I don’t know about you, but I enjoy window shopping when on a city break. Sometimes I peruse with the intention of burning a hole through my wallet, but a lot of times I enjoy gazing through freshly polished glass to admire the artful layout of a vintage furniture shop or the craftsmanship of a perfectly cut and stitched pair of trousers. I think of it as cultivating an admiration for items made with thought, care and passion.
An appreciation for all those pretty little things.
Istanbul is perhaps one of the most impressive cities I’ve come across (so far) in terms of art, design and fashion. Maybe it’s the blend of East meets West, or perhaps it’s the rich history and knack for style that runs through the veins of many Turks. Whatever it is, there are countless design boutiques tucked away in old Constantinople that will undoubtedly cater to the whim of any traveller passing through, or any expat putting down roots.
And with that, welcome to Building. A hip and stylish Turkish brand, Building is responsible for organizing events, developing concept interior design for businesses, and also has several boutiques in and around Istanbul. I popped into the one near the Galata Tower in Beyoğlu one dark and wet evening. Tucked away in a recently gentrified area (branded the “Soho of Istanbul”) the street is littered with hipster cafés, vintage shops, and boutiques that feature Turkey’s rising stars. The Building store is easy to locate and upon entry one will find themselves in a bright, industrialized showroom with brick walls, lacquered concrete floors, rack upon rack of modish clothing and cases filled with beautifully made jewelry.
Bringing together some of Turkey’s most innovative “lab” designers, the showroom is packed with accessories, clothing and household items. It was my first time coming across several labels I had never heard of, but it was a fantastic introduction to the fashion and arts scene in Turkey. There were so many eclectic and unique pieces on show (at relatively affordable prices) and even the less luxe items were made with care, the designers having longevity in mind. It was an excellent reminder that quality goods exist outside of the (for example) LVMH bubble that most of us move within on a daily basis.
These type of concept stores – be they in Istanbul or Paris, New York or London – are a great way to appreciate fashion and design from another vantage point and also see what’s coming up on the horizon. It’s a chance to look at lesser known labels and get different insight into how pretty little things are made: the idea behind an item; the concept that encompasses it and the care that goes into overall production.
Things that the brands featured in Building offer up in spades.
Serdar-i Ekrem Caddesi 27/A
Monday – Sunday from 10:00 to 19:30