Sourc­ing the best places for in­stant el­e­gance and re­fined style. By Kim­berly Tan

World Travel Magazine - - Style File -

Trea­sure troves of sar­to­rial de­light can be found all around Is­tan­bul, whether it’s a smart three-piece suit that has just a touch of whimsy, a classic leather jacket, or cus­tom­made shoes that fit you—and your per­son­al­ity—per­fectly. We scour the city in search of the be­spoke, the best from lo­cal de­sign­ers, and multi-la­bel stores that stock both in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal brands.


We be­gin our hunt with the be­spoke de­sign­ers who can cu­rate a wardrobe that is per­fect for you and your style. Olga Ber­luti, while not a lo­cal de­signer, has stores around the world, in­clud­ing in Is­tan­bul. They pride them­selves on per­son­al­i­sa­tion, and can cus­tom-make any spe­cial or­ders such as a ta­ble soccer set, and of course, cre­ate a be­spoke pair of shoes and a tai­lor-made suit. The shoes can be tweaked to suit your per­son­al­ity and pref­er­ence, such as in­clud­ing a flow­ered de­sign, ini­tials or draw­ings. The fi­nal touch is the patina, which might be a very dark “blue-brown” or a brick red, which was worn by Yves Saint Lau­rent and Jac­ques La­can re­spec­tively. Prices for a pair of be­spoke shoes start from US$6,225. Ber­luti.com

For be­spoke suits, one of the lead­ing cloth­iers in Is­tan­bul is

Taji, founded by Tacettin Seker. Cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions in­clude fab­rics, per­sonal pat­tern, ideal fit, col­lars, cuffs, but­tons to make the suit one-of-a-kind, and per­fectly suited to your life­style. An ad­di­tional ser­vice they of­fer is to as­sist you with your pack­ing, en­sur­ing that ev­ery sin­gle item matches well with oth­ers, to en­sure you look el­e­gant all the time. They also of­fer main­te­nance, re­newal and clean­ing ser­vices. Taji.com

Cu­rate an en­tire wardrobe to your per­sonal style at Ci­van, where the range in­cludes the usual shirts, trousers etc., but also in­cludes cre­ative ac­ces­sories in place of the bow and neck­tie such as a hand­made cro­chet neck­tie. Their style is slightly more ir­rev­er­ent, and your choices for a be­spoke suit might in­clude vin­tage fab­rics or de­signs with a touch of hu­mour. Items from their past and present col­lec­tions can be made-to-mea­sure and cus­tomised (with ini­tials, if you’d like) to your pref­er­ences. Ci­vanistan­bul.com Ac­quire your per­fect scent at Par­fum Tasarim Atö­lyesi, which is the main dis­trib­u­tor of renowned per­fumery brands in Turkey. It fea­tures a col­lec­tion of world-renowned per­fume brands like Miller Harris, Maison Francis Kurkdija, Ini­tio, His­toires de Par­fums and Ac­qua di Parma. Ar­range for a pri­vate shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence, much like the celebri­ties who visit the store in Nisan­tasi would. Par­fum­tasarim.com

The last Greek milliner in Is­tan­bul, Madame Ka­tia at

Pas­sage Haz­zop­ulo in Bey­oğlu has de­signed hats for Turkey’s fa­mous fig­ures. She han­dles all the or­ders

sin­gle­hand­edly. When match­ing the hat to the dress, she likes to see the dress be­fore­hand so she can ad­vise on the ap­pro­pri­ate ma­te­rial and style for the ac­com­pa­ny­ing hat.


In­spired by the lo­cal ikat fab­rics that she sourced from the bazaars around Is­tan­bul, de­signer Günes Mutlu has cre­ated a col­lec­tion of bags hand­made in the city, and de­signed to make life eas­ier for the user. Her

Mehry Mu de­signs have been worn by Olivia Palermo and Princess Beatrice, and in­clude a wide range of op­tions, from beach bas­ket bags to the lux­u­ri­ous Jung bag. The lat­ter is made with black goatskin suede and, sur­pris­ingly, rat­tan, with satin fab­ric and gold hard­ware. Mehrymu.com

One of the most prom­i­nent fashion de­sign­ers is Dilek Hanif, who launched her brand under the same name in 2011. High­lights of her il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer in­clude be­ing awarded the Woman Fashion De­signer of the Year in 2003, and be­com­ing the first Turk­ish fashion de­signer to present a col­lec­tion at the Paris Haute Cou­ture Week. Celebrity fans in­clude Iggy

Aza­lea and Mi­randa Kerr. One of the stand­out pieces from her lat­est col­lec­tion is the floor length sleeve­less dress in printed or­ganza (about US$1,994). Dilekhanif.com

Arzu Kaprol, founder of her epony­mous brand, stud­ied fashion de­sign and won the Bey­men Academia New Tal­ents Com­pe­ti­tion in 1996. Her work is now reg­u­larly fea­tured in fashion mag­a­zines and her de­signs have been worn by

