After no less than 12 trips to Turkey, Deon Behrens was inspired by the rich, colourful, earthy textures of the carpets, kilims and handwoven fabrics he found there. He decided that he wanted to incorporate his purchases from Turkey into handstitched bags and accessories, not only to repurpose these fabrics but also to create completely unique statement pieces, each with their own story and intricate design. Imagine a beautiful, functional leather handbag, embellished with the rich Turkish kilim – this is exactly the driving force behind Deon’s designs – the combination of our modern fashion trends and the tribal element of the different fabrics he sources.
“A bag with an interesting back story is not only something truly unique – it’s also an interesting point of conversation and creates the focal point of your look – and that’s how we combine the modern with a touch of tribal.”
“No two designs will be the exact same – due to the various textiles and the handstitched technique we use, it is simply not possible to produce cookie cutter accessories – each bag or accessory tells their own story,” says Deon. “Although similar styles may be repeated through our product range each of them will be unique in terms of the printed or woven pattern of the textiles used in the design. This will make ownership of the product unique for each item. We source and import our vintage redyed carpets and kilims from Turkey, which we then combine with materials such as leather to create different accessories such as bags for men and women, wallets, cellphone holders and bracelets. The manufacturing of the items takes place in Cape Town, giving our range a completely local, South African flavour peppered with a colourful piece of history from Turkey. Our focus is on creating something modern that appeals to a diverse market who is not satisfied by mass-produced items.”
The aim is not only to cater to a broad target market that desire a completely unique accessory, but also to create various jobs and business opportunities in Cape Town and emphasising the notion of sustainability and ‘upcycling’ – giving a new lease of life and purpose to an old, yet beautiful piece of fabric, repurposing a beautiful piece of fabric into something functional. The idea is also to outsource the range of accessories to various boutiques, catering to people who want a functional accessory with a story behind it.
“A bag with an interesting back story is not only something truly unique – it’s also an interesting point of conversation and creates the focal point of your look – and that’s how we combine the modern with a touch of tribal,” says Deon. “We will continuously test market reaction and based on feedback will adjust product offerings and on an ongoing basis enhance the range and products we offer to ensure that we can satisfy the demand and take the lead on new trends.”
This article appeared in the May 2017 issue of SA Home and Garden.