Exclusive: Minimal Meets Maximal in Miuniku
It started simply as two sisters in Mumbai in front of the television, eyes glued to the Miss Universe pageant, with a dream. Fast forward several years and these sisters, Tina and Nikita Sutradhar, have not only emerged from The London School of Fashion, but have since been recognized by fashion giants, Raf Simons and Karl Lagerfeld for their talents. In the few years since graduating, the creative duo has received the mega-prestigious LVMH Special Jury Prize and the Fashion Innovation Award in honor of their contemporary fashion label, Miuniku.
Miuniku, a combination of their childhood nicknames, has blossomed into a rapidly expanding and comprehensive brand. Having received recognition from international fashion heavyweights including Opening Ceremony, the sisters have their sights set on opening future locations in London.
The Sutradhar sister’s quick ascension through the fashion world can be most accurately attributed to their stunning array of clothing. Priding themselves on blending both minimal and maximal elements, their apparel draws on a lush series of colors and patterns, evocative of their childhood in the equally lush city of Mumbai. Milk Made’s Jake Boyer spoke to the sisters to learn a little bit more about their brand, their mood board inspirations, and where we would expect to find them after wrapping up a new collection.
When did you all first want to begin designing?
Tina: When I was about 11 years old, I was watching the Miss Universe pageant on TV, each of the contestants were wearing a different gown, and that was the first time I got interested in fashion. I used to have a sketch book in which I would draw and when there was a boring class at school I used to draw clothes at the back of my text book to avoid falling asleep. As for Nikita, she didn’t want to do anything related to studying after her 12th grade. She didn’t want to read, memorize or write exams so she thought she should do something more creative and hands on, so when she started doing the design course she loved it and really excelled.
What could we find on your mood board on a typical day?
Nikita: A mix of cool styles we saw of people on the street, random pictures we take on our phones if we see something interesting, table tops, works of modern artists, random images from the 60’s or 70’s, video clips from that show on the Discovery Channel called ‘How Its Made’, etc…
What has informed your incredibly vibrant color palette? What has informed your patterns?
T: Our colors are inspired by how people dress in our country. One doesn’t stand out in the crowd if he/she wears a red shirt with green pants, because everyone on the street is wearing something colorful. The best part is that they are not even trying to make a fashion statement, it’s just their normal day to day clothing!
We love to balance out minimal and maximal elements so we go maximal on color and mix them with minimal lines and cuts. We also love the works of Ellsworth Kelly and are very inspired by his use of color and patterns!
Who is the Miuniku woman? Does she exist?
N: I think she is the everyday super hero who takes care of both home and career and still looks cool! She is not afraid to play with color and really enjoys dressing.
What’s the hardest part about putting a collection together?
N: I guess for us it is editing the line up. Because we make only 15-20 looks, so it takes us a while to hone in on what looks to keep and what not to keep.
Do you all do anything special to celebrate the completion of a collection?
N: We actually just order dinner at home or go to watch a movie… Quite simple, but nice!
What is a clothing item that you can’t live without?
T: My denim jacket and pleated skirt.
N: My X-Men jumper.
What’s one of the most important things you’ve learned about the world of fashion?
T: We’ve learnt that the fashion industry is a creative business. It’s a huge industry that houses a diverse group of professionals like journalists, stylists, designers, managers, CEO’s and countless others who are harmoniously working together at a really fast pace!
Follow Miuniku on Instagram @miuniku and check out their website here