Ever wonder how new ideas are born? And travel around the world? Sometimes inspiration and ideas just come through in many forms. I get mine mostly from travelling, reading, listening to music and quite often, just daydreaming.
Last year on a trip to one of my favourite cities in the world Istanbul, I was in the hip area of Beyoglu near the Galata Tower. This old area was influenced by Greek, Armenian and Jewish culture during the Ottoman period (late 13th century to early 20th century) and is full of individual shops brimming with character – jewellery, clothes, furniture, antiques, interiors.
Whenever I walk in this area it is as if my brain explodes in technicolour. There are much for the eyes to feast on: a wide range of Turkish and Uzbek ikat textiles, embroidery, eclectic selections of antique furniture, carpets and manuscripts from the Islamic world and Europe, and magnificent jewellery made of lapis lazuli, gold, diamonds, garnets, rubies, sapphires, pearls, silver, bronze.
One day I spied something unusual: large, sculptural, almost architectural jewellery in bronze, gold, silver, black combinations. Fascinated, I took a closer look. To my surprise the jewellery was made of leather, not metal. It is so clever as it is able to achieve a sculptural quality by the sheer size and form, but the leather makes it light and sits softly on the skin.
Curious, I asked the shop assistant about the jewellery. The Turkish lady smiled and told me the jewellery I liked so much was actually designed by an Argentinian lady who comes to Istanbul to see her friends, one of whom was the shop owner. I bought a number of pieces and the rest was history.
I brought my leather necklace to the designer and workshop I partner with in Rome, Italy, and excitedly showed them the leather necklace. Could Senijari do a new range of designs using leather as material, some of which can match the leather used for Senijari bags? Lo and belold, Senijari’s initial collection will be available from August 2017.
Dreams do come true.