Ninja Monk is truly on the cusp of bringing back everything that’s been missing from fashion for about the past decade. Utilizing simplicity and individuality as their driving force, Saundra Saulnier and Helga Solrun have created a brand that undoubtedly encompasses these qualities and so much more. 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 Between Ninja Monk’s quality and the ever-growing popularity of its brand, the clothing line will soon be spoken within the same breath as some of your favorites.
Saulnier was gracious enough to talk time out of her day to sit and talk with LAPALME about the origins of the Ninja Monk name and the brand, what the meaning and overall purpose of the brand is, and some things they have in store for the future.
Congratulations on the new line! How did you come up with the name?
Thank you! We love LAPALME magazine!
The name Ninja Monk symbolizes the yin/yang concept of dualism and the connection of the inner and the outer. Style is connected to who you are in every aspect: how you live, what you eat, what you wear, how you think, and so on, and Ninja Monk is a way of being. It’s about knowing your unique style, having your throw & go uniform, spending your time creating and enjoying life, not in your closet.
We felt the name Ninja Monk perfectly represented a lifestyle brand that connected style, tech, and entertainment. We started with clothing first because we are experts at it, and created a unisex, no-brainer, well-made, chic clothing for everybody and everybody: “Clothes to Live In”.
Part of the Ninja Monk foundation is the smashing of all stereotypes and the awareness of “No Labels, Just Human”’. We are in this together.
Plus, we like the name; it’s fun and cool.
You are both industry experts who have/had owned their own companies and worked with many fashion labels including creating brands for clients from concept to completion. Why did you start Ninja Monk?
We were missing the clothes we wanted to wear every day. As creators, when you feel you are missing something, you intuitively know other people are feeling this way too.
We are all busy and who has time to think about what you are going to wear every day? We believe in simplicity, quality over quantity, and customizability—which is why our styles have raw-edged hems that you can cut to your length. It’s easy to mix and match Ninja Monk into your wardrobe and customize it to your own style.
With the upsurge of working from home and people now used to feeling relaxed in their clothing all the time, and they are expecting more multi-functional apparel that makes you look good and feel good, plus easy to wear and care for.
We wanted to create this in a genuinely sustainable way.
The line is unisex and also environmentally friendly. How important is it that Ninja Monk has a purpose?
People are craving change from the old status quo, which is even 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: it’s part of your lifestyle. With the excess of marketing and humans becoming “shopping machines,” Ninja Monk promotes collaboration & creativity overconsumption and that you don’t need to buy more stuff to feel good about yourself, you know who you are.
We offer everyday flexible clothing essentials for all areas of your life: work, gym, meditation, travel, events and raves, lounge to playing video games and everything in between, even comfy enough for sleep. What you wear affects how you feel. It’s important for your well-being to wear clothing that you feel good wearing and our fundamental message is: “Look Good-Feel Good-Do Good.”
Sustainability needs to be across the board and Ninja Monk embodies that with a multi-functional, flexible fit, eco-luxe 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.
You are exclusively selling on your website now. Do you think that selling direct to consumers is the best way forward in the industry?
We launched on our website so we can connect directly with our customers/tribe and share the Ninja Monk movement directly with them as a starting point. We strongly believe in collaborations with both retailers and other brands that are aligned with the Ninja Monk values and creating win-wins for all.
You are working on a revolutionary idea for selling, can you give us a preview of the idea you are working on?
Ninja Monk has exciting future plans in the tech, entertainment, media, and distribution sectors, which we can’t disclose yet, and will include brand collabs with artists, gamers, creatives, and change-makers to produce unique limited-edition products.
What is the future of the brand? What do you want to do with it?
We see Ninja Monk as a global brand, not only for creating exciting new products with incredible talent and giving people a chance to shine but also for advocating positive change and well-being on all levels together. The world needs hope and uplifting and Ninja Monk is a part of that new movement by supporting non-profit causes, creating work opportunities, mentoring, and championing the visionaries and the change-makers and that drives us toward innovation. ninjamonk.com
Photographs by Rowan Daly