Nana: Fashion has infinite possibilities, and new power is born from it. As a carrier of culture and times, fashion encompasses everything. From trendy to traditional culture, from celebrities, idols to everyone’s daily life, and from West to East, it is our discourse, our power, our time. Through Asian Voice, we hope to spread the local Asian fashion culture to the world by moving cross languages and borders.Welcome to the world of MINE, a streetwear brand from Indonesia. Founded by Oka Windusara, MINE is a brand that carries everyone’s experience. Wearing Mine is like becoming yourself. The brand makes every customer who buys Mine feel like they are in Bali by inserting details about cultural information on each product. In this exclusive interview, we speak to the founder to learn more about the message and vision of MINE.
Nana: What is the story behind MINE such as the concepts, messages and the themes it has?Oka: Hello, I am Oka Windusara, the founder of Mine, a clothing brand from the island of Bali. Mine I founded when I was still in high school in 2014, at that time I really liked indie music, saw the skate and surf scene on the beach then I thought about making a product. The initial name was not MINE, but “Dirty Duck” which was inspired by the dirty duck in the fields near where my grandparents lived. But I don’t think the name really represents what I make so in 2016 it changed to MINE which means “mine”. I think everyone who wears something wants to represent themselves to others, highlight their own character so I hope MINE can be part of everyone’s experience. The concept itself carries the theme of Pop Culture from the start, with a few touches and amalgamations and combinations of cultures that have melted in Bali and abroad.
Nana: Why did you initially create the brand and name it “MINE”?
Oka: The first MINE name was my girlfriend’s cellphone contact when I founded “dirtyduck” so when I thought about changing the name to “dirtyduck”, the word “Mine” was the first thing that came to mind. Because I also feel that this brand is a part of me.
Nana: What does the LOGO of the brand means, is that related to the messages?Oka: “Mine” has a main logo that is a simple, clear, and bold sans-serif style font. And the logo is an arrow to the right with the tip of the arrow pointing up, which symbolizes the hope that this brand will run accordingly or towards good and always grow from this business, people, and its impact on the environment and culture.
Nana: What kind of experiences do you want the customers have when they are buying from MINE?Oka: I hope that every customer who buys our products can feel the experience as if they were in Bali with full culture, a place of acculturation of foreign cultures, and they can feel that they are included in it. We always insert small details about the cultural message or identity message where this brand comes from origins on every product, and we never post it on the photo catalog, so only those who buy our products can see and feel it.
Nana: How do you come up and decide on the themes for new collections?Oka: I divide the theme for the latest collection into two categories, the first is a collection of routine releases which includes special releases (national holidays, religious holidays, etc.) and general releases (seasonal), and there are also incidental collections that we release outside of the brand’s annual plan. For example, collaborations or moments and current issues that we feel need to be responded to through a product. To determine a theme, we usually always explore the little things that are most attached to everyday life that have strong storytelling so that customers will feel related to the products we release.
Nana: If it’s possible could you share a little bit about your next collection?Oka: Yes, our next collection is currently developing a new outdoor shoe silhouette with a gorpcore fashion concept, there are also several special city pack releases for several cities in Indonesia which are released in spacebarn shoe designs. And also varsity with some iconic anime character designs.
Nana: Can you tell us about some of the most challenging experiences you have had during the process of building your brand?
Oka: The most difficult and challenging thing is trusting people, I find it very difficult to place trust in new people, so maybe that is one of the things that has made MINE to date run with a small team. I’m always looking for people who have almost the same taste as me, both in music, design sense, how to dress until finally I feel that he is suitable for me to work with. But trust is formed takes time but sometimes they destroy it in the middle of the road. Until now I still handle the creative process of “mine” myself from brainstorming themes to designing each collection.
Because I feel that if I use other people’s services, MINE will never be the same again. Besides that, there are only technical problems during productio where sometimes we don’t find materials that match the concept and desire timeliness constraints during production and so on, but I enjoy that.
Nana: Do you have any advice for our readers who are seeking to find a way to build a brand just like you?
Oka: When you want to do or make something, just do it. While you have confidence in what you do, do it with struggle and sacrifice. Because when you have a good idea about something, we never know there are some people in this world who think almost the same and they execute it first because we think too much. A good painting is painted, a good music is played, so just do it. You failed, you were cheated, you were insulted, that’s part of the journey, keep doing what you believe in.
I was once forced by my parents to stop taking care of MINE because my parents thought this was just a waste of time. But I believe in what I do and I love it that’s why I still do it to this day.
You failed, you were cheated, you were insulted, that’s part of the journey, keep doing what you believe in.