• dadablui goa

International Boho-Chic Designers: Dadablui // India

[Welcome back to the series “International Boho-Chic Designers”. I have met so many fashion designers and artists on my travels from whom I buy jewelry, swimsuits, tops, etc. I love having unique items and I’m creating this section to share them with you.  These people I’ve met and personally shopped from & love, not people perking or paying me.]

DADAblui, well known in her Mermaids Boutique at the Saturday Night Market, is one of the first shops I knew of in Goa. She has a popular line that is “so Goa” I guess you could say. The owner and designer of it all, Katja, happens to live near me in a big old Portuguese house. When I told her I wanted to write about her, she invited me for coffee and we ended up spending our monsoon hanging out in our little village. Her vibe is like her clothes: laid back and cool.

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

Introducing DADAblui

dadablui goaKatja Grew, 44 was born and raised in picturesque Copenhagen, Denmark. She left at 20 with a serious case of the travel bug to live in Florence for a few years where she “accidently” came to India in 1993. At 23, she knew she’d fallen in love with India- and the rest is history! She’s been here ever since. In 2003 she started DADAblui also sort of on accident while making clothes for herself and realizing how much everyone loved them.

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

I asked Katja who inspires her and she told me,

“I get inspired by people who dare! People who are not following a trend, but have their own original clothing style: colourful, exotic, and different. I believe style is an attitude.”

You can tell from looking in Katja’s bright home or by the clothes she wears every day that she loves COLOR. India is so full of bright fun patterns on textiles. She also uses the nature and hippies of Goa for more inspiration.

DADAblui makes unique tropical luxury clothing an accessories in Goa. Her fabrics are some of the coolest bits with leather, cotton, and silk mixed in with antique sari borders or vintage mirror work from Rajasthan. When you see one of Katja’s famous leather jackets you can tell it was made by her.

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goaOther than leather jackets, she makes amazing leather bags, dresses, shirts, cotton bags, t-shirts, and cushion covers, many of which have her favorite saying, “It’s Better in Goa”. I love that her clothes are fashionable and trendy but has that colorful Indian vibe mixed in so easily.

DADAblui, The brand:

dadablui goaThe name is so strong and has the cutest back story. Katja could not pronounce her name as a child and had a lisp so she called her self Dada instead of Katja. Her 3 younger sisters are still calling her Dada. Blui was because she couldn’t say Grew, her last name. “I chose the name for my label cause it’s original and reflects my inner child, and it sounds like MIUMIU ;)” -Katja

A few years ago DADAblui teamed up with SEWA in Delhi, which is a NGO that helps women in indian rural areas. Katja has been in India long enough to call it home and feels a deep desire to give back to her new beloved community. The women are making stunning bead and sequence work for her which you’ll see in her new bags / small purses this season. The collection is called “Dharma Collection”. They’re also making “Goa” silk cushion covers, which are so beautiful. Katja promises that this season will be even more colorful and daring with all her new ideas.

dadablui goa

dadablui goa

dadablui goaI asked Katja why her brand is great for travelers like you:

“A lot of the clothes I make, can be used for beach or party, according to how you dress it up or down.”

“My leather jackets and bags are ethnic and cool. When worn in Europe, they just have that understated Indian twist.”

dadablui goa

 Where can you buy DADAblui?

Year round you can buy from DADAblui wholesale or retail from her showroom in Assagao, Goa. It’s near Indian Story and Happy Bar, and will also pop up on Google Maps, but you can her first and she’ll help you if you get lost.

During season time (November to April) you can also find her jackets and other tropical luxury designs at “Mermaid’s Boutique” at the Saturday Night Market in Arpora and the Wednesday Anjuna Flea Market. If you’re not going to be in Goa, have no fear- she sells online on the .

Just last week, Dadablui is being stocked in the Goa Shop in Thalassa as well.

dadablui goaIf you have questions or want to Katja Grew, you can e-mail her at katjagrew (at) hotmail (dot) com or call her in Goa at +91 9822197015. Until then make sure you’re following along on her Facebook page to get that boost of color and hippie vibes to your newsfeed every day: .

 

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2016-10-13T10:05:10+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

18 Comments

  1. rebecca November 4, 2014 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Definetly jumping on her website! These clothes are awesome!

  2. Glamourous Journeyler November 4, 2014 at 6:34 am - Reply

    LOVE this! What a beautiful collection. Loving that fringe leather jacket and those mirror bags.

    Gotta say, best part is deff the photos – love those pastel color combo’s

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2014 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      The photos are just amazing. She’s so creative with her shoots!

  3. Laura November 4, 2014 at 9:58 am - Reply

    I love those bags! They look like great weekenders. I’ll definitely be hopping onto her website to check it out! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      I love sharing this type of thing!! They are my favorite posts to do.

  4. Justine November 4, 2014 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I love this style! I really love that Katja incorporates vintage elements – like mirrors and sarees – into her pieces. It makes for some unique and incredibly cool clothes and accessories. Her bags are especially awesome! I want one ;)

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      I want one too! Maybe I’ll save up this year for one. They’re all so unique.

  5. tammyonthemove November 5, 2014 at 3:10 am - Reply

    I really have to get myself to India. I love the boho clothes you keep mentioning here. You just can`t get these in Europe easily.

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

      Yeah, I mean I’m pretty spoiled in Goa for handmade unique clothes that’s for sure! But they are usually pretty pricey since they use such quality materials.

  6. Sky November 5, 2014 at 8:31 am - Reply

    First off, I LOVE the photography that accompanies this! Fashion is so not my thing but I actually love these posts – I always love hearing about the stories behind brands and companies because, even if I don’t like the product, I love to hear about people doing things they love.

    • Rachel Jones November 9, 2014 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Glad you like them! The photos are just stunning aren’t they? So creative.

  7. Tim | UrbanDuniya November 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    What awesome designs! This is what can happen when people really dare to dream. Love them!

  8. Anna R November 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Obsessed with that cropped fringe leather jacket.

  9. Rob January 4, 2015 at 5:53 am - Reply

    A great creative line, my daughter would love some of the clothing! Thanks for sharing the amazing photos, look forward to your upcoming posts and photos in 2015!

  10. Damsel February 1, 2017 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Wow! Those accessories look fabulous. Will be check out their collection right now…

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