Five minutes with Manu Atelier will persuade you to give the crossbody maximum airtime this summer. Ask the effervescent designers of Manu Atelier to summarise the ethos of the brand in three words – and they’d be: “Craftsmanship, authenticity and attitude.” It comes as no surprise really, as the accessories deliver exactly what they say.
When we speak, sisters Beste and Merve Manastir are in their Istanbul atelier, but are no strangers to the tents of fashion week’s homebird cities, where elegantly clad show-goers breathe Manu Atelier in the same whirlwind as Mansur Gavriel, Sophie Hulme and Building Block, all champions of clean, concise design that don’t skimp on the side of fun.
The focus this season is the Pristine bag
The Pristine bag is a nifty little crossbody that comes in an array of neapolitan shades, the designers’ favourite being an ice lavender. It’s a frothy, lilac dream; all leather, all clean, all functional. Call it a complete fashion contradiction, or perhaps just your new favourite splurge. Such a resolute ideology is surprising in an era where It bags can take the form of whatever is deemed resolutely trendy – fluff and frippery one moment, intricate detailing the next. “It’s not just about simplicity, but it needs to express your brand attitude and brand image.
It is always important for us to maintain that point of view.” Despite furry sliders making it onto their ‘worst trend’ list of the season, the sisters do not oppose the novelty – once it has a sense of purpose that marries with their point of view.
Personal favourites for the season
This season favourites include – unsurprisingly accessories. A pair of Valentino cowhide boots and Prada suede point-toe flats top the duo’s respective wishlists. Inspiration, when it strikes, is varied: “Real people, stories with happy endings, rebels, characters with an attitude.” “It’s still a thrill every time we see someone wearing our designs; and it always turns out that the woman who buys our bags is the woman who inspired us at the beginning.” What a fashionable full circle.