Istanbul-based label Misela is an ultra-versatile accessories line that offers a variety of bags for any occasion, whether it?s a laid-back Sunday brunch or a black-tie night on the town. Founder Serra Turker?a RISD grad?fuses her Turkish heritage with her top-notch design skills to craft sleek clutches composed of the lushest fabrics, such as velvet, python, and leather.
Istanbul-based label Misela is an ultra-versatile accessories line that offers a variety of bags for any occasion, whether it?s a laid-back Sunday brunch or a black-tie night on the town. Founder Serra Turker?a RISD grad?fuses her Turkish heritage with her top-notch design skills to craft sleek clutches composed of the lushest fabrics, such as velvet, python, and leather. Their classic silhouettes and unique patterns have made Misela clutches a cult favorite. Turker?s handcrafted pieces equally embody New York and Istanbul?named after New York hotspots and neighborhoods, their rich colors and textures evoke the spirit of Istanbul?s famed Grand Bazaar. Below, Turker shares her inspiration for her label and divulges her favorite picks from her latest collection.
What made you decide to focus on your own handbag line?
I have always dreamed of extending my painting skills into something
that can also be worn, but my initial experience in fashion design after RISD
made me realize that I want to focus solely on accessories. I felt that
creating an accessories line was a natural extension of my talents;
next, I plan to produce a clothing line.
Where does the name ?Misela? come from?
My father was the one who initially came up with the name Misela a few years before I founded my brand. The name ?Misela? comes from his three daughters? names: Mi(na), Se(rra), and La(ra). I decided to use this name the minute that I knew that I wanted to create an accessories brand.
What does ?Misela? reflect? (In other words, what does the ?Misela? brand stand for?) Misela reflects my way of living. I always look out for timeless items that I can treasure for many years, and Misela pieces combine high-quality materials with an eclectic approach. They?re very simple, yet last forever.
?Misela? handbags are full of color, defined lines, and multiple textures?but have a hint of vintage chic. What inspires you to create your designs?
I always get inspired by certain architectural elements such as antique Moroccan tiles, arches in Hagia Sophia, and walls in Istanbul. Their geometric forms and the way they interlace to make patterns always fascinate me. I like to use these elements in my handbag designs by teaming them with different material combinations or as part of a specially-designed line.
You have a background in textile design and painting. How has your background influenced the Misela handbag line and your approach to design?
My background in painting and textiles design taught me to express myself through textures and colors. This approach created the whole identity behind Misela?timeless pieces that are meant to worn.
What is your favorite ?Misela? purse and why?
It is very hard to pick one bag as a favorite, but I can definitely mention the one that I named after myself and where my design showroom is located in Istanbul. I named this bag the ?Serra at Pera? (Pera is a very historic area in Istanbul).
What would you wear with your favorite ?Misela? purse?
What I like about the ?Serra at Pera? style is that I can wear it dressed up or down. I find it quite bold and extravagant when I wear it with my evening gowns to a wedding, but it also makes a statement when I sport it at a dinner party with a simpler outfit.
What are your top Misela picks for fall?
For daytime, Misela?s color-pop metallic Bond Canvas Pouchin Yellow lends the perfect jolt of color to your everyday uniform; the piece?s punchy striped pattern is a stylish ode to summer that will look good year round. I also love the Liya at Mardin Clutch in Black?a quilted leather flap-front clutch with a metal chain-link strap, it?s the ultimate city-sleek handbag.