A CONVERSATION WITH NATALIE OF MINA
MONARC: What does your favourite kind of Saturday look like?
NATALIE, MINA: A Saturday outdoors, having brunch at a local cafe with my closest friends seems extra special at the moment since isolation began. I absolutely love being at the beach, so any day that I can take a drive out to Piha and stroll along the wild coastline, I'm a happy girl.
MONARC: What was the driving force in making Mina a sustainable brand?
NATALIE, MINA: Mina launched off the back of a rather life-changing six week seed-to-garment trip to India. Having spent a lot of time in South Africa growing up, it wasn’t, as such, the poverty of India that shocked me; it was the intrigue I realised I had for people, the curiosity that I had for the artisan more than I did their craft. I wanted to get to know these people, where they’ve came from and what their story was. I want Mina to share the values inherent in the people I met there; to show compassion to all and create a real community. Respect between people is so vital for any successful business.
Sustainability at Mina means working to a set of values that align with my own. One of those is local community and supporting people. This allows us to foster strong relationships through our supply chain that are personal and face-to-face. Knowing the people and the factories where we produce our clothes will remain an unconditional value for the brand.
MONARC: Could you tell me a bit about your design process? Have you got a clear recipe for creative inspiration, or is it an organic and ever-evolving process?
NATALIE, MINA: Each season we bring through styles that have been popular from a past season and evolve them, such as choosing a fabric that completely changes the look of the design. We listen to our customers and our retailers; styles that may have been tried on a lot but not sold through. We look at why that might be, how we can evolve the design or change the fabric so we can change the outcome.
I design around the notion of a desire for less. We are considered and purposeful with what we bring into this industry. Each piece and collection, we look to be trans-seasonal, to transcend trends and to really last, not just a season but a lifetime. Each piece we drive to be ageless, not for a certain age bracket but a girl/woman who yearns for quality, ease and effortless tailoring. We are inspired by fabrics — there is so much beauty in pure, natural fabrics. Why manipulate them and make things complicated?
We create only two collections per year and those collections are designed to both transcend seasons and be lifelong pieces you cherish in your wardrobe. They are considered and each garment has purpose.
MONARC: Why do you see Mina creations and Monarc Jewellery pairing well together?
NATALIE, MINA: At Mina, community is at the forefront of our brand so when it comes to styling we choose to support like-minded businesses that share our values. New Zealand born Monarc Jewellery is produced using sustainable practices and collaborates with suppliers who share the same view on ethics and the environment. We both share a commitment in our offering of intentional, bespoke designs with longevity in mind. Our designs are made to transcend generations through the use of quality materials. We are delighted that Monarc and Mina pair so well aesthetically and the campaign has been such a success!
Thanks for the chat, Natalie! Monarc loves Mina and what you stand for.
Model: Bianca Henry
Photographer: Luke Foley-Martin
Assisted by: Lily Webster
Stylist: Irina S