The Manini Story:
How Our Pacifica Inspired Fashion Label Began
Manini is a brand I created with my husband Walter, focused on sustainable fashion suited to all shapes and sizes. It’s inspired by the island paradise my husband was born and raised in, and where we now base our family – the Cook Islands.
Our vision is to create beautiful garments for all body shapes and ages, bringing the colours and designs of the Pacific to the rest of the world.
How Did Manini Come To Be?
It was 2008 when the seeds of Manini began to grow. Walter took me on my first trip to the Cook Islands and I got to experience the exceptional beauty of Aitutaki and Rarotonga.
We spent time with my husband’s family and friends whom he had grown up with and it gave me a chance to see how special this island, the people, the culture and their lifestyle in nature really was.
On our visits to Rarotonga we spent many Saturday mornings at the Punganui markets as many locals and tourists do, and noticed a gap in the market for sustainable, affordable women’s clothing inspired by the island to fit all female forms.
In 2019, after many visits back to the island we took the plunge and moved there permanently with our young daughter TeAroa. We wanted to immerse TeAroa in her culture.
Surrounded by the island beauty and with 20 years of experience in the Australian fashion industry under my belt, I knew the time was right to start my own label.
I wanted to create an inclusive brand that celebrated the beauty of the Cook Islands and embodied the easy flow of island life, with pieces that easily transitioned from the beach to the city.
Manini was born.
Manini Wear had its first market stall in July 2019 just 2 months after we had moved over to the island in May. From there, things have consistently grown.
Even with the world in lockdown and the borders closed to our little island paradise, we had customers contacting us from around the globe, wanting to buy our clothes. So, we decided to launch our online store and bring our Pacifica inspired contemporary brand to the world
What Does Manini Mean?
I chose the name Manini after the two-toned reef fish found in the crystal-clear waters of the Cook Islands. There is just something about the Manini fish. It’s not the most colourful fish in the water, but that doesn’t stop it from standing out amongst the rest. And that’s what I wanted Manini Wear to embody – A subtle ability to stand out and feel beautiful, no matter the setting.
The prints are designed by our team, so are one of a kind.
Manini is committed to creating quality clothing that is easy to care for and fits like a dream – at an affordable price.
We offer clothing for men, women and children – sized from 8 to 20. We offer everything from mini to maxi dresses, as well as shirts and jumpsuits.
Manini’s philosophy is to make everyone feel welcome by creating a culture of inclusiveness and belonging, and holding ourselves accountable at every step
Manini also strives for zero-waste. This earth has limited resources and we don’t want to waste any of them. To help minimise the impact we have on the environment, we do not create unnecessary waste. That means we use all our offcuts to produce packaging and hair ties.
We are inspired by the oceans, the skies, and the flora and fauna of our enchanting islands. So, we will do everything we can to protect the natural environments we live in.
I love the journey Manini has taken us on – from an idea we pondered on in our Sydney apartment, to launching in our first Rarotonga market stall, to being worn by women all around the globe.