We’re really excited to bring you the next instalment of “A Natter with…”. This week we’re chatting with Monika founder of Monika the Label, a sustainable vintage-inspired slow fashion brand based in East London. Monika started out working in buying in Berlin. Here she saw first-hand how fast fashion brands were destroying the planet she decided she needed to make a change. We print Monika’s cute tees and totes!
Tell us a bit about Monika the Label, how did it start, what is your big dream!?
Starting a brand has always been something I wanted to do but thought it would be much further down the line. Previous to Monika The Label, I worked in fashion buying out in Berlin and saw first hand the negative impact the industry has on the planet. I didn’t want to be a part of the problem any longer.
Looking around I noticed a lack of seventies, Cali inspired fashion on this side of the Atlantic. I often resorted to buying internationally which usually came with nasty customs charges. Monika The Label turned into a love affair between Cali cool and London grunge and all made sustainably and locally here in the UK. I never anticipated a global pandemic to occur only a few months before my launch in the summer of 2020! I like to say if I can launch a fashion line in the midst of something like that, I can do anything right?? It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least.
What’s your favourite fashion piece specifically in your collection so far?
There are two which I can’t choose between. I love the Camille Maxi Dress as it was inspired by a vintage scarf I found at a Berlin flea market – imagine if I had never gone to the market that Sunday morning? But, I also love our Danielle Dress. It’s such a ‘frontwoman of a band’ piece with the mix of leopard print and bright red florals. She has proven to be a customer favourite as she’s a bestseller!
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
The pieces in my latest Sunset Honey Pie collection are predominantly named after powerful, female music icons that have inspired me over the years. From the Haim sisters, Stevie Nicks, to Patti Smith and Florence Welch. What was once a male-dominated corner of music, these women are really proving the world or rock belong to them. As well as their incredible musical talents, they have also provided me with an insane amount of fashion inspo. My style is an amalgamation of all of them. And in turn, my latest collection is an extension of my own personal style so it was fun to basically design and see my dream wardrobe come to life.
If you could choose one song to listen to all day every day in the studio what would it be?
I’m obsessed with Best I Ever Had by Laurel. She has a really cool, dreamy/hypnotic sound that keeps me going through work. Her latest EP, Petrol Bloom is just great. If I ever was a musician (sadly very much lacking in that department of talent) I’d like to create something similar to her music.