Source: Massey University
Fashion label Mina opened its doors on Monday for one week as a pop-up to give Wellingtonians a taste of the brand created by Natalie Procter in 2017, shortly after she graduated from Massey’s renowned fashion programme.
It is her first pop-up store, in addition to her permanent store located in Grey Lynn, Auckland.
At the same time, Nadya France-White, whose fashion store ENA has stocked the Mina brand from its beginning and is also a graduate of Massey fashion, is embarking on a new venture with Prak Sritharan, owner of Precinct35 gallery on Ghuznee Street.
Both ENA and Precinct35 have decided to close their doors and join together to create KAUKAU, a concept fashion and design store opening in late March.
Ms Proctor says while the two retailers prepare for the launch of their new store, she thought it was the perfect time for Mina to pop-up in Wellington.
“We have such a loyal community of customers down there. Also – Precinct35 is such a beautiful space in a perfect location so we’re really looking forward to it.”
Ms Proctor has fond memories of her time in Wellington studying for her honours degree in Fashion Design at Massey, which included photography papers which have been invaluable to her growing business.
But it was trip to India at the end of her degree that cemented her decision to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She travelled around the country for five weeks on a Massey University Scholarship, alongside 20 other students. Inspired by the people she met and their stories, Ms Procter began working on what was the beginning of Mina.
“I remember returning home with all these knick-knacks of craft materials and decorative items, like block printed scarves and I held such value for these little things that I would probably never use. It helped me understand the level of value and respect we hold on a material item such as clothing when we know it’s origin.”
Alongside this latest venture and in pursuit of a more sustainable practice, Ms Procter is introducing a more trans-seasonal collection that aims to give customers maximum value and wear out of the clothes they purchase.
She would like customers to move towards a “buy less but, buy well” mindset.
This design approach will launch in April and moves towards a more fluid model with four cohesive trans-seasonal lines released throughout the year, designed to be worn together regardless of the season.
She says the collection structure will see two lines released on the season and two off the season.
“If you can appreciate how much work is involved in the process of making just one garment you are more willing to invest in that garment as well as care and look after that garment for years to come. This is something I am constantly educating my customers about and believe it really helps us in our thinking about how we shop and value our wardrobes.”
The Mina pop-up is located at 35 Ghuznee St, Te Aro (formerly Precinct35) and will be open from 10am to 3pm until 7 March.