Miky Ryken is one to watch... An inspirational powerhouse and the founder and director of New Zealand based rey, the label. We sat down and chatted to Miky about what rey, the label is all about and some of her favourite things in life. Here at Flo & Frankie we are absolutely stoked to be rey, the label's first physical stockist - read to below to learn what this brand and its owner is all about!
When and how did rey, the label come about?
My heart has always been in fashion, I've had a strong passion for it for as long as I can remember. I love everything about it.
What I love most is exploring the ideas and inspiration behind capsules, photoshoot themes and locations, however, my favourite thing of all is how clothes and accessories have the power to change how we feel.
In 2020 while I was on maternity leave, I had windows of free time and found myself with a craving for a creative outlet. rey, the label began to grow from a simple idea into reality. In May 2021, I launched rey, the label with a small range of bags in staple black and ivory colours.
What does the word 'rey' mean?
rey means 'king' in Spanish (which is my first language).
I chose the name ‘rey’ because its etymology is associated with assertive notions of ‘leading’ and ‘ruling’. I liked that something as simple as a handbag could make someone feel confident and like they were owning and ruling their own style.
You mentioned that having a rey, the label handbag is like having a piece of armour, can you expand on this / Tell us about the ethos behind rey.
Yes, we refer to our bags as armour. I'm a firm believer that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Our handbags are the armour that allow us to be prepared and they carry all of the essential items we need to combat anything we may encounter throughout our day. Our bags provide our customers the confidence to achieve anything they set their minds to. From a date night to a job interview or moving overseas, our rey bags are always by their side.
What’s your design process? What do you do to keep the creativity flowing?
Ideating and creating new designs is definitely my favourite step in the entire process. I draw inspiration by observing and soaking up my environment and surroundings, art, vintage fashion books. I'm a visual person, so when it comes to drawing up new designs, I try and remember all the beautiful things i have come across recently, or anything that caught my eye while travelling and how I can incorporate elements of those things into each of the pieces.
I basically love to design bags that I personally would love to wear over and over again!
What are your workspace must-haves for keeping your productivity flowing?
For me it has always been 'out of sight, out of mind' - I am at my most productive with a tidy desk, a green tea and a concise to do list!
What are you listening to right now?
For my designing sessions, that can sometimes run late into the night, I like to put on a FKJ album (look him up!). Or when I am needing a spark of motivation or education, I am a sucker for a good podcast and in particular have been enjoying The Business of Fashion and How I Built This.
What is your favourite bag (and colourway) from your latest collection?
I didn’t think that I would be playing favourites but it is hands down the Pistachio Luna piece. I can’t seem to be able to leave the house without her.
Your go-to daily outfit?
I like to mix aesthetics with functionality but while we are in the colder months, I just play with layers and see what makes me feel my best. Usually, you’ll find me wearing a basic tee, a cashmere cardigan, some bold dress pants, a coat, loafers and of course a rey bag to finish off the look.
Describe your personality in three words.
I asked my husband and a couple of close friends for help on this one! The mutual consensus is that I’m determined, loyal and loving.
What do you want people to know about rey?
We are a female-owned and operated business and we've set ourselves the mission to serve people through our handbags. We want our customers to feel prepared and empowered to believe in themselves every time they walk out of the front door ready to tackle their day ahead.
Something people don’t know about you.
I was born in Argentina and moved to NZ when I was 10 years old.
All things going to plan, where do you see rey in the next 2 and 5 years?
I haven’t thought that far ahead as I am enjoying the present moment of building our rey community and seeing our rey pieces become staples in wardrobes across New Zealand and internationally. I’d love to continue growing our range and see the bags be worn across the world.
A piece of advice that has helped you through the process of starting your own brand.
When I was craving a creative outlet and also wanted to design our Para Siempre (forever) pieces, I kept thinking to myself – ‘If not now, then when? If not me, then who?’ This has been a good mantra for me to remind myself that despite the challenges of starting a brand (during a pandemic), I am so capable of building something that other people will want to be a part of.
What is something not that many people know about you or your brand?
We have big dreams and we don’t think small!
Last but not least, your favourite place in New Zealand and why?
Arrowtown in the Autumn. There is something incredibly calming to the soul about seeing tree covered mountains with endless variations of coloured leaves.