A brand should not only be passionate, unique, pure and brave but also should re-main delicate yet tough, weak yet strong. It should have an attitude, its own style. Free yet down to earth. A style that is inspiring and that can be inspired. It should feed its soul with its dreams and live through its passion.
Can you tell us a bit about the establishing process of Manu Atelier?
Our father Adnan Manastir has been a leather bag craftsman since 1961. We spent our childhood by putting together pieces of leather and making miniature bags. The bags were the physical representation of our admiration to our father and his craftsmanship. The leather smell that connected old and new, a father who went to an atelier when he was 11 to learn this craftsmanship from Greek and German craftsmen and fell in love with his job, tiny backpacks and bags that he made with his hands for his daughters, the balcony of our old atelier at an inn across Galatasaray High school looking down Istiklal Avenue, Beyoglu, admiration for history and craftsmanship… We’ve always had these images in our hearts and minds and will always be there for Manu… In short, the story of Manu had started years ago when we were just two girls, it came to life in February 2014.
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
Our main inspiration is the woman itself. We believe that women should not be categorized in a certain pattern. A brand should be able to embrace a lot of women. Women should be defining the brand, not the other way around. A brand should not only be passionate, unique, pure and brave but also should remain delicate yet tough, weak yet strong. It should have an attitude, its own style. Free yet down to earth.
A style that is inspiring and that can be inspired. It should feed its soul with its dreams and live through its passion.
What do you think are the factors that make Manu Atelier such an admired brand?
We believe that the first reason is our products. The thing we heard most about Pristine till this day, has been about how original it was and how it doesn’t resemble any other product. It is very important to create a new and different product in a world which everything already exists.
The second reason is the fact that we have major respect towards what we do, we try to stay loyal to our essence and we are as transparent as we can get with our customers.
People notice when you try to do something as best you can no matter what it is and they want to support you. And that is what’s really beautiful…
What’s your biggest goal?
Our target is to make sure that our brand is growing with solid steps and making it a permanent, world-wide known brand.
Do you have a milestone during the branding process at which you said “Yes, we made it!”?
We are a brand that is constantly setting new goals and working hard to achieve them. Of course, we feel like “We’ve made it.” When we achieve our big or small targets. We can also count the time which we met our global sales representative Luisa De Paula and made it to the global market, the moment we received our first requests from renowned sales points such as Selfridges, Net-A-Porter, Browns and Saks Fifth, when our signature model Pristine was worn by Eva Chen and enabled us to reach wider masses, when valuable platforms such as The Times, Vogue UK, Vogue US and Business of Fashion defined our signature model as the ‘it bag’ as our milestones. And it was a very exciting and proud moment for us when Sarah Jessica Parker put together an amazing Carry Bradshow styling.
Can you tell us about the feeling of being someone’s favorite brand?
It is very important and meaningful that people love and understand our brand. Because there is a vision and stance that is not spared behind the brand of Manu Atelier. It is crucial for our entire team to protect this. Because we really care about our relationship with our customers which we appeal to and we want to appeal to. Maybe that is how mutual love is achieved…