Minku Fifth Anniversary Pop-up event in Lagos – pictures

Here are the pictures from the pop-up event held in Lagos on April 9, 2016. It was at Stranger, our stockist in Lagos. There isn’t much to say besides thank you to all the amazing people who came, saw, and interacted with the products. It felt like hosting a day-long interactive museum (see the pictures to understand what I mean), and as someone whose thesis work was the exploration of meaning-making via an interactive installation, that couldn’t make me any happier.MinkuPopUp5 MinkuPopUp4 MinkuPopUp3 MinkuPopUp2

Kayode (not pictured), Tunde (above), and I did the set up in the morning, while Kachi photographed us at work. She also created an 8-second video collage of the space (new window), that lets you get a 360 degree feel of it. I had this whole idea of hanging some bags from the ceiling, but in the end I was lazy and didn’t feel like climbing and reaching. I still did, but it was easier to hang bags off the wall than it was to hang them from the ceiling. I really wanted to incorporate the chairs, and Kayode and I finally devised a way to do so that fit with the flow of the rest of the exhibit, while beautifully showcasing our bracelets and notebooks.

MinkuPopUp8MinkuPopUp14Tunde could immediately see the essence of each bag, and devise how best to showcase that. By essence, I might simply mean interior. He knew that a black backpack is a black backpack until you flip it inside out, turn it upside down, and hang it by its straps like S&M gear, so people can see, feel, and interact with all the love that went into making it. Even something as little as flipping a buckle strap so people could see its aso-oke flip-side, made all the difference to how the work was communicated, and the exhibition enjoyed.

MinkuPopUp1 MinkuPopUp10 MinkuPopUp9aMinkuPopUp38 MinkuPopUp37 MinkuPopUp36If I had known that Simi was asking which notebook was my favourite one so she could buy it, I would have thrown her off the scent, he he :-)

MinkuPopUp35 MinkuPopUp34 MinkuPopUp33 MinkuPopUp32 MinkuPopUp31 MinkuPopUp30 MinkuPopUp29 MinkuPopUp28 MinkuPopUp27 MinkuPopUp26 MinkuPopUp25 MinkuPopUp24Here (center) is the amazing person that co-runs Stranger, the space that has been our stockist for a while now. He is wearing red instead of black because he knows that on show day, the designer wears black :-) Or maybe just a case of late laundry. But, really, he seldom wears colour.

MinkuPopUp23The MVP (most valuable product, winning product, star interactivity player…) may have been our notebooks. Prior to show day, we had them wrapped up in the store, with details on their inspiration and design on an information card that you can see if you squint at the bottom of the picture above. Unwrapping them on show day really helped get people to interact with the vegetable tanned leather, banana paper, bamboo, wood bark, and in some cases aso-oke that went into making each one. Needless to say, Stranger now stocks them unwrapped. We still wrap them upwhen we mail to you via our online store, but only because they make such great gifts.

MinkuPopUp22 MinkuPopUp21Each guest left with a box containing a cupcake (or two) that said Minku at five. They got to choose from three cupcake flavours, including red velvet and chocolate. A fun souvenir that showed up on more than a few Instagram feeds that evening.

MinkuPopUp20 MinkuPopUp19Uche and I are always entertaining eachother. A livelier friend, I think it is not possible to find :-) And she has a bag line now that is simply amazing.

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Our new catalogs were an integral part of the exhibit, and in some pictures, you can see guests flipping through them. There’s a flipshow of it on our instagram (new window). Still, feeling the evanescence of the decomposing leaf-collage exterior in your hands is the only way to truly experience it, and the cool news is that we mail one to our clients with each order.

MinkuPopUp40 Shop Minku online at minku.com. Some pictures made it to our instagram, but aren’t on here. I hope you check them out too.

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How we spent our allowance

A bit over two years ago, after scribbling close to two hundred names on several little sheets of paper, I settled on the name Minku. It represented my brand without saying my name, and it had a geo-independent ring to it: Is it Asian? African? European? It was also just two syllables, easy to write and pronounce, and without silent letters and such.

There was only one problem.

The domain www.minku.com was taken.

Taken, betrothed, promised to another, another in far away Eurasia, who wasn’t even using it (I have come to see them as gatekeepers of the name until I needed it) and, gasp, wanted money for it.

