Turkey is a very rich country in terms of leather, but for decades leatherwear was only referred as jackets and topcoats. Whereas, there was nobody who went to Italy and was not filled with admiration by the wonderful designs made of leather. Well then, why was such a leather-rich country unable to create beautiful designs? Unawareness of the characteristics of leather and in addition lack of schools that could give the technical and technological knowledge left Turkey behind many countries with respect to leather industry.
But now fortunately when talking about leather, the first think that comes to mind is not the leather jackets sold in Laleli and Zeytinburnu! In recent years, Turkish designers create incredible works with leather. Designers who regenerate and reshape leather from wedding gowns to evening dresses and to bags and shoes that are more interesting than the other now are not so faraway from us.
Each of their stories is different, but the point on which each of them unites is the same: knowing the leather well, knowing technology well, putting heart and souls into this business with passion and to be open to the world.
Then come easily the extremely interesting, useable, stylish and lasting designs…
She regenerated leather
Now the first name when talking about leather that comes to mind is this young designer. Simay Bülbül, born in Izmir, in 1971, worked in the Netherlands for some time after she had completed her education on fashion design and marketing in England.
Making a name for herself in Turkey with the leather contest held in 2003, Simay Bülbül keeps her difference with clothes mainly made from leather, creating coherence with textiles, able to catch simplicity and difference together, standing out with minimal details and giving people a sense of silk most of the times.
She plays with the texture of the leather, knits and fines it, connects it with silk, wool and felt, briefly fabricates leather with silk, wool and felt; in short, she adds life and spirit to the leather again.
Simay Bülbül, one of the permanent members of the Board, Fashion Designers Association, on one hand, deals with her new store opened at Galata, on the other hand she rushes to teach textile students in Izmir, Konya, and Istanbul etc. “Because we still can not properly teach leather to the students, they absolutely don’t know leather” says her. Emphasizing that Turkey is number one in leather production but now it is time to strive for the first place also with its designs, Bülbul's main objective is to support young leather designers.
Taking as a basis the motto “People reflects the soul of streets, what they wear reflects the soul of people”, Simay Bülbül finds the source of her designs in the street, namely human. Then to whom does Simay Bülbul call out to? : Every woman searching for or have found her own path, feeling the design and who likes to live outside the clichés.
She is currently exporting to Lebanon, Belgium and Russia and in 2010, U.S.A., Switzerland and Denmark will be added to this list.
Simay Bülbul, who has been creating customized designs under her brand since 2006, is preparing to undersign a first in the field of fashion: “Simay Bülbül – Leather Fashion Boutique” will not be only the first store of the designer, but also the first leather design boutique of Turkey.
Besides the new collection of Simay Bülbül, also the jewelry of Ümit Aybek and the shoes of Sertaç Delibaş are offered for sale in the store.
Address: Şahkulu Bostan Sokak No:22A Kuledibi/ Galata
Ph: +90 212 292 78 99
The exclusive name in shoe design
Targeting the women who start their dressing from the shoes, Sertaç Delibaş is referred as the only authentic shoe designer of Turkey. Nowadays, the leading authentic designers of Turkey use his shoes at fashion shows and they complete their clothes with his designs. A lot of orders are placed from abroad…
He has been in shoe workshops since he was 12 and knows the most delicate part of shoe from A to izzard. While he was going to his uncle’s workshop, he learned the details of this profession from masters; on the other hand he is also keen on painting. As there is no school of shoe designing, he studied at the Marmara University, Division of Painting and after university, he returned to his shoes again.
Dreaming of the shoes he will create under his own name one day, he has worked at various companies; until the day on which his shoe collection named “Sorrow” launched under his name at Galatamoda attracted attentions in 2007.
In addition to comfort and style, Sertaç Delibaş creates a difference with his heels. In his first collection, he was recognized with his white high heels. And the heels he prepared for the winter of 2010 are absolutely different: two heels overlapped! The name of his collection is “Dream”. It’s incredible indeed…
He has an aspect forcing the clichés not only in models, but colors as well: he uses live, brave colors. Turquoise, pink, orange and red are his choices. In any case, “I don’t keep to the trends” he says. The customers he desires are also the women, who are brave, do not keep to the trends and wander around clichés. Noting that “Just as a manuscript or a watch reflects the personality of a person, the shoe does so, it is personality”, Sertaç Delibaş tries not to think much commercially in his designs. Sertac Delibaş, emphasizing that the technical knowledge is very important in shoe design, underlines that the work drawn must be correctly realized in the workshop. Because your whole body presses against the shoe, you walk and stand with the shoe. A fault may lead to serious results. As a famous designer says, “Sertaç is the apple of our eye. Because there is still no designer who both knows the technique and is able to create authentic models as he does”.
