FASHION , PARDON OUR FRENCH
Interview: Güneş Mutlu Mavituncalılar
A discussion about fashion, style, Mehry Mu and the joys of life
What makes Mehry Mu iconic?
Mehry Mu has a soul. And this reflects on all the bags in the collection. Whether you like them or not, they are recognizable and they speak a certain language.
When did you decide to launch your own brand?
7 years ago I was running an e-commerce website when I decided I had to sell a handbag line that was different than what we had out there. I could not find anything I liked, so I decided to create something. This line had to have a name and identity, too. So I came up with Mehry Mu and then it basically overthrew the website and is my sole business now!
How did you come up with the idea of combining Eastern touches with Western forms in your designs?
I was interested in the idea of incorporating Eastern touches into daily life without being overly bohemian or ethnic. Mehry Mu has since been about having an eclectic touch, and not being ethnic.
What makes the perfect bag?
If it evokes desire in you, then it is the perfect bag for you. It can be a tiny pochette and maybe you can’t fit anything in it but you love it. Then that is your perfect bag. As we all know, the woman who inspired the Birkin was in love with her basket as a bag and it really, truly was the perfect bag for her! But then again if you are asking about the math behind Mehry Mu bags, I make sure they are functional and light, and their area of usage is adaptable to many occasions.
Do you remember the first designer bag you owned?
My dad had brought me a Louis Vuitton monogrammed crossbody from London, and I had changed it with a red drawstring epi. I was very happy with that bag! And then the summer I spent in New York for a film school I was attending, I worked up the nerve to ask my dad for a Gucci bamboo handle black bag! I was truly stunned by that bag, how original and elegant it was.. I think that is what evoked in me the love of handbags, and how they can be gamechangers with the single touch of an unusual material. The Gucci bamboo love continued with the Fendi baguette, and how they used different materials and created objects of desire that did not hang on the wall but were out and about in the city. I was heavily influenced by the notion of creating something catchy and ravishing yet functional and useful.
What is currently on your moodboard?
David Webb, Hemmerle and Indo-Russian jewelry, old photos of Lauren Hutton, Charlotte Rampling, Marella Agnelli. I am all about women who embraced simple silhouettes and radiated a lot of character, charm, charisma and elegance. The kind of jewels that I like do not necessarily go on these women, but that is exactly what I am after; bringing together the inspiration behind both these worlds into the soul of Mehry Mu.
Which tunes are making you dance these days?
I am not dancing much these days but am moved by Nancy Wilson singing ‘And I Love Him’.. It is uplifting to hear some loving in an unapolegetic, straightforward way without sounding like a doormat.
What is one beauty product you could never stop using?
Would I have to stop at one? Cle de Peau concealer, Aesop fabulous face oil..
How would you sum up your personal style?
I like to dress simple and comfortable while feeling sophisticated and feminine.
If you could be a piece of clothing, which one would you be and why?
I would like to be a thin, satin, jeweled belt, like the ones I recently saw at Roger Vivier; just that perfect touch.. But I can’t be that, as I am too free and would not be able to live up to the pressure. So I think I am a nice, comfortable black day dress with gypsy sleeves that you can wear day to night.
What brand name pops up the most in your wardrobe?
Manolos and Ancient Greek Sandals for shoes, Eres and Lisa Marie Fernandez for swimwear, Lanvin for eveningwear. As for day dresses; I either have my own made or go for no name vintage stuff, emerging designers, or good old Zara basics.
What piece from your wardrobe do you end up wearing again every season?
I think by now it is all down to the same stuff. I now know what works for me and what doesn’t. And I hold onto what works, adding very little newcomers each season. Now that I am pregnant with my second child, I understand that I did do a well edit over the years, as I am able to wear a lot of things from my wardrobe, even when expecting! My day dresses, kimonos, thin belts, harem pants, 50’s style skirts are to be thanked.
How would you define fashion?
An interest in fashion is the first step towards developing a sense of style. And then comes the step to filter out what you like and don’t like and adapting it to your personal style. The final step that not everybody gets to, or has to get to; is being an influencer. Influencers get inspired outside of fashion; the arts, iconic personnas, literature, films and feed fashion with their own sense of style. So it is a fun, self feeding mechanism that is also a huge industry!
What is your ultimate object of desire for the upcoming season?
I do like the raffia fringed Rochas sandals!
What destination makes your ideal vacation?
At this point, somewhere wireless. Which also means I would have to take my son along, as I have to be in contact with him; so somewhere with a sandy beach where he can play and I can read!
If you could be any cartoon character, which one would you choose?
Always loved Betty Boop!
If you were to associate one of your bags with Luxuryshoppers, which one would you go for?
Sultan clutch for Lian and Melo pochette for Ezgi!
If you could dine & wine with anyone, who would you choose?
Steve Jobs and Diana Vreeland.
What are the five things you could never live without?
My family, my friends, my productivity, my health and I think that’s about it.