M.R.K.T. Pops Up on West 3rd Street
LA-based design firm, M.R.K.T. is popping up on West 3rd Street this month, introducing its ultra modern collection of architecturally-inspired bags, briefcases and accessories. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO Shaun Nath to find out more about the unique brand ethos, its connection to Los Angeles and why they chose to open on West 3rd…
1. Tell us about the concept behind M.R.K.T…
M.R.K.T., which is short for Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger, creates bags and accessories inspired by architectural concepts of clean and pure form. Our bags are structured, minimal, and tech-friendly. Our goal is to create design-driven, yet functional and affordable products. Our founder and lead designer is Tom Pen, a Harvard-trained architect who brings his love for modern, minimal, and colorful architecture to the bag world.
2. What is the significance of the name?
Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger represents the two key parts of the creative process. The “Mad Rabbit” is the inspiration. It’s the internal thought process that is somewhat maddening. Like having a powerful idea that you can’t quite express. “Kicking Tiger” represents the release of that creative energy into tangible form. It’s kinetic and represents taking action. It’s also just a fun name that we like saying.
3. How does Los Angeles inspire the brand and your designs?
Los Angeles is known for creativity and boldness, which are traits that exist at the core of our brand. It’s a casual city, but at the same time people are quite stylish.
4. How does M.R.K.T. distinguish itself from other brands?
The first thing anyone will notice about our bags is that they are structured. We create “hard” bags, as opposed to “soft” bags, which can be slouchy. Our bags keep their shape and provide a casual, yet refined look to the wearer. Next is the materials we use. Our materials are unconventional, vegan-friendly, and durable. We like to blend industrial felts with other materials like microfiber. Finish it off with a fun pop of color and that is the look of M.R.K.T.
5. Why did you want to open this popup on West 3rd?
West 3rd Street is defining itself as a top shopping destination in LA. We are attracted to the feeling of discovery that comes when walking down West 3rd. It’s an exciting place that attracts a creative crowd looking to discover.
6. What are some of your favorite shops and restaurants on the street?
Our daily go-to spot is Juice Served Here, which is next door to our shop. For gifts and homegoods, you can’t go wrong with the fun and colorful items at Plastica.
7. What should people look for when buying a new bag or accessory?
Understanding that a bag is a piece of fashion is important. Some people do not put much thought into it, like they do the rest of their outfit. A bag really becomes an extension of the wearer, so some degree of fashion consciousness is recommended. Aside from communicating your style, understanding how you will be using your bag will ensure you are getting something functional. Consider what you will be putting into it, such as a laptop, charger, or notebook. This should help narrow down your selection to find a bag that is both stylish and useful.
M.R.K.T.’s popup shop is now open inside the Liberty Concept Space – 8366 1/2 West 3rd Street.