You might know his name as VJ Daniel back in the glorious era of MTV circa 2003. Daniel Mananta was born on August 14th, 1981. His name became well known since the VJ Hunt era and has since been consistently honing his skill as a professional presenter, actor, as well as being the proud owner of his own clothing brand called DAMN! I Love Indonesia.
He has come along way since his school years in Perth, VJ MTV Hunt, to being the main star at a biopic film to portray Ahok in A Man Called Ahok in 2018. Not only talented, but the 37-year-old recipient of 2013 Panasonic Gobel Awards is known for being visionary, creating his own clothing line since 2008 called DAMN! I Love Indonesia. Through this brand, Daniel hopes that he will be able to raise more of nationalism and the heritage of Indonesia.
Seeing as a proud patriot, how do you see the development of nationalism in the country throughout the years—especially among the young generation?
“For me, I think it’s getting better with Indonesians, especially with the youth (millennials). You know, there is a term that I am very much fond of and it’s called Glocalization—which is a global standard in seeing things because everything in the world is now in your palm or smartphone, yet at the same time you wanna keep that local culture, you wanna keep your local values, and that’s what Glocalization is all about.”
“And nowadays, millennials around the world are all about Glocalization, they have this sense of patriotism, trying to show to the world how amazing their local culture is and it’s actually an aspect that encourages Indonesian youth as well to become more patriotic.”
So it’s been around 11 years since you first created DAMN! I Love Indonesia, can you tell us a bit about the inspiration in the first place?
“Yeah almost 11 years, it’s crazy. At that time, I had a conversation with a friend about Indonesian batik because he complained about how our neighbouring country claimed Batik as one of their own. He showed me a batik pattern that turns out to be a Malaysian batik where the pattern is not Indonesian at all, this made me realize how much we are ignorant towards our own culture. They know the issues, yet they are unaware of the culture itself, but on the other hand, I can’t blame them because in order to know Indonesia, it could be preachy in a way. Some of the words expressing the love for Indonesia sometimes can sound patronizing, even I personally won’t be interested if done in such approach, and will be super bored.”
“So it’s all about how to sublimely talk about how cool Indonesia is and yet they could be proud of it and made them somehow subconsciously being educated about the beauty of Indonesia and that’s when we thought why don’t we make it a streetwear concept.”
“And from that streetwear concept it’s quite relevant, just to put a dash of “DAMN” on the brand itself turns to be able to speak toward a lot of millennials because they tend to be like, ‘Yeah, I want to stand up for something but I don’t want to be too extreme, I wanna be rebellious as well’. Turns out, “DAMN” is something that connected to them quite deeply.”
Editor: Galuh Tathya
Writer: Ervina Michelle Liem
Photographer: Rengga Aditya
Digital Imaging: Ari Angga
MUA: Nadia Renata
Wardrobe: DAMN! I Love Indonesia, available at The F Thing