It has been several months since I interviewed a stylish male friend for my Men on the Grid Series. So I decided about a month ago that Mr. Mikel Monk would be my next victim. I’ve been threatening him for weeks, telling him to prepare for all my personal questions and how he should be nervous. You know he had the nerve to actually taunt me…telling me he was “shaking in his boots.” So you know I had to do my best to pull out the big guns.
Mikel is the founder of The Mens Dept, one of the most successful mens events on the grid. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with him off and on over the past year. One thing I noticed about him was how respectful he was and also very kind and understanding.
During this interview, we also had a long chat on skype and I’ve discovered that he’s also quite a chatterbox but so very charming and friendly.
Here are some of the questions I asked him:
Strawberry Singh: What inspired you to start The Mens Dept?
Mikel Monk: The lack of male items in other events and the amount of great male fashion designers that didnt get the attention they deserved.
Strawberry Singh: You’re a very stylish guy in Second Life, are you inspired by real life fashion or designers? Which are your favorites?
Mikel Monk: I love art/film/fashion so there is no particular rl fashion designers I look to or anything i just wear what feels right at the time.
Strawberry Singh: Is that what your field is in the real world?
Mikel Monk: In the real world I do photo and video editing but I’m getting my masters in painting.
Strawberry Singh: Oh wow, so you’re an artist in the real world as well..interesting.
Strawberry Singh: So now you have started your own store in Second Life, Bueno. This is a collaboration with a friend I believe? What inspired you to start that and how do you come up with the designs?
Mikel Monk: I started a brand with the amazing creator Blueberryxx Resident. She owns blueberry. We decided to start a brand just to make different styles of clothing we both enjoy. We basically find things we like and run with it .
Strawberry Singh: I heard you are also working on another event, but this one is quite different. Can you tell us more about that?
Mikel Monk: Yes, I am. It’s called Consensual. It’s an adult furniture event. It consists of some of the best furniture makers on the grid but releasing the adult versions of their furniture at a discount for that weekend only. After that they go to their stores at regular price.
Strawberry Singh: A lot of people feel that there are too many events and that is killing the Second Life market. How do you feel about the Second Life economic situation and do you believe events, like yours, have a positive or negative influence?
Mikel Monk: I think it depends on how you look at it. The economy has shifted and the events have had an impact on sl in all sorts of ways but I think they can have both a positive and negative influence… Positive – you discover new designers you haven’t heard of or designers you love and get a great deal for a limited time. Negative- there isn’t enough traffic to mainstores or both designers and customers can get overwhelmed. I encourage everyone to have a landmark giver and group joiner at TMD.
Strawberry Singh: What do you love about Second Life the most? What makes you keep logging in?
Mikel Monk: One thing that I’ve always loved is the people from all over the globe and getting to know them. I really like working on TMD as corny as it sounds, organizing it, and working with some of my favorite designers on the grid is awesome.
Strawberry Singh: So now I’m going to ask the question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Are you single?
Mikel Monk: I dont partner people in sl but I’ve met some amazing people on the grid.
Strawberry Singh: I see, but that doesn’t really answer my question, lol. I’ll let you off with that answer though. 😛
I didn’t really bring out all the guns though did I? I think he DID get a little nervous answering some of these questions, although he denies it. 😛 I’ll just have to try harder next time.
A big thank you to Mikel for spending a few hours with me and letting me pry into his life. Thank you Mikel, I appreciate it. <3
Here are all the places where you can stalk Mikel:
Mikel on Flickr
Mikel on Facebook
Bueno Mainstore (Gift for subscribers until Sunday)
What Mikel is wearing:
Tattoo-Reckless. – Hide and Seek (Faded)
Clef de Peau:Jonathan:Face tattoo Full
Facial hair-EMORTAL CONCEPTS~Scruffy Mutton Chops combo4
HAIR-ARGRACE- ARATA – Midnight
Shirt-BUENO-Derek Shirt-Blue Sky-M
Earrings-Just Magnetized -Genesis Magnet Earring-Spike Onyx
Slink Male Hands (AvEnhance) M – Relax
Pants-Deadwool Joad pants – black – for boots (no pockets)
Boots-Deadwool Patmos boots – beige
Skin-KOOQLAThe Knight of the Rose (dark brows)
Eyes-Dead Apples-Striking Eyes – Clarity
Poses: Diesel Works by Rogan Diesel
Location: EDO Japan