Milla Jovovich, Gisele Bund­chen and Meg Ryan. She takes classic staples and in­jects her own twist, such as a tri­an­gu­lar cutout on the back of her Boyfriend jacket (about US$221), or with an in­tri­cate laser cut de­sign on the Laser Cut Leather Jacket (about US$467) that trans­forms the piece into a work of art and a state­ment piece. Arzukaprol.com From be­ing the first woman to have a jew­ellery shop in the Grand Bazaar, Tina Christa Set­zer of Tina

Jew­ellery now runs the busi­ness with her daugh­ter. They cur­rently have three shops in Turkey as well as a show­case in the Ci­ra­gan Palace Kempin­ski. The col­lec­tions fea­ture unique de­signs with a va­ri­ety of stones, in­clud­ing opals, sap­phires and ru­bies and there are qual­i­fied gemol­o­gists on­site with mul­ti­lin­gual ex­perts. Eve­lyn Lauder, Jeanne Moreau and Tip­per Gore have all shopped here. Ti­na­jew­ellery.com

Com­ing from a fam­ily with three gen­er­a­tions of rug mak­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Memet Gureli started his own com­pany in 1989 af­ter recog­nis­ing the contemporary trends in home fur­nish­ings. The Dhoku brand now has seven prod­uct lines and four stores in the Grand Bazaar in Is­tan­bul and prides it­self on hav­ing fair trade prac­tices as well as sus­tain­ing the cen­turies-old cul­ture of rug mak­ing. Their Dhoku col­lec­tion fea­tures 100 per­cent or­ganic hand­spun wool and modern de­signs that would fit well with any modern in­te­rior, while oth­ers still

re­tain their tra­di­tional her­itage. Dhoku.com An­other fam­ily brand is Koç

Leather & Fur, which has been in the busi­ness—and the Grand Bazaar—since 1968, and fea­tures leather, fur and lamb­skin out­er­wear across three floors. Run­ning the place now is Ilyas Koç, the cousin of Sait Koç, and he does lim­ited pro­duc­tion runs for Cavali and other de­sign houses.

Its de­signs are re­puted to be a favourite with sev­eral celebri­ties. Kocderi.com


If your shop­ping tastes in­cline more to­wards in­ter­na­tional brands like Louis Vuit­ton, Tif­fany & Co and Swarovski, the main places to flock to are In­stinye Park,

Zorlu Cen­ter and Kanyon. Other shops with col­lec­tions from lo­cal de­sign­ers in­clude Ate­lier 55, Mid­night Ex­press, Vakko and the Bey­men depart­ment store.

Ate­lier 55 in Galata fea­tures a mix of de­sign­ers, from

in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal names. The col­lec­tion fea­tures hand-picked bags, shoes, fur­ni­ture, home tex­tiles and sculp­tures. One of the more eye-catch­ing pieces is the Sylvia Toledano Clutch (about US$853) or the Laura Ap­sit Livens Bone Blue Blue Mesh hat (about US$260). Ate­lier-55.com

Mid­night Ex­press be­gan as a store show­cas­ing Turk­ish de­sign­ers and de­sign­ers around the re­gion, and has now grown to in­clude jew­ellery, fashion and home ac­ces­sories. Brands now in­clude Zadig & Voltaire and Sil­via Fru­manovich. Renowned fashion de­signer Asli Po­lat has also launched a col­lec­tion ex­clu­sively for Mid­night Ex­press, which runs the gamut from ba­sic t-shirts to glam­orous evening gowns. Mid­nigh­t­ex­press.com.tr

Start­ing as a small millinery shop, Vakko has now blos­somed into one of the most prom­i­nent Turk­ish brands that are associated with lux­ury, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by Dorin­sight. Be­sides fashion, the brand has also diversified into wed­dings, home ac­ces­sories, tea, and pas­tries, with branches all over Turkey, with the largest a five­floor flag­ship depart­ment store in Nisan­tasi. The flag­ship also car­ries in­ter­na­tional brands like Alexan­der Wang, Em­po­rio Ar­mani and Zac Posen. Gisele Bünd­chen is the brand am­bas­sador. Vakko.com

With two cen­turies of fam­ily ex­pe­ri­ence in tex­tiles, Bey­men has sev­eral flag­ship stores around Is­tan­bul. The largest fashion store sits in Zorlu Cen­ter, and its Morini restau­rant is run by a Miche­lin­starred chef. Bey­men is also the pre­ferred part­ner for most global brands, so you’ll have a higher chance of find­ing a spe­cific lux­ury brand at their stores. Bey­men also of­fers un­par­al­leled ser­vice, such as free life­time al­ter­ations for their prod­ucts, gift­ing ser­vices, home and work­place de­liv­ery, pri­vate shop­ping and also unique cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences such as meet­ing es­teemed de­sign­ers and at­tend­ing fashion weeks. Bey­men.com

Clock­wise from top, shop­ping for de­signer goods at Louis Vuit­ton on Nisan­tasi; Ber­luti be­spoke shoes; hand­made cro­chet neck­tie from Ci­van; the in­te­rior of Par­fum Tasarim

From top left, de­signer Günes Mutlu; Mehry Mu show­room Op­po­site, from top left, Ci­van store; the lat­est col­lec­tion from Mehry Mu

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