I thought my boots gave me a kind of mysterious, Bohemian charisma, tough but tender rugged but sensuous, poetic but unself-conscious, like Joni Mitchell. It's a sound bite from a Nora Ephron play - and quite possibly the best description of the power of a new pair of winter boots. (Or, in today’s climate, this could probably apply to any footwear that isn’t a pair of slippers or questionable-looking “indoor shoes”.) Looking to put your best forward forward this season? Enter: cult Istanbul-based accessories line, Manu Atelier (fun fact: their unique 'duck boots' are named such because of their beak shape).
While the brand will not be showing their collection in Paris this season, they’re currently plotting an “exciting digital concept” for this collection, and SS21 (alongside fashion director and stylist, Alex Carl). “In January we will be unveiling a very exciting collaboration project with one of our favourite brands in the contemporary market,” says Merve Manastir, co-founder and creative director of the artisan handbag and footwear label. “It's our first collaboration. It’s still confidential, but we are very close to the founders; our brand’s share so much synergy. Watch the space!” So, how does she get it all done? From keeping a notebook nearby to making time for creative pursuits, this is her to-do list. Over to you, Merve.
“I’m an old school type of person; I have always preferred writing down my to-do lists. I find it to be the most efficient way to learn, as well as retain information. I like to have my to-do list all in one place in my very simple notebook - it helps me to have one point of collection for my thoughts and lists and not to lose track of anything. Also, writing things down properly has a therapeutic effect on me, the more I write down the more I feel I’m sorting things out. It helps me prioritise, whether it’s projects I’m working on collection inspiration (I draw a lot as well).
Everyone struggles with getting everything done stage, but just planning a day or week can also be hard. So, the act of putting together a to-do list is very satisfying. I am quite an anxious person, so writings lists and making a plan helps me deal with my anxiety; I feel like I have done half the job by writing them down. The most relieving thing to do is to cross a thing from your list and mark it as completed.
My astrological sign is Virgo, so it is part of my personality to be organised. I have always liked to plan ahead, which also comes with a lot of personal pressure, making sure everything is always perfect…which, let’s face it, is impossible.
I am a creative person, so I naturally always make time for my personal projects. But with work taking a lot of headspace I try to open up my frequencies as much as possible; especially before or after work when I don’t have to think about deadlines and managing people. It’s really about finding the time for your mind to reset and re-connect. Before Covid, I used to love travelling - I always get inspired on long-haul flights and you have no emails that can bother you.
How do I self-motivate? Remembering why I started doing this. I even have a print on my wall in the entrance of my house, that says “Remember why you started” so I can easily remember when I go to work. We all need to ask ourselves what kind of world we want to live in and what kind of person we want to be and this will affect our behaviour as a person. For myself, being a working women and an entrepreneur in the creative industry, producing things, are the reasons behind why I started Manu A.
Working on multiple projects at any one time I think is one of the key factors to achieve success. It gives me different perspectives and has a positive impact on my everyday life. You need to find a way to avoid distractions, so planning ahead is important, accepting your limits to better organise your life. And, of course, prioritising.”
ImAGES | mervemanastir