About Marapulai Clothing

Marapulai Clothing is a small family business and was founded in 2011 in Hamburg, Germany. Since April 2015 the business location is Ciledug / Tangerang, Indonesia. The brand Marapulai stands for handmade leather shoes in casual style and is a registered trademark. The brand Marapulai combines  ethnic motifs of Indonesian culture with modern, casual style of dress. The design concept is rediscoverable in the ethnic-logo on the shoe back and the Indonesian map on the sole of the shoes. In addition, the slogan "always Santai" what "always relaxed!" means, is totally typical for the Indonesian culture and the local way of life.

Marapulai is designed for the casual and stylish customers. We try to bring the vitality and diversity of Indonesian culture closer to the fashion conscious people in Europe. The idea of the brand Marapulai was born in Germany, and the products are handmade in Indonesia in our own small workshop. All our products are manufactured with great care and very good quality and at a fair price.

The handmade sneakers have a special "Indonesia map sole". We have a small workshop with two employees, who are making the handmade footwear using only a few machines. So even the shoe pattern and the stars-hole pattern of the shoes are handmade. We use only cow and goat leather. You can order the designs in a variation of colours and shoe sizes (36 to 47).
Meaning of Marapulai
The word "Marapulai" comes from Indonesia, more precisely from the minangnesian language of the people of Minangkabau from West Sumatra. In the past, it was the word for ceremonial clothing of kings and chiefs. Gradually, it was modified in importance. That was the word for sublime clothing, ie the traditional costume for official ceremonies at major regional events across Sumatra. Nowadays Marapulai is the term for the traditional wedding clothes of the groom in West Sumatra. But we actually don´t want to take the direct meaning, but rather to pick out the aspect of Indonesian culture and tradition and merge this with our modern fashion brand.
Muhammad Ilham Nirwan is the designer and owner and is support by his wife Saskia van der Heijden.

Ilham - Owner and Designer
My name is my life: Inspiration
I studied product design (BA) at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in Indonesia. Later foreign studies in Digital Media (M.Sc.) at University of Bremerhaven in Germany. After my graduation in begin of 2011, I started Marapulai Clothing together with my wife Saskia.
Our two brands are "Marapulai" and "Rangkayo".

Saskia van der Heijden

Saskia studied Applied Cultural Science (M.A.) at the University of L√ľneburg. She is Marketing and Commercial Manager of the company Marapulai Clothing. She does everything from accounting to
online marketing. Before studying at university, she has learned as a travel agent. Ilham and Saskia have been married since 2010 and live in Ciledug, Indonesia. Before they lived in Hamburg, Germany.


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  2. Hi,
    By any chance you know what is the meaning of Rangkayo?

  3. Hello Razali!

    Yes. The meaning of Rangkayo is a short word for "orang kayo", which is menangnesian language (Sumatra island) and means "rich men / people". But we don´t mean only money, we mean attributes like rich of experience, knowledge and so on.

    Saskia & Ilham

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