NINJA MONK: NO LABELS, JUST HUMANS
Story by Carlos Lacayo
Saundra Saulnier and Helga Solrun, two fashion revolutionaries in their own right, have come together to innovate once again with their latest clothing line, Ninja Monk. Not only is it a clothing line of easily wearable, easily washable pieces that encourages individuality, Ninja Monk also uses eco-friendly fabrics – and each piece is reversible with cutting pieces, buying them a little oversized or doing whatever makes a piece your own being strongly encouraged. Whether it’s their Badass Coat, their Sublime Top or their Agile Pant, Ninja Monk’s quality can compete with many upscale retailers and comes in at fair prices as well; they also have a chance of lasting longer than some of your favorite designer pieces.
In this exclusive interview with Mr. Warburton Magazine, Saulnier talks about the inception of the brand, the meaning behind its name, the Ninja Monk philosophy and so much more.
1. First thing is first, explain the meaning of your name, Ninja Monk?
Ninja Monk is a way of being that’s the yin/yang concept of dualism and connection of the inner and the outer. We are all connected as a global community on the foundation of “No Labels and Just Humans.” The qualities of the NINJA and the MONK reside in us all and represent that we are all superheroes in our unique ways. There are both male & female Ninjas and Monks, which symbolizes Ninja Monkfunctional, minimal, no-brainer clothing that’s not focused on gender. Also, we think the name is fun & badass.
2. You describe the brand as being of the new way, what do you mean by that?
People are craving change from the old status quo, which iseven more evident since COVID. There is a global movement of re-thinking life values and the exhaustion from excess consumption & waste, not only materialistically but also with time & energy; mentally, physically & spiritually.
Clothing plays a part in that and it’s a conscious decision of how you express yourself, its part of your lifestyle. With the excess of Marketing and humans becoming ‘shopping machines’, Ninja Monk promotes collaboration & creativity over Consumption and that you don’t need to buy more stuff to feel good about yourself, you know who you are.
3. There is a huge move towards sustainable fashion, but Ninja-Monk seems to be going even a step further. Can you tell us your brand forecast?
Clothing brands are jumping on the sustainable bandwagon and it’s becoming a clichéd word. We have been observing the enormous excess in the fashion industry for many years infactories globally producing exorbitant amounts of clothing going to retail and landfills. Plus, the excess of time, money, energy and burnout turning out tons of collections andsamples.
Sustainability needs to be across the board and Ninja Monk embodies that on many levels with unisex, multi-functional clothing such as reversible and two-in-one items that are built to last. We cut waste on every aspect of manufacturing, from no excess trims or tags to throw in the garbage, to reusable zip-close packaging. When you shop with us, you’re supporting sustainable manufacturing vendors, ethical business practices, livable wages, and quality eco-friendly fabrics.
Ninja Monk has exciting future plans in the Tech & Entertainment sectorswhich we can’t disclose yet, and will include brand collabs with artists, gamers, creatives and change-makers to produce unique limited-editionproducts.
4. We love your philosophy of “look good, feel good, do good”. Do you think that more brands are going into that trajectory? What is Ninja Monk doing for the community?
I think most brands — not just clothing brands — have been shifting their marketing storytelling to appear more caring during these very difficult times. What you wear affects how you feel. Its important for your well being to wear clothing that you feel good wearing. It’s only logical when you wear uncomfortable clothing, or clothes you don’t like, that you’renot going to have a really great day. That’s why people love their “at home clothes” so much. Have you ever noticed when you need to feel your best, or you’re not feeling good that you reach for your old favorite items that you know you always look good and feel good wearing? That’s the experience Ninja Monk wants you to have.
When you feel good, you look good, and that is a domino effect for doing good. We believe community and collaboration is crucial more than ever. Ninja Monk has plans in work for supporting non-profit causes, creating work opportunities, mentoring and championing the visionaries and the change-makers. That drives us toward innovation.
5. Your concept of not creating a collection by season is becoming popular throughout the fashion industry. Why do you think that is the answer for the future of fashion?
People don’t wear clothes by season unless the weather dictates it. That selling and buying programming system wasput in place by clothing conglomerates & large retailers to market and sell more stuff. Like winter coats in June andbathing suits in January. It’s just a way to make more money and has nothing to do with how people really live. It’s absurd across the board, including the stress it puts on designers to produce all these collections and create on demand.
People only wear 10% of what’s in their closets and they reach for their favorite items that they always feel good in.They understand more & more that longevity is sustainability and will invest in fewer clothes that they actually love and that lasts.
It’s about knowing your unique style and getting your throw & go uniform. Ninja Monk believes in spending your time creating & enjoying life, not in your closet.
6. The owners of Ninja Monk are industry experts whohave owned their own companies and worked withmany fashion labels, including created brands for clients from concept to completion. Do you think having worked in traditional fashion companies is why you wanted to conceptualize Ninja Monk to the extent that you have?
We were missing the clothes we wanted to wear everyday. As creators, when you feel you are missing something, you intuitively know other people are feeling this way too.
Ninja Monk is non-trendy, no-brainer “Clothes to Live in.” We are all busy and who has time to think about what you are going to wear everyday? We believe in simplicity, quality over quantity and customizability—which is why our styles have raw-edge hems that you can cut to your length. Plus, it’s easy to mix and match Ninja Monk into your wardrobe and do your own style. With the upsurge of working from home and people now used to feeling relaxed in their clothing, they expect more multi-functional clothes and Ninja Monk is a perfect solution with “Clothes to Live in.”
7. If you could forecast the fashion future, what do you think will happen to the industry?
Humanity is in a David & Goliath crisis and we need hope and new disrupter brands like Ninja Monk that are looking to the future to provide uplifting creative opportunities for all types of businesses to exist for more than just financial profit. A part of the population strongly feels this way, especially the younger generations and there will be more niche companies that connect to their values.