I called bullshit, at the solitude of my work desk, where no one could hear me. Some people innovate on the net, give us exciting new possibilities to look forward to. Others hoard those innovations, demanding exponential sums as ‘recommended minimum bid’ for things that should be close-to-free. I had a new business that, like a baby, was guzzling euros by the second. I wasn’t ready, or able, to purchase the domain.

Fast-forward to early February. Minkudesign.com was becoming clumsy for where I wanted the brand to be. We were even starting to be taken seriously by the good people at Forbes, Tech Cabal, Venture Burn (South Africa), and earlier, the Barcelona Fashion Week site. I was starting to wince a bit each time I saw the burdensome ‘design’ appended to the name of the brand, not by my choice, but because I couldn’t get my first choice.

But maybe I could.

There are all these American Dream stories about the goal that seems so unattainable. But where, over years of working step-by-step towards one’s enlightenment, that goal begins to seem like the logical next step. In this case, I am not talking about being drafted to the NBA or Lupita-like propulsions to stardom. I am talking about getting the domain.

After a while, having the site at http://www.minku.com just seemed like the next logical step.

Now, several hundreds of euros later, my next logical steps include actions like emailing the writers of some articles of the past few years to see if they can update their links. And updating DNS records, which I never really paid attention to in school (so far, no major breaks, but I have to wait days for different changes to propagate around the web, so only time tells). And thanking you guys profusely for not losing your patience when I say “please, update your bookmarks.”

WeReNowAt_Large

A new era is here. Thanks to the good domain-name gatekeepers in faraway Eurasia, I could get the name I desired (that is how I choose to look at the situation).

Thank you for your support always.

Minku

PS: The original artwork above was done by artist Rithika, to commemorate Valentine’s day at Minku in 2012.

Forbes

Today, we’re in Forbes.

 

Three years ago, I figured that the secret of aso-oke fabric was too beautiful to keep just within our culture, and that it had to be shared with others. Others who may never get to wear traditional Yoruba dress around their heads or waists, but who carry that most universal of fashion needs – bags.

The journey since then has been remarkable on a personal and professional level. It is encouraging to be acknowledged for this work.

Thank you to you reading this for following me on this journey so far and helping me make Minku become a reality.

Minku A/W 2014 campaign

The Minku autumn/winter 2013-14 collection is getting us excited from Lagos to Barcelona, and we wanted to share the preview poster with you. I just posted it on our twitter page and our home page.

So here it is on our twitter page:

MinkuGoesMeta

Très meta, I know. Ok, check it out and, be sure to follow our facebook or twitter pages, they’re a distillation of the blog.

happy weekend, it’s the first one of the year…

Minku

we now interrupt this editing session for a service announcement

I am in what must be a yoga pose in my room listening to Chopin and editing images for the collection. Zen moment? Very.

Then I remember – the interview! It must be out by now!

It is :-)

Double serving of Zen goodness.

It’s in Spanish.

Make that a triple.

Not too long ago, the fun people of BCN or DIE Magazine contacted us about doing an interview. Our first interview in Spanish! (The Timeout piece was in Catalan). I looked up the magazine online. It was really alternative and fresh, like Lokalirri, and I was like, I’m on this like a bag of chips. I felt I had to be listening to rock music, drinking a bottle of Jagermeister, and flipping through a catalog of tattoos as I answered the interview questions. Flip through a few of their back issues to see why (click Leer revista, a magazine-format window opens).  The Jagermeister and tattoo parts are still too cool for me, but here’s the interview, in an easy-to-read format.

 

You can also read it on the site here (pg 18-22). Check the back-issues too – they do some cool interviews and the layout and photography are always on-point. Their Facebook page is here.

xoxo,
Minku

Minku in Time Out Barcelona

Happy New Year everyone!

I have some good news – I got around to scanning the spread of Minku and five other brands that were featured in the December 14 -20 issue of Time Out Barcelona. It’s the one with the Chinese cat on the front, so if you have it, pls flip the pages again in case you missed the article, written by Laia Beltran, and the accompanying pictures, taken by Scott Chasserot.

and now, for a pic where we were smiling a bit more: