Photography by Rose Baylis
Miki Christi is a retail manager who owns a number of businesses in Manchester's iconic Afflecks Palace, including The Manchester Shop incorporating Manc and Proud, the clothing brand dedicated to celebrating all the great things about Greater Manchester.
With her distinctive goth/punk style, Miki is one of the Northern Quarter’s most colourful characters. Born in Oldham in 1978, she has two children and currently lives in Hulme.
Afflecks... Manchester's legendary shopping emporium
Q & A with Miki Christi
Q: How would you describe your look and style?
A: I don't think my 'Look' or 'Style' can be put into any particular pigeon hole. I’m influenced by the things around me, I love colour, I like texture and I enjoy wearing things that perhaps don't fit the norm. I can look completely different from one day to the next, depending on how I feel when I wake up in the morning. I dress for myself, to make me happy and to express myself. I’m not particularly interested in mainstream fashion but I do mix some of the elements into my outfits.
Q: When was your first association with Afflecks?
A: My first association with Afflecks was as a teenager. I came to the city centre on the bus, unbeknown to my mother. I remember the first time I walked around, I was full of wonder, delight and felt like I had found somewhere I belonged.
Q: Which shops/boutiques do you currently own/manage in Afflecks?
A: I manage the Manchester Shop and I also help with LUNA where I was previously based… they are sister companies. I am also an ambassador for the community charity Forever Manchester and currently campaigning for the city’s homeless charity Coffee 4 Craig.
Q: How would you describe your approach as a businesswoman, has your outgoing personality helped or hindered you?
A: I like to consider myself as a very open minded, approachable woman with good ideas, which I’m always happy to communicate. My outgoing personality definitely has helped me in my career and in my social life. People can often be quite surprised by my dress sense, my hair (which is always a talking point) and my northern accent. Within minutes they forget all of those things when they find out I can talk the hind legs off donkey :)
Q: Can you describe what makes Manchester such an exciting and creative city to live and work in?
A: Manchester has always been a city of diversity. It’s a beautiful melting pot of different ideas, cultures, backgrounds and skyscapes. My nan often said Mancunians were more creative because of the rain, we soak it up like good ideas. There is something warming about Mancs, the time they give you, the willingness to share, the laughter - especially when things are tough, the capacity to work together to make things better. I’ve very proud to be part of the fabric of Manchester and hope I do my part to make it shine.
THE SHOOT: The Northern Quarter, Manchester
'The Manchester Shop', Afflecks Palace and Tib Street
Student reflection: Rose Baylis
"I approached Harry to express an interest in working on the Greater Mancunians project as I wanted to get the ball rolling for my own side project of photographing strong independent women. It just so happened that he was in talks with Miki at the time. The weather on the day caused a couple of issues. Being the hottest day of the year (a rare treat in Manchester!) the sun was incredibly bright and I struggled with the exposure which I had to correct in Lightroom. I found the focus to be a little soft in some of the images, too.
I don’t tend to work with people and I was really nervous beforehand but within 5 minutes of meeting her she’d made me feel comfortable. Miki was really lovely, incurably down to earth and oozed confidence which hopefully shows in the images. I think because i was so nervous I didn’t always take composition into consideration but i’ve come away from the shoot feeling a little more confident in myself and I’m happy with some of the images."