Istanbul - New York's Cool Great Aunt


The Enze staff travels quite a bit, both for enjoyment and to curate collections at the studios and ateliers of some of the brightest up-and-coming designers around the world (work can be pleasure too, right?). We’ve had a spring full of adventure, and spent a good amount of time in two of our very favorite places, New York and Istanbul, putting together the Enze Fall collection for our Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice flagship. 

It's been said that Istanbul is New York’s twin of the East, and it’s certainly easy to draw comparisons. New York has the Hudson and East River. Istanbul has the Bosphorus. They have comparable transit systems and walking culture. They both boast vibrant restaurant and creative scenes and when it’s just too hot to hack it in the concrete jungle, locals steal away to the Hamptons, or Marmaris.  

Bosphorus, Istanbul, Hudson River, New York

The Big Apple

The Big Apple, New York, Istanbul

The Age-Old Apple

But as much as we loooove The Big Apple, Istanbul has so much to teach, as if it's New York’s way cool great aunt. New York is living the dream, but Great Aunt Istanbul has a lifetime of experience under her belt (or hundreds of them). She’s got history, she can spot a fad in the blink of an eye, she has seen some sh*t. Compared to New York’s several hundred years of incorporated history, Istanbul has been the center of civilization for literally thousands. When you’re the largest city connecting Asia and Europe, you’re naturally the center of attention, darling. In real terms, this center of attention status means (in order from awful to awesome) conflict, commerce, diplomacy, and a heightened understanding of design, style, and culture. 

Bosphorus, Istanbul, Hudson River, New York

On the Bosphorus

As different peoples traveled through and settled in the Byzantine region, they brought unique artistic and architectural sensibilities. And while figuring out a way to get along with others making their way through, there was a constant re-amalgamation of style, resulting in spectacular innovation that the rest of the world has been lucky to benefit from.  

That’s why we're always going back to Istanbul. It’s good to see that all things change and grow and fall apart and get put back together again somehow, and that all conflict does eventually come to pass (though not usually without cost). And the lovely part is that beautiful things do come of it, as evidenced in the expertly made garments we bring back to share with everyone in our corner of the world.

Byzantine, Istanbul

Seriously, gorgeous.

Then we revisit New York and consider what it's seen so far and wonder, what remains in store for this new epicenter of civilization and how will it evolve, regress, and reinvent itself again? It's so beautiful and frightening and mind blowing all at once. 

It can be easy for us based in sunny So Cal to develop an isolated worldview being so far away from everything geographically, but constantly revisiting Istanbul and other cultural centers reminds us of the bigger picture and that we are indeed a part of it.