These Hand-Woven Handbags Are Your New Summer 2021 Must-Have
Unique, artisanal, hand-made.
Unique, artisanal, hand-made.
Text: Valerie Stepanova
You might not have heard of Mehry Mu just yet — but you have probably seen their bags in paparazzi and streetstyle photos alike, worn by the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Roberts and Laura Harrier. Famed for the artisanal approach to their craft, the Turkish bag brand makes hand-woven handbags with a soul that are inspired by her real and imaginary travels, with all production and leather are sourced and made by local Turkish artisans.
"Mehry Mu is walking the path of storytelling through bags: this comes with working with and empowering artisans, using unexpected materials together, and offering handmade designs that are well-made, unique, timeless, and exciting," says Günes Mutlu, the brand's founder. "We always feel, despite the plethora of brands out there, that our approach to artisanship, storytelling and building collectible collections make us stand out."
Born and raised in Istanbul, Günes oftentimes found herself inspired by the mystical and oriental world of the ancient parts of her hometown. After struggling to find gorgeous bags at good prices to sell on her then e-commerce website, she decided to create her own — and thus, Mehry Mu came to be. In launching her own label, Günes wanted to further support local Turkish artisans by producing handmade, unique bags at an accessible price point.
"Pricing-wise, we are in the contemporary accessory category, