the USA for different work opportunities that we couldn’t refuse. We put the Bali life on hold for a little longer, knowing that we could pull the pin on NYC at any time. Life in NYC is wild. The contrast to our Bali life was so intense—the work hard, play hard mentality, with everyone racing to the top was exhausting. I just wanted to sit on the sideline and eat oranges. So after a year and a half, we returned to Bali. On return, we arrived to find our dream getaway land now smack bang in the middle of the busiest part of the island. So our island home became the island stay. It’s been our dream to own a little island stay and restaurant for as long as I can remember, probably everyone has had this dream after watching Fawlty Towers as a child. Now we had the spot.
The project was given the name The Slow, as it came from the idea of the life we want our guests to experience, to relax and take life slowly. Our slogan “Get here fast and take it slow,” was in contrast to my previous life’s motto of “Live fast, die young.” I was lucky enough to travel extensively throughout my career, and living out of hotels I knew what I liked and what I didn’t. I’m not of fan of things being there because historically they made sense. Times change, and to quote my great friend Ozzie Wright, “We are the young non-traditionalists.” The concept of The Slow was to collide everything we had been working on in our careers and curate it all under one roof. Food, drinks, music, design, art, architecture—it all had to be fresh, bold, exciting and relevant to this generation.
Gareth Moody: Well, when it rains it pours, especially in the tropics. The Slow was already a work in progress before George and myself decided to incorporate the label under its wing. George and I had been in discussions about reuniting and releasing a men’s line, and with the hotel project underway it made perfect sense to house the label’s flagship store close to home. The Slow is a fitting location for the line, the hotel compliments the look and feel of the label, and vice versa. It’s minimal and yet approachable, tropical brutalism. The intent of NON-TYPE is to create a tight men’s collection that caters to a broad array of men, from all walks of life. No fixed type or genre, and a non-type rating, an open door to roam across all aspects and fields of apparel, not to be limited to fashion and lifestyle but equally comfortable. Touching on the luxury surf world, from leather blazers, tailored wool trousers, linen suiting, to tailored board shorts and surf skins.
Have you kept a similar aesthetic in both The Slow and NON-TYPE?
George: I collaborated with my great friend Rieky J. Sunur, a young, ultra minimalist Indonesian architect from GFAB architects in Bali. The guy is great and our clash of styles formed something fresh for us both. Gareth, one of my greatest long time friends, and I reunited to create a new brand, NON-TYPE. It represents a coming of age, and our first release as a creative partnership since our iconic label Ksubi. The brand sits in Room 14, The Slow’s concept store, and merges seamlessly with our gallery space.
Can you tell us a bit about the incredible art collection throughout the space?
George: We are an island escape, but we always want to remain relevant to what’s happening in the larger world. The art collection is a big part of that. The collection is my wife and I’s personal collection. We feel it’s a very honest and personal curation, many of pieces represent very poignant moments in our lives. All the artists are either great friends or people I have worked with closely over the years. Walking through the different spaces within the venue is like walking through a photo album for me. I can tell you stories that relate to each and every piece, and what they mean to me and how they have played some role in my life. Each image is very strong on its own. I’m drawn to bold statements and many of the photos represent my once rebellious side, a punk sensibility, an endless search for fun, freedom and a diversity of life. Artists include: Chris Searl, Mike Piscitelli, Mark Gonzales, Woody Gooch, Kane Skennar, Ozzie Wrong, Johnathan Zawada, Greg Nagel and more. And we did the same thing with the music. The Slow is soundtracked by Reverberation Radio, a much loved online institution of band Allah-Las and friends. The Slow’s concept of a single sound throughout the venue encourages guests to discover new artists and expand their understanding of how music from each decade is constantly intertwined, revolving, and relative.
Is the range made locally in Bali?
Gareth: Yes, however we are working with some international fabrications. The aim is to work with local suppliers in order to give back to the community and to stay hands on, and it allows us to have good control of the product and be more hands on with the development process.