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:

FadakaBags_Minku

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.

TotallyNewWorkMinku_3

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

Advertisements

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:

YeahScienceMeme

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:

MinkuBraceletSmallRes

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.

BagsSS2015

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:

MeCristinaModel_2

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.

IMG_9809_1

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.

IMG_9866_1

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.

MinkuParaLaOrange2_small

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

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.

MinkuHoodie

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.

Viernes is Bag Day V: Pink Prunes Fagunwa Bag

On the old Minku ‘About’ page, I said that Minku is a brand inspired by love, friendship, travel and the sea. It’s true — I love all these things, not least travel. One of the unintended consequences of starting the brand is that the bags somehow seem to end up on the arms of ladies and gentlemen who love to travel. Thus I often get to see the world vicariously through them.

I’ve been singing IwannagotoMoroccoIwannagotoMorocco into the ears of whoever would listen, so it is only fitting that when a Minku bag goes to the oldest marketplace in the Arab world (see: Muttrah Souq), draped on the arm of a lovely Minku client and friend, it should get its very own post.

ClemOmanFagunwa2013

Clemence visited the Minku atelier last summer, actually to see  me, but it was a chance to see in person, the bags she had heard and said so much about. On setting her eyes on the Pink Prune Fagunwa bag, she asked when I would complete it, and I casually answered, “when someone shows interest in buying it.”

FagunwaPinkPruneBag

Some weeks later, the bag was on its way to Clemence’s door, lining completed with the pockets she had specified…

FagunwaPinkPruneBag_interior

and packaged thus:

pinkPruneBagPackaged

Today, Clem sent me this lovely note (below), and the picture of her sporting it stylishly in the Muttrah Souq to go with it. I love, love, love this particular Fagunwa bag — I would be lucky to find this joyous combination of leathers and fabric again, and it’s a delight to see it on the arm of someone who loves it even more!

ClemMinkuTestimonial

—————————————————————————

View other Viernes is bag day features here. Please share this page with your friends on twitter, reddit, facebook, pinterest or any of the other sharing tools, using the corresponding buttons below:

Viernes is bag day II: The Emure bag

Although I was raised in Lagos, there’s some pretty hard core Ekiti-ness (etymology: Ile Olokiti, or land of the hills) flowing in our veins that really defines us, my parents’ children.

Ekiti is in the Yoruba region of Nigeria. It has its own dialect of Yoruba called Ekiti which, though I don’t speak fluently, makes occasional cameos in the midst of the English and Yoruba that are the language staples in our household. Sometimes those cameos come thanks to the music of Elemure Ogunyemi (the fun part of the video below starts at 01:00).

‘Elemure’ means King of Emure, a town in Ekiti State. So you would say “Elemure of Emure’ in the same way you would say the Ooni of Ife, for instance.

In honor of that lovely hilly Ekiti town, I present you the Emure bag.

FW2014MinkuPoster3

Can you see the way the top of the bag undulates to emulate a hilly landscape? Mustard is one of my favourite colours, and being able to combine mustard leather with a mustard damask interior was for me like this huge wow moment from which I doubt I’ll ever recover.

Like, dude, wow.

EmureBag_Minku EmureBag1

The Emure bag is a complete sensory feast, from the textured cowskin of its exterior and handles to the no-holds-barred hand-stitching on the exterior. I’m just gonna be silly and say that it’s one bag that is going at a ‘giveaway’ price, given the collectors item that it is. I don’t know if I would make another Emure bag, and I’m totally cool with it if this one never leaves the shelves.

Interior: Full damask lining, zipped inner pocket, leather-trimmed cell phone holder pocket.

I love Chief Elemure Ogunyemi’s music and how it brings me closer to Ekiti culture through a dialect I don’t hear enough of. I love Ekiti, that relentlessly pounded yam-consuming state. And I hope this bag, inspired by both, conveys some of that cultural loving to you, dear reader, and to whoever’s arm this bag may one day grace.

Love and warm wishes for a happy weekend,
Minku

—————————————————————————

View other Viernes is bag day features here. Please share this page with your friends on twitter, reddit, facebook, pinterest or any of the other sharing tools, using the corresponding buttons below: