Min-k: Minji Kim, Designer/Owner

Minji Kim, has been designing her cult brand of feminine and 1920’s-inspired ready-to-wear since she opened the doors to her first boutique, Min-k (pronounced “mink”) in New York’s East Village in 1999. A graduate of Parsons School of Design, Minji’s retro silhouettes and fabric-driven designs where available only at her two shops, which has made it possible for her to operate outside the confines of the two-season fashion industry treadmill. As she is inspired, Minji produces her much sought after designs often in very small quantities or as one-of-a-kind pieces, so shopping at Min-k means getting truly special garments and each visit can yield a new discovery.

After receiving her degree in fashion design in 1996, Minji worked as a designer at several fashion houses, including DKNY, Armani Exchange and Club Monaco (where she was Head Designer for Collections), but knew that ultimately her singular aesthetic vision required autonomy. Thus she created her first store at 334 East 11th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues). The recent addition of her second location in New York’s Nolita at 219 Mott Street (between Prince and Spring) and the beginning of her wholesale line means that Minji is introducing her decidedly downtown designs to a whole new audience.

Minji’s business model has afforded her a degree of creative freedom that is an anomaly in the fashion world. Inspired by trips to her fabric sources and the energy of the city around her, Minji Kim designs colorful and artistic garments for the woman who appreciates fashion without being subject to the latest trend pronouncements. A favorite of stylists and the indie music scene, Min-k designs have been featured in Clear, Cosmopolitan, Elle Girl, Fader, Glamour, Lucky, Missbehave, Panache, Shape and the New York Post.