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.

MinkuPopUp_2 MinkuPopUp_3MinkuPopUp_1 MinkuPopUp_4 MinkuPopUp_5 MinkuPopUp_6 MinkuPopUp_7 MinkuPopUp_8 MinkuPopUp_9 MinkuPopUp_10 MinkuPopUp_11 MinkuPopUp_12 MinkuPopUp_13 MinkuPopUp_14 MinkuPopUp_15 MinkuPopUp_16 MinkuPopUp_17 MinkuPopUp_18MinkuPopUp_19
MinkuPopUp_20 MinkuPopUp_21 MinkuPopUp_23 MinkuPopUp_24 MinkuPopUp_25 MinkuPopUp_26 MinkuPopUp_27 MinkuPopUp_28 MinkuPopUp_29 MinkuPopUp_30 MinkuPopUp_31 MinkuPopUp_32 MinkuPopUp_33 MinkuPopUp_34 MinkuPopUp_35 MinkuPopUp_36 MinkuPopUp_37 MinkuPopUp_38 MinkuPopUp_39

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:

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

Walls

Once I took a course in high school or university where we did an exercise in word associations. Teacher says a word, students discuss what associations come to mind on hearing the word.

Today´s word is Walls. Ahh, there´s Walls ice cream, ´the dream of ice creams´ if a TV ad that ran in Nigeria in the early 90s is to be believed (Wall’s Ice Cream – refreshing and creamy/ Wall’s Ice Cream such fun to eat/ Wall’s Ice Cream is good for you/ Wall’s Ice Cream the dream of ice creams). There are walls we put up when enough is enough. Then there´s the association I am forming between ´walls´and the city of Berlin.

A large part of Berlin´s identity is inextricably tied to the Berlin Wall, whose dismantling in 1989 was perhaps the most tangible sign of the fall of the ´Iron Curtain´. Visitors to Berlin are immersed in an intensive crash course on communism and what it meant to the Berliners who only had access to Trabant cars not BMWs, and for whom wiretapped homes were a sad normalcy.

IMAG0126

IMAG0128

You can buy a piece of the Berlin Wall in any self-respecting souvenir shop in Berlin, from 2,50euros for a small piece. The shops I saw, like Berlin Story, were along Unter Den Linden, leading up to Brandenburger Tor.

Around the city, walls are put to interesting use. Perhaps I only notice it because I am now forming the associations in my mind as I write this article, but where other cities have an abundance of free-standing sculptures adorning public places, for example,  in Berlin, much of the self-expression and public art is on walls. Mosaics, relief sculptures, good-ole´grafitti.

Germany´s most-visited museum is the Pergamon Museum on Museumsinel in Mitte, a neighbourhood in Berlin. The highlights are, you guessed it, walls — excavated from Babylon, Iraq (Ishtar Gate, built circa 575BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II) and from Miletus in Turkey (The Market Gate of Miletus, likely built about 120 – 130 AD).

IMAG0143IMAG0141

Walls, erected and dismantled, abound in the Berlin physical space, but that is where the association between walls and Berlin ends. I found it to be an open and friendly city, whose inhabitants let their personal walls down to let other ideas, and people, in.

love
Minku

Festa Major de Gracia 2014

With Babita on calle Verdi (which was transformed to the Amazon forest), on the first day of Festa Major de Gracia:

FestaMajorGracia_Small

This was a fun night, on which a lot happened. For example, while going to see Travessera de Sant Antoni, a street whose theme was India/Bollywood and which had a giant (papier mache?) statue of the Hindu god, Ganesha, in the middle of the street, it began to rain and we ended up taking refuge in a… church. There was the lady who makes  dreamy wooden toys, the art exhibition opening where by chance a girl I know was one of the exhibiting artists, batucada bands, and swing dancing in Placa del Diamant.

Festa Major de Gracia is about seeing where the evening takes you. There’s still a lot to explore there, and the festivities are on until the 21st. Viva la fiesta.

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:

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

A Cornucopia of References at Manuel Bolaño’s SS2015 Show

This season, Bolaño regaled us with a tale of cardinal reds, blush pinks and terra cottas, which, like his AW2013 show four seasons ago, was combined primarily with black or white to form each look.

MB_2014_2

Some sportswear pieces dominated the collection, and these were beautifully executed. But alongside the stripes ‘n’ sneakers that usually signify sportswear, throw in some broadbrim hats and crowns of thorns (or, technically, tourmaline) and it is safe to say that Manuel lost me a bit on the reference or look he was going for with his collection this season.

Hair and makeup form a major part of Manuel Bolaño’s storytelling each season. It is, afterall, he who gave us the sweet Lolita guys and gals with their air pollution masks and pin-straight hair from SS2014; and models with elaborate Mayan tattoos from his AW2013-14 show. This season, his girls came down the catwalk with pinched brows (which seemed to age them) and bruised knees (which bestowed a sense of playground youth).

MB_2014_4

There was quite a lot going on with the silhouettes, sometimes it was sportswear, other times, like an assymmetric floral appliqué dress which was rendered in red and in black, it was breezy-romantic. Two consistent elements were the ragdoll teddy, which has followed Manuel through many seasons, and the insect motif, which was immaculately rendered on the gauze of some of the sportswear.

MB_2014_3

In all, I think Bolaño’s ideas for this season’s collection, or the looks that resulted from it, could have benefited from a bit of editing. It didn’t seem to know if it wanted to be a sportswear collection, or goth, or romantic, or Wild Wild West. It is a challenge for even the most experienced of designers to try to pull off a seamless combination of four references in one collection.

ManuelBolanoShow2014SS

What I did like were the insect references (including an iridescent men’s jacket that seemed to emulate the colouring of a fly’s wings), and Bolaño’s quick-as-bolt bow at the end (I see he’s keeping up the red facial hair!).

BolanoBow

Please note: You can now find us on Instagram, where I document some more of our fashion week adventure in pictures. And if you missed our general review of our experience at the fashion week this season, you can read it here.

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