Address: Sakayik Sok. Sedes 1 Apt. No:4/1 Tesvikiye/Istanbul
Ph: +90 212 296 98 68
Her designs are like a game / She creates difference in bag design
Güneş Dericioğlu is a young designer, just 29 years old. But her bags have already been the subject of conversations around the fashion circles of Istanbul for a long time. An amazing and beautiful collection of bags designed like a painting at Laundromat in Galata combines history, culture and modern lines together and of course highly admired by the visitors. Ones who haven’t bought a pair yet, go to look at her bags taking their friends with them.
Güneş Dericioğlu did not study design, fine arts, etc.; she studied tourism. But she always had that passion for painting. She said to herself, “I am an impatient person, I can not take painting lessons” and found herself making wearable jewels. Just while she was going after those jewels, she met the leather. Or, to express with a fatalistic approach, her surname called her! Searching for answers to questions such as what leather is, how it is formed, how many kinds it has, she started to look for masters in Gedikpaşa office blocks and workshops. First, she made leather sandals and when she made a great success in this, considering that there were more possibilities for design and creativity in bags, she headed to this field.
And indeed, she achieves to reflect her dreams and paintings she always wanted to make to the bags. An Istanbul scene is first painted on the boards and can come to life on your bag. Or a Seljuk motif or a fantastic silhouette of the Maiden’s Tower accompanies you. Furthermore handbags made up of spiral rings which are many people’s favorite ensure that everyone’s looks are on you. All of these interesting designs are the products of the last 2 years. The most beautiful aspect of Dericioğlu is that she notices the disappearing cultural values and thinks hard so as to keep them alive. She participates in cultural tours around Istanbul and tries to discover the cultural elements of this multipart, cosmopolitan city.
Approaching her designs always like a game, Günes Dericioğlu knows no limits in materials accompanying leather; plexy, wood and fabric are just the ones she has used up to now. She is seeking distinction in leather. She peels out a layer and thins some of them or sometimes opening out the black silver leather, tries to apply the pattern in this way. We will see these interesting works in the forthcoming months.
An artistic touch on leather
Etcetura is a brand of Turkey which got famous in design first abroad. As the result of the determined efforts of two sisters, Ezra and Tuba Çetin, Etcetura is among the brands mentioned in international arena of leather design.
In 2006, Çetin sisters founded the brand Etcetura together with Canan Bolak, a brand and retail consultant. The meaning of Etc’ in English is etcetera, namely “and so on”. (Etcetura, consists of the initial letters of the names Ezra-Tuba-Canan).
As a result of the years of dealing with fabrics, scissors and threads at the workshop of a textile manufacturer family, the sisters turn towards fashion. But both of them undergo a very strong education on painting, sculpture and ceramics. Tuba Çetin graduated from the school of painting and textile design and Ezra Çetin graduated first from the division of painting and then graphics. They are nested in art all the time and they say, “Our genuine arts are the clothes we design, pictures we draw on fabrics and the forms we create.” Considering the designs they create as an open air exhibition, the sisters define each form they give as “an art work”. And they become very happy when their designs are worn. Anyway, their aim is to sign wearable, usable designs which can be kept at wardrobes for long years.
Since everybody makes design throughout the world, Etcetura decides head towards technological fabrics in order to create a difference and benefits from the knowledge of Tuba Çetin on chemistry. They never forget the opinion that “If you want to create your own brand, no matter how different or powerful your designs are, the fabric or leather you offer to the consumer must have a distinctive property. You have to create a difference for them”.
They love texture of leather very much; especially the biggest passion of Tuba Çetin is to improve the leather. Maybe everyone makes it nowadays, but 7 years ago, when they exhibited their designs in which they used silk and thinned leather together at the fair in Paris, the visitors who saw them were not only amazed, but admired as well.
As they bring a brand new breath to fashion, many people define them as the “New Hüseyin Çağlayan”. With a cloth of their brand, you can go to work and then in the evening, attend a cocktail with a small change of accessories.
Etcetura products are offered for sale at boutiques and stores in Italy, France, Spain, Japan and many other European countries.
Address: Karakol Bostan Sok. No: 13/5 Tesvikiye
Ph: +90 212 327 12 55
Written by: Evin Doğu