We chat with the Istanbul based accessory designer Günes Mutlu from Mehry Mu, whose bags are wanted by all women who search for the special, uniqueness of an accessory rather than an It bag of any kind.
I was thrilled when I was asked to draw IRMA with her favourite autum/winter collection which was exhibited this autumn during her press presentation in Istanbul.
IRMA: Why bags?
GÜNES MUTLU: I love accessories in general as they can become your extensions and travel through time with you – a family heirloom ring, a beloved bag from a mother to her daughter. Not all bags make it through the years; but they all are a personal part of our wardrobes while also taking on the role of making us chic and fabulous. A beautiful bag can instantly elevate an outfit and tell so much about you.
IRMA: What was the turning point in your life to become a designer?
GÜNES MUTLU: I was selling designer pieces on a website I had founded, and then I found myself designing bags as I could not find the right bags to sell. So I suddenly found myself on the other side of the table and saw that I like this side better.
IRMA: The most elegant moment you ever experienced?
GÜNES MUTLU: There are two moments that have stuck with me. In one of them I was 7 years old; I was invited with my family to a chic gala dinner and I asked my mother if we could go to a tailor and if they could make for me an all black dress with a huge silk sash at the bottom. And she did take me! I felt so chic that night. The other one must be my wedding, as a bride. I got married in my 20s, so that must be why I wanted to go for the full princessy, lace gown look at Vera Wang. I asked them to add lace arm bands to the shoulders so it really had that very romantic, elegant shape. I would go with something completely different if it were today; but at that time and age, with the toile de jouy pink and white decor and pink peonies across the old Bosphorus view of Istanbul, I think that was an elegant look.
IRMA: What do you always carry in your handbag?
GÜNES MUTLU: A matte nude lipstick by Tom Ford. As well as spearmint gum, sunglasses and a small wallet. Nowadays I am into using our mini Fey box and therefore I carry the bare minimum.
IRMA: Your favourite spot in Istanbul when you need a break?
GÜNES MUTLU: Bebek Mangerie
IRMA: Where do you go for inspiration, if nothing comes to your mind?
GÜNES MUTLU: I love traveling and that is where most of my key inspiration comes from. However, even when I am not traveling I find inspiration everywhere. It does not have to be a destination. It can be film, a street I am passing through, a friend, my children, a tender moment, a dream, a wish, a thought… I don’t know when inspiration will come to me but I do make use of it when it does show up.
IRMA: What is the best company for your most frequently used bag from your collection –describe your personal, favourite look.
GÜNES MUTLU: For the past few years I decided that I love the summer dress look too much to let it go in winter time. So I am in dresses pretty much all the time. My friend Gul Hurgel makes the most divine dresses which can be worn day to night. I also wear pj sets by In The Mood For Love. My other two daytime favorite brands are Ulla Johnson and Raquel Allegra. And my ultimate boho chic yet feminine brand to go is Valentino. Even though I design all the bags at Mehry Mu and love them all, I believe in using one bag for a while and really having that bond. Right now I am using a hunter green suede Fey mini box day and night. I think I will use it for a month and then move on to a Fey box in peacock velvet.
You can order Günes Mutlu’s bags at Farfetch:
Mehry Mu mini bags
Mehry Mu velvet box tote in olive
Mehry Mu velvet box tote in red
Mehry Mu blue velvet boxy shoulder bag