The Third Minku Pop-Up Store and Fashion Show

The pictures from the third Minku pop-up store, held in Lekki Phase I on November 2, 2014 had to come in monochrome because there was such a flurry of movement, print, and smiles. Yes, smiles are more vivid in black-and-white.

This was an amazing evening filled with music, food, drink, friends and family, creativity, and appreciation. The pop-up stores are becoming one way for me to reconnect with friends, family and readers that I might not see or meet otherwise.

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Thanks to everyone for coming! We’ll do this again, and then again, and then again, and again….

(P.S. Pictures from the first Minku Pop-up store can be seen in this post.)

Love,
Minku

Fadaka bags

In Yoruba class in secondary school, there were certain topics on the annual syllabus. There was phonology, where we were taught which parts of our mouths and vocal cords moved and touched to make the different sounds in the Yoruba language. There was history, where we learned things like the 7 sons of Oduduwa, father of the Yoruba language. I still have the memory-aid song I composed to remember Name – Town – Gift of each son, in my head. You could always be sure this would be on the exam fill-in-the-blanks style, so I made up a song to remember it, and taught it to many of my classmates: Olowu – Owu – aso; Alaketu – Ketu – ade; Oba – Benin – owo; Orangun – Ila – iyawo; Onipopo – Popo – ileke; Onifade – Fade – eran; Oranmiyan – Oyo – Ile. There were also orikis and proverbs.

Ahhh, proverbs. For the longest time while I lived in the States away from my folks, my mum’s voice would remind me of proverns in my head. Proverbs about hard work, about honesty, and about life in general.

I have a huge smile on my face just typing all this. I also want to share one basic Yoruba proverb with you: ‘Oruko rere san ju wura ati fadaka lo.’ This one came to mind because I was working on names for new bags, and I was thinking precious metals. Wura is gold and fadaka is silver. I am getting the names of more precious metals. In the meantime, I am happy to share with you, the Minku Fadaka bags:

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Anyone who has seen me in the past month would have seen me rocking my Fadaka bag — the one at the bottom. I enjoy carrying it. It’s a deep and practical holdall, and people love touching it and commenting on how soft the leather is, and playing with the fringes.

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Call this a pre-collection or a resort collection if you like; I thought it would be cool to keep on working and to keep on sharing with you what I am working on, instead of waiting for two seminal collections to land in your laps twice a year.

Not all of them have their straps sewn on yet. I am still working on that; it is not very interesting to sew straps :-) But if you would like one of the bags above, contact me with your preference and I can customize the strap: (a) a single adjustable strap so you can wear it as a shoulder bag or a cross-body bag; or (b) double straps so you can carry it as a tote bag. Otherwise, I would just start putting the straps on next week, however I see fit.

The special things about the Fadaka bags are: their shape, their versatility, their colours, the variety of interior linings (they also have a zipped inner pocket), their ease, and those sexy fringes. I can also tell you from handling mine for a month that they are super durable.

I would love to hear your favourites, and what you think of the bags. Look out for Part II of this post for the adventures of the all-new Minku Fadaka bags :-)

Love,

Minku

Yeah Mr. White, Science!

Years ago when I first got my camera and was contemplating what lenses to buy for this new toy, I stumbled on a post about home-made macro lens.

I finally tried it out today, after a discouraging trip to three camera stores to look at some macros.

Lens are so cool. I did dozens of experiments with them in Physics lab in high school, but today’s home experiment with my dslr and a steady hand totally had me channeling Jesse from Breaking Bad:

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The easiest explanation is that in reversing the lens’ direction, you reverse its effect. If it was giving you Sagrada Familia in a 2″ screen before, now it gives you ~1:1 close-up of the beads in your new men’s bracelet collection:

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It reminded me of when I was about 7 years old and, guided by the Basic Science book series my mum bought us (or maybe my sister Tosin’s science text book at the time), said sister and I made some homemade pinhole cameras. That was just one of our several home science experiments, where I was willing Jesse to her cerebral Mr. White. Even at that age, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who believed in experimentation as the best way to learn, and a smart way to get results.

I’ve been experimenting with Nigerian-made powdered-glass beads. This was a result of months of pondering what to do with the beads, made by local craftspeople in Nigeria. The picture above is a preview but I look forward to sharing the full collection with you and hearing your favourites.

Love,
Minku

Minku at 080 Barcelona Fashion Week – July 2014

Here are some highlights from Barcelona Fashion Week, which we took part in from June 30 to July 4, 2014.

As always, it was a lovely chance to unveil and share what I’ve been working on. For the Spring/Summer 2015 collection, N U D E has been the name of the game. Beiges, pale pinks, pastel shades, sweet-almond pinks, and some greys thrown in for good measure.

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This season, the Moba bag also gets reimagined in fresh summer pastels: a peach-hued python-patterned skin, highlighted on the sides with peach sheepskin panels. The bag is sophistication (not shown is its lining, done in a complementary damask that has a lovely family story to go with it). Sitting on the showcase table, the Moba bag already revealed its regal beauty. But then model Cristina struck a pose with me and the bag, and totally brought the bag to life:

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Minku is now on Instagram and on there, you can see some pictures that I didn’t include above. I would also try to get into the Insta-groove the best I can, so please follow so as not to miss out on updates via that avenue.

