In Nigeria, as in much of western Africa, everything is reused; nothing is wasted. Thus goes the philosophy behind Minku, a leather goods and clothing company founded by Kunmi Otitoju in 2011.
Minku products breathe new life into the dusty ceremonial fabrics, folded away, often for decades, awaiting re-discovery in some closet or vintage shop or the other in Lagos.
Whether as a blouse or the appliqué on a t-shirt or the lining of a leather bag, Kunmi patiently combines these fabrics in what she hopes is a desirable and contemporary manner, fitting for life in Lagos or New York or Madrid, all cities in countries she has once called home.
Minku started as a bespoke leather goods company, and Kunmi continues to create each item herself, with the exception of men's shirts, which are made by tailors she works with in Lagos, Nigeria. She sources leathers from Italy and Spain, and traditional textiles from Lagos markets.
Kunmi has been recognized for her work at Minku's helm and prior, including at her alma mater, Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, and at Queen's College in Lagos, where, as a high school student, she won the Fine Art prize every year. She is one of Forbes' 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30.