The Miyuki-Zoku existed as a fashion tribe in the summer of 1964 in Japan. Appearing from out of nowhere, and adopting elements of the Ivy League look, they numbered approximately 700 individuals at the trend’s peak. It is from these style pioneers that the Leeds-based MKI Miyuki-Zoku store takes its name, opening in May 2010 and launching the premium own-label MKI Black in 2012.
Upon entering the MKI store you immediately notice the overhead fluorescent lighting, which, shaped like the curvature of a spine, complements the monochrome décor. An alternative lighting method of bulbs hanging from thick ropes, tied in a variety of knots above the checkout is also utilised to great effect. As a result of these design decisions, the clothing on display takes centre stage, drawing the visitor’s eye to each item like in an art exhibition.
The brand was founded by creative director Vik Tailor, whose ambition was to “bring a truly ground breaking concept store to the heart of Leeds, introducing new labels; new styles and a new look and ethos to the city.”
I first became aware of MKI through their collaborations with Hong Kong-based brand BDLN. After their initial collaboration in 2011, which focused on heavyweight t-shirts with Persian pattern inserts across the back and front pocket, and plain oxford shirts with tribal wool inserts, the two brands worked together again in 2013 to bring customers a variety of selvedge jeans to choose from.
The reason I mention this, is that the unique selling point of MKI is that they provide customers with access to stylish products, “from a designer perspective, at a much more modest price point.” An example of this would be this season’s Navajo Blanket, which is ideal for use in many modern homes as an accent for bedding, as a sofa-throw or even an art installation on your wall, should you wish to do so.
MKI can be visited online and at Unit C4, The Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, LS1 7BR.
Images courtesy of SchoolBoyCouture.