"Make everything you do in life somehow help you become a better artist and don't ever get discouraged or stop."
Behind the Creator
I commend anyone from a smaller city that is chasing even bigger dreams. It's easier to give up than it it is to keep striving. Through the trials and tribulations Mink managed to stay resilient and create a brand that would grow to be bigger than himself. Within this interview we'll touch on the making of the brand, new highlights, and high fashion.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are based/from?
Mink: My real name is Troy, but everybody calls me Minko or Mink. I'm 21 years old and I'm from Kansas City, Missouri.
What did the name Mink Money originate from?
Mink:Mink Money was a name I came up with when I lived in Houston, I started calling myself “Minko” because it means chief in my native language and I always thought of myself as being ahead of the masses as far trends and new brands. So, one day I just wanted to change my Instagram name to something more identical to my lifestyle so that’s when I came up with Mink Money.
You always seemed in tune and up to date with the latest styles and fashions, what prompted you to start your own line? And what were some challenges that came with it?
Mink: I was in college at Texas Southern University for Business Marketing and almost everyday while walking to or from class, I was getting compliments on my fits. So one day I was just thinking about the future and what I wanted to do with my life and I realized that being in marketing wasn’t really what I wanted to do. So, I started off styling my friends and some family members and eventually was blessed to style some NFL players. Which gave me the opportunity to build relationships with different boutiques and stores around Houston and Kansas City. But, putting my friends and NFL players in these big brands wasn’t satisfying to me, I wanted more and a challenge, so that’s when the idea of me starting my own line and styling them in that instead came about and shortly after I dropped my first brand, Minko. Some challenges starting out where definitely not being proficient in Photoshop or illustrator so I had a hard time getting my designs perfect when I used to send them to factories and also me not knowing how to sew at first. Learning how to sew saved me a lot of time and money believe it or not.
I know you recently launched your new line, Grey Frammes, congrats by the way. Did you get the results that you anticipated from your customers? As far as love for the product, sales, etc.
Mink: Thank you, I appreciate you! But, the first drop definitely was a good turn out. Everybody was so ready for me to release because I haven’t released any clothes since August of 2016. I appreciate everybody that’s been waiting on me to drop and everybody who has supported me in the past.
What makes this line special and unique to you?
Mink: Grey Frammes is special to me because I make all my garments based on mood and emotion. Grey Frammes is a three dimensional world made of “emptiness” where everything is limitless. Kind of like Travis $cott describes his mind when in Astro World, instead mine is called “Empty Space” which is also our creative collective that I’m apart of with the homies and my cousins.
If you could set up a storefront in any city, where would it be and why?
Mink: Definitely my hometown Kansas City, MO because I feel like that’s mandatory being from there. My city is where I get all my creative vibes and inspiration from. I feel like people don’t really respect Kansas City as a fashion forward city and I want to change that. I want to show the world that there’s people in these smaller cities that are really talented and have real love and a good eye for fashion. Also, growing up in KC, you couldn't really get up and go buy the new Rick Owens DRKSHDW, Raf Simons, or Human Made. You'd have to go online or travel to a city close like, Chicago or Detroit and that’s something I always wanted to bring to my city, a different type of shopping experience.
What are a few items that you are looking to add to your inventory?
Mink: In the spring, I have some unique pieces that I’m going to drop, some items that I haven’t even seen these big fashion houses do, so just be on the look out for those items, I don’t really want to say too much about it, but, they’re dope I promise!
Outside of clothing, what other things do you tap into?
Mink: Man, not too much to be honest. Clothes are like my life. But, I’m also a big foodie, everywhere I go, I have to get some local food from that place, whether that’s Pappadeaux in Houston or Harold’s in Chicago.
Top 3 Best Dressed people in the industry.
mink: A$AP Rocky, Rihanna, and Pharrell.
Overrated or Underrated? 2018 Off-white converse collab, Gucci Flashtrek.
mink: 2018 Off White x Converse, overrated. I think the Gucci Flashtrek’s get the attention they deserve. I don’t really like garments or shoes with big branding on them. I don’t want you to know what I got on, unless you already know or you ask and I gotta take my shoe or something off to show you.
What are 3 essentials for you, when putting together a fire fit?
Mink: 1.) The jacket have to be fire, I feel like in the fall and winter, the outerwear and accessories have to be fire and you have it coordinate it together.
2.) The kicks have to be fresh, I ain’t really with the beat up sneaker wave, unless they some vans or some Geobasket’s, them joints, yellow and beat hard as hell.
3.) Attitude, like, you can have on all the right brands but if you don’t feel good then it’s a bust, your clothes reflect the mood that you’re in. Bad attitude = Bad energy = Bad outfit
Likes and dislikes of mainstream fashion today.
mink: Likes - How easily a single person can compete with a big fashion house brand due to the power of social media. It’s so easy to level up, you got people like Virgil Abloh becoming the Head Men’s Designer at Louis Vuitton coming from Pyrex and Been Trill, like that’s crazy to me that you can go from them brands all the way to Louis Vuitton in 6 years. And for people like me, who are creatives in smaller cities, it gives us an easier way to reach a bigger platform and expand, fast.
Dislikes - 2013 me would probably be pissed I was saying this but I really don’t mess wit Supreme anymore like it’s everywhere.
What should we be on lookout for?
Mink: Be on the look out for more fall and winter pieces from Grey Frammes and Avenge WorldWide, we going crazy all fall and winter!!! Also, a few collabs with a couple other brands from my city! Shoutout to @london_mudd and @avengeworldwode on Instagram, they go crazy.
For someone who may be thinking about starting their own line, what are some words of advice?
Mink: Man, some words of advice, don’t be in a rush to put out something because you see everyone else is, take your time, create something timeless and unique to you! Make everything you do in life somehow help you become a better artist and don’t never get discouraged or stop, you’re going to fail at least once, it’s apart of the cycle just continue to work and stay consistent and you will get there, I promise!
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