Saundra Saulnier has accomplished quite a bit in the fashion industry. Although her passion for fashion developed at a young age, Saulnier began her career as a buyer for a contemporary four-store chain in Montreal and later became a merchandiser for the Canadian division of Esprit de Corps. Utilizing her visionary style and all she learned about the fashion industry up until that point, she launched Pyramid — her first successful company — and followed that up with her Saulnier/No Logo collection. Saulnier was also the originator of BebeSport’s active apparel brand BBSP, and in 2007 she started Ultrakat Productions Inc., a full-service design consulting company with clients worldwide.
Despite branching out within the fashion industry, the style and design guru has not lost her passion for creating one-of-a-kind pieces, and that’s exactly what Saulnier has done with her latest line, Ninja Monk. 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. “I believe clothes are timeless, seasonless and unique to your style,” Saulnier states. “With Ninja Monk, you don’t need a bunch of pieces to feel good about yourself — you’re a badass as it is.” She goes on to say, “I had a customer that spray-painted some art on one of the coats. Our clothes are like having a blank canvas for you to make your own.”
When Ninjas Meet Monks
Saundra started Ninja Monk with her partner Helga Solrun, who she met while working on BeBeSport. “We’re really about our clothes lasting a long time,” Saulnier says. She explains that Ninja Monk’s quality can compete with many upscale retailers and comes in at fair prices as well; they also have a chance of lasting longer than some of your favorite designer pieces. “My first Ninja Monk prototype was tested five years ago, and it still looks brand new today! We also want people to see how amazing the clothes really are.”
When speaking on how the Ninja Monk concept came about, Saulnier says, “I wanted to keep it androgynous and simple. That’s where the whole concept started from: really simple clothing that anyone can wear.” She also speaks on the inception of the company’s name itself, saying, Ninja Monk came from the fact that ninjas and monks are cool and monks but also how both encompass a state of being in touch with oneself.
Clothing is Just the Beginning
The future looks bright for Ninja Monk as they look for new ways to expand and get feedback for their always growing client and fan base. “We would love to collaborate with celebrities in any area,” Saulnier explains. “We want to create fun, interactive events and sweepstakes to give people a chance to be a part of what we’re doing and get their work featured as well.”
Through it all, Saulnier wants the brand to stay true to the ideas that brought this line to fruition and inspire the next generation of creators. “For us, building this company is about the people and creating opportunities. We’re also looking to build a digital community that’s by the people and not a big cooperation.” She concludes by stating, “I’ve been given this opportunity to create and execute this vision. I want to share my experience, strength and hope with others, and if I use Ninja Monk to not only give myself to people but a platform to give others the chances I had, I will be happy.” ninjamonk.com
Photos: Rowan Daly
Grooming: Dillon Pena
Styling: Derek Warburton