Mina's Heritage Atelier


Mina's Heritage Atelier

Sunday, January 12, 2020

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Haveli has been both a long time coming and a completely spontaneous manifestation. Mina Robertson, founder and creative director of clothing line Haveli, started her career in fashion as an intern at the Style Observer (SO ) when she was 13 years old. By the time she was 16 she was styling editorials with best friend, photographer Luca Khouri, published by SO , as well...

Robertson's next stop was Paris to study fashion business at the first fashion school in the world, ESMOD/ISEM, where she graduated with the Premier Prix (first in the graduating class). While there, she interned at Chlo on Avenue Montaigne, gathering retail, sales and merchandising experience. In 2016, she went to Accra, Ghana, to intern with Ethical Fashion Initiative partner Studio 189. There, she pursued her interest in sustainable fashion and gained an appreciation for heritage textiles and craftsmanship. In her last year at ESMOD she went to China and deepened her knowledge of the tradition of fabric production. In 2018, after graduating from ESMOD she returned to Jamaica and worked for Sagicor as a business analyst in the Strategy and Innovation Department while pursuing a Master of Science (MSc) in corporate finance at the Mona School of Business at The UWI. She graduated from The UWI in November 2019 with the best academic performance of her cohort but was not exactly clear on what was next. As luck would have it, she was able to get the last spot on a tour of India in September 2019 organised by Nicola DeLisser. Her time in Rajasthan was transformative and she left deciding that she was going to start Haveli.

“Goddess told me that this is what I need to do. The brand's name, the concept, the aesthetic and the mission all came to me at once,” she explained.

“I left India completely inspired by the fabrics, silhouettes and tradition of textiles in Rajasthan,” she added.

No idle boast! She landed in Jamaica in the first week of October, designed the collection in two weeks and was back on a plane by the third week of October with her mother-turned-product development-partner to work on the production. “We chose all of the natural fibres, natural and non-toxic dyes, the colours for hand-dyeing and the block-printing patterns and spent 12-14-hour days adjusting samples and going through all the details to get the cuts and silhouettes right,” she pointed out.

After two weeks working around the clock with the team in Jaipur, it was time to come home and find a space to communicate the story. 10A West King's House Road, home of Itopia Life, was the perfect spot. In six weeks, the space was ready and the pieces started to arrive from India. “With natural dyes and natural fibres, you can never be absolutely sure of what you're going to get,” shared Robertson. “So I definitely lost sleep. I set alarms for Jaipur's working hours so I could check on how it was coming together.”

There was no cause for alarm, thankfully. The team in India came through in style and when the last box arrived on Friday, January 3, it was time to announce the soft opening of Haveli for the following day!

“The love and support throughout this entire process has been unbelievable,” she continued. “But I was overwhelmed by all the goddesses and gods I saw come through that weekend. I was so nervous because we didn't have time to post any of the styles and it was such short notice. We were still sending out invitations at 12 midnight so I only expected family and friends, but the response was overwhelming.”

SO what makes

“Think: easy elegance, divine femininity and legacy fashion! The cuts are relaxed and the fabric is luxurious. “Once you wear 100% cotton and 100% silk, you won't want to wear anything else, especially when the styles simply drape across your body and don't restrict your movement,” opined Robertson, “Divine femininity speaks to the confidence and Goddess power that is unleashed when a woman is both looking and feeling amazing. Our 'why' is to make every woman feel like a goddess; and goddesses own their power. There's magic in a woman stepping out of a changing room, knowing she looks stunning, and we want to create that magic for as many goddesses as possible. Clothes must work for you; you shouldn't have to work for your clothes. When I feel restricted or uncomfortable in what I'm wearing, my personality doesn't shine as much and my divinity feels stifled; I wanted to make pieces that I wanted to wear. Our focus is on offering as wide a size range as possible so that every goddess can come, try something on and feel amazing. Legacy fashion speaks to the quality of the fabrics and the timelessness of our cuts. Haveli pieces are created to be passed down from generation to generation. “It's about sustainability and storytelling. A major focus for us is to offer sustainable, mindfully created pieces at an accessible price point so we can change the tide to more conscious consumption.”

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