Love,
Minku

Sold out

They have sold out of our bags in the LaOrange shop. We delivered the bags a month ago.

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I am now working on the shop’s order for more, and taking into consideration the colours their customers particularly like. For example, one of their customers wants the light peach version (second, third and fourth pictured above) to wear to a wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. This is the colour that will match their outfit, so I am including it in the current batch of bags I’m making.

This has been the first time at Minku that we’ve had a shop place an order (not consignment). I am happy it is working well. I didn’t want to write this post because it seemed like #humblebrag but I think it is good to share also when things are going well.

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I am also squeezing out time to work on the SS2015 collection and all I can tell you is that I am excited about it. They might be a few bags, but I am placing a lot of care into the (1) design and (2) construction of each. What you can expect: Odd shapes that you have probably never seen before in a bag, and that will remind you of organic forms. Colour combinations that will make you drool. Aso-oke linings that will get your heart beating a little faster. Confident hand-stitching. Backpacks, heck yeah. And something in the men’s bag sphere too.

Here is a picture of the Minku + LaOrange official collaboration poster. Their stores are in San Sebastian and in Tolosa.

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Hoping you are having a good week, and that all your projects bring you satisfaction.

Love,
Minku

Happy New Year 2014

This past week

The past week has been amazing and interesting.

I am currently doing some production work. I went to work with a tailor today to sew some linings for the bags and it was an interesting experience. I was a bit sad to tell the truth, the guy was restless and kept throwing me ideas without listening to what I wanted to do. And just the way he was careless with the materials, throwing the thread, not caring that the oil he used to oil his machine stained the leather, the state of his fingernails… it was clear we might not be a happy working couple. It’s not that hard though, to just do a neat job. Is it? Or to instill confidence in people who come to your shop, by just approaching the work in a relaxed manner?

Today we’re on Tech Cabal, Venture Beat and Founders Grid. And yesterday I gave a talk to employees at Jobberman at their Speaker Series. I am very grateful for all these opportunities and beautiful things.

Ahhh I am working a lot though. But hearing me talk about how much work I am doing is not why you visit this blog, right? Ah well, too bad, and too late :-)

Love to you guys, thank you for your support and love always, and if you are in Barcelona next week, please come to El Born because we will be there at the pop-up stores in Barcelona Fashion Week.

Minku

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Happy New Year 2014

It’s the last day of 2013. I hope that as you reflect on the year, you find yourself finding reasons to be happy and to think it was a good year, but also that you have reasons to look forward to 2014.

Last weekend, my uncle came to visit. I have just one uncle from my dad’s side, and he and I have always been close. We watched me (meeee!!!!) doing an interview on Silverbird TV’s breakfast show (my uncle recorded the whole thing on his phone), and then my siblings and I headed to the beach with him, his wife, and my cousins.

My mum packed us some food, and when we got to the beach (at about 10 in the morning), we rented a bamboo hut for the day. We went horseback riding, ate, and napped. I taught my cousins how to use the digital SLR camera and they took some of the most fabulous of the picture selection below. We also danced; there’s always music on the beach in Lagos, and all my fave musicians now were covered: Olamide, Wande Coal, Wizkid…

It’s nice going to the beach in Nigeria because those huts are so convenient and help you stay out of the sub-Saharan sun!

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Happy New Year everyone.

love,
Minku

Viernes is Bag Day IX: Menswear!

Today I courageously ventured into menswear again. My previous attempts had been, on first try, NSFM. Not suitable for men. Cue too-narrow chest area, too-skinny pants, too-tight neckhole.

Ah well what the heck, I adjusted those in time for the pending photoshoot each time (thanks for your patience, Fra!), and now, with all my menswear mistakes behind me (:-P), I decided to give it another try.

I like menswear because little innovations mean a big deal. Womenswear, you have to choose whether you want to be master of cut, or master of detail, or embellishment maestro, or knitwear mistress. But menswear? Just do some asymmetric magic and you are Man of Kingswear King of Menswear. I am sure I am wrong, but what do I know?

I figured out that my dimensions (which I use to make most of the clothes in the limited Minku womenswear line) don’t quite work for men. Broader shoulders, they have. And longer arms. Narrower hips. Lower waists.

Today I made a long-sleeved hoodie. It’s extra-long long-sleeved. I used some lamé fabric for the drawstring. And some black stretch fabric left over from a dress I made before, for the hoodie lining.

It’s looking spiffy.

I tried it on at many points during its construction. It’s super-freaking-baggy.

Like it should be.

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I like comfortwear, but I won’t have guessed that I would make a baggy hoodie — which starts to venture into streetwear even. Streetwear with a sweet edge. I love polka dots, and shine.

This Minku thing is a journey and I look forward to continuing to surprise myself.

Minku hoodie made from jersey polka dot fabric (cotton, polyester and elastane mix) with lamé detailing and extra-long sleeves.