I love MInku. There, I said it.
We go on and on saying we want this and that from Nigerian brands, a particular aesthetic, an attention to detail, high quality – and there are a few times an embodiment of what we want strolls around.
This was the case with Minku. A friend only drew my attention to the brand recently and I am stunned I only just discovered them. Minku caters to men and women, a quality goods company that specializes in leather goods and luggage. They also make some clothing, wallets, journals and jewelry, but the bags have my heart.
There is an interesting story about returning to our first loves (passions) in the story of the lady (Kunmi Otitoju) behind Minku (she kept winning the Fine Arts Prize when she was in Queens College, Lagos). Read this and this to know more about how this woman went from Goldman Sachs to Minku, from Howard and Virginia Tech to handmade leather goods.
I needed to convince myself and people around me that I knew what I was doing. My parents and siblings very much believed in me from the start. I wanted to go beyond being an artisan to showing people that bag-making is an art, one that uplifts one’s culture (and the bag-wearers’ confidence!).
Minku bags are lined with ‘re-purposed items of Yoruba ceremonial dress – aso-oke and damask fabrics’. The bags are handmade by Kunmi herself who lives (mostly) in Barcelona but they are sold in Nigeria. There are personalization options as well as post-purchase adjustments. This is the good stuff, guys.
Minku items are characterized by their subtle use of cultural elements of Nigerian life, resulting in a fresh sub-Saharan aesthetic with transcontinental appeal.
(All photos are from Minku’s website.) Follow them on Instagram.