Let me introduce to you this month's emerging designer, MINIKA KO! This brand is for the woman who is undeniably powerful and isn't afraid to show it. She is unapologetic about who she is and is ready to take the world by storm. The powerhouse behind this brand of unique, futuristic, machine washable, water/stain resistant designs, is Minika! She is budding designer who is sure to have you standing out among the crowd. Read her motivating story below to see how she continues to raise the bar in the fashion industry.
ME: What motivated and inspired you to start your own fashion design business?
MINIKA: I always loved fashion design. My mom was an accessory designer and I grew up playing with fabric. I was actually a musician prior to this but I was really intrigued by the work itself and the creativity that went into being a designer. I realized that my calling was to dress women and help them feel bold and confident.
ME: Absolutely a necessity. We need more women who feel completely confident in their clothing. Confidence is the key to taking our lives to the next level. And what is it that inspires you to keep going?
MINIKA: I am inspired by women who are out there making a difference. We all want to make the world a better place in our own way, and I think designing clothes that empower women is my calling. When you look good, you feel good about yourself. Women are doing a lot, and I want to offer them beautiful and comfortable outfits that make them feel confident. This way, those power women can go out there and do their thing without worries about dry cleaning the clothes or ironing.
ME: Nice! Man, won’t we all appreciate that?! Tell us about your business. What is your mission? how do you want women to feel?
MINIKA: At KOVASKY, we create expertly tailored high performance clothing for the power woman on the go. Utilizing the latest performance fabrics, the outfits are edgy as well as functional, using fabrics that are water repellent, breathable, and machine washable. I started my company in 2016. Our goal is to make women feel good and confident in their outfits. For example, if a go-getter is sweating from running late, she doesn’t need to worry because she knows that her outfit is breathable and odor resistant. Her clothes take care of her, and she can depend on them.
ME: I absolutely love how you mentioned her clothes taking care of her and not the other way around where sh can easily spend hours or tons of money taking care of her clothes. But who is the KOVASKY woman? What is she like? I want to see if I am her **laughs out loud**
MINIKA: She is a powerhouse! She’s a woman with dreams and goals, and she’s going for it. Maybe she’s shattering the glass ceiling as a CEO or she’s just working her way up. No matter what, the KOVASKY woman is ambitious and passionate. When I design, I design with her in mind! Everything I make for her is well tailored but easy to care for so that she is effortlessly beautiful.
ME: Ooo! I love that because it is so aligned with my mission as well. To empower these women with all the confidence that they need but with very little work on their part. Getting dressed should never be a hassle! It should be impactful. So we are going to switch gears a bit here because I want to know, What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
MINIKA: I started with an idea of making fashionable clothing that requires no dry cleaning or ironing. After two years of development, we finally have the first high performance fashion collection for retail that offers water repellent shirts and pants, evening gowns with compression lining, and on top of that, all the outfits are breathable and machine washable. I think we carved out a path for high performance fashion.
ME: Wow! How unique! Durability is definitely something missing in the fashion industry. Love that you are bringing that to the market. And what inspired your latest collection?
MINIKA: I am into movies and literature that portray strong female characters, such as the Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones. When I watch action movies, I often imagine that the leading character is a woman even if it’s a man, such as a female 007. Modern architecture also has an influence in my designs. I love the concept from the Bauhaus movements- functional, minimalist, with a clean aesthetic. Every evening gown or skirt I design, I actually make sure the models can kick in them haha! The cuts are form fitting but comfortable to wear.
ME: Wow what a way to really grasp concepts and ideas from a completely different industry! But it is definitely all creative art so I can see the connection. So tell me, how do you distinguish yourself from other designers who might be focused on something similar? Or in other words, what's your special sauce?
MINIKA: I think my training in high-end tailoring gives me the tool to create clothing that shows off a woman’s curves in a beautiful way. However, most important is my strong desire to help women look their best and feel confident about their body while saving them money and time all at once.
ME: That is something I am sure every woman wants to hear! Switching gears again because I’m sure some of the entrepreneurial women in my community a curious to know, what was the most challenging part of getting to where you are today?
MINIKA: Running a startup is mentally and financially challenging. I think the most challenging part is the production. How do we to turn an idea into a sellable consumer product? I also had to learn to always stay calm and move quickly in the challenging and constantly changing business environment. As a business woman for a start up, I deal with difficult unpredictable situations on the daily basis. But I am also a designer - I need my mind to be in a peaceful place in order to design beautiful things. I've slowly learned to enjoy the turbulence and each step of the way.
ME: I am sure that is relatable to so many women! What advice would you give about the entrepreneur journey?
MINIKA: It is not easy, but running a business is truly worth it. It is a rewarding experience. You should enjoy every moment of it, both the struggles and victories. Have a good time and don’t be afraid to chase your dreams with vigor.
ME: That was powerful! While we are on this, what is an awesome quote you live by ...fashion related or not?
MINIKA: "Love life, and it will love you back with more than what you ask for.“ If you just embrace your life and what love what you do, everything will work out. The universe will help you and you will not have to worry.
ME: Sounds like magic!! Something to live by for sure! Tell us an amazing testimonial you received from someone who wore your designs.
MINIKA: Women who wear my clothes always tell me that they feel powerful. When people try on our clothes for the first time, they compliment the comfort and flexibility of our fabrics. It’s also exciting to hear people use “fierce,” “elegant,” and “sophisticated” to describe the outfits.
ME: Awesome! And what would you say to women about dressing their shape or finding their personal style?
MINIKA: I think women should take time to understand their bodies and not be afraid to show what they’ve been given. Don’t worry too much about what other people think. Do want makes you feel good. Get out of the comfort zone and try something new.
ME: Yess!! Love it! So many women struggle with body image and this is always a reassuring statement for them to hear. Lastly, What are your goals for your brand? Where do you hope to take this? Any upcoming projects or areas of focus?
MINIKA: My goal is to continue grow the brand so we have more resources for research and development to make even more amazing products. How about bulletproof trench coats or mosquito repellent dresses for your next adventure to a tropical island?
ME: *laughing* Omg that sounds perfect in so many ways! You can slay but not get bitten up in the process! I wish you the utmost success in all that you do. Thank you so much for sitting with me today, Minika! It was such a pleasure interviewing you!
Model: Shaw Bernard - Model Coach and Pop Culture TV host!
Photographer: Katie Yuen - NYC HOLISTIC LIFESTYLE & BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHY katieyuenphotography.com