Designer We Love: Mimi Shodeinde

A quick Q&A featuring London-based designer and interior architect, Mimi Shodeinde

 

 
 
Above  Mimi Shodeinde, founder of Miminat

Above Mimi Shodeinde, founder of Miminat

 
 

Miminat Designs is a London-based product and interior architecture studio that produces functional art pieces with strong underlying African heritage influences. Through a combination of quality materials and textures, Miminat plays on form and function to create innovative yet practical design — take The Okuta Collection as a perfect example.

We asked founder Mimi Shodeinde three quick questions for our new spotlight series, “Designers We Love.”

 
 
 

Crea  How do you think about the evolution of your work over the past few years?

Mimi  I’m a big believer in staying true to yourself as a designer. Being a young designer in a very ageist and trend-centred industry can be tough.

At the end of the day, you want to make sales but you don’t want to sell out. I’ve always tried to do is remain true to my style and my aesthetic. Not everyone will get it or like it, and that’s fine.

I do feel my design has evolved over the years, but it’s also remained the same. As a designer, I think it’s important to leave something behind to be remembered for. I’m happy with how my work has evolved and I look forward to continuing to grow and evolve as a designer and architect.

Above  Omi chair  Photo: Courtesy of Miminat

Above Omi chair
Photo: Courtesy of Miminat

 
 
Above  The Okuta Decanter   Photo:    Lionesses of Africa

Above The Okuta Decanter
Photo: Lionesses of Africa

 

You have quite a few active architecture projects in the works. Which one(s) are you most excited about?

Yes, I do! Right now I’m working on a residential project — something I’ve always wanted to do — in Cognac, France. It’s a stunning estate, and I am SO excited about it! The scheduled completion date is for the end of 2019. Check my Instagram and website for progress updates.

Apart from that, I’m also collaborating with a Canadian design firm to open a concept store/showroom in Toronto. It opens in June and is completely out of my comfort zone, as I’ve never done commercial work. It’s still in the works so I can’t showcase any images quite yet, but I’m very excited about this one, too. It’s different but very exciting and I can’t wait to show everyone!

(See Mimi’s architecture work here).

What role do you see communities like BAD Guild* playing in the design industry? What does it mean to you?

They play a very big role. I’m not ever one to talk about race or segregation in the industry, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I believe the BAD Guild* will not only showcase the excellence and talent in the African and ethnic design community, but will also create the opportunity for collaboration. I am a big believer in collaborating and working together as designers, not only in the black community but in every community. It is not easy for anyone. It’s a very tough industry and extremely expensive — especially when you’re small and self-funded. I’m always happy to see designers help and promote each other.

 
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“I’ve always tried to do is remain true to my style and my aesthetic. Not everyone will get it or like it, and that’s fine.”

Bad Guild: The Black Artists + Designers Guild is a curated collective of Black Artists + Designers throughout the African diaspora.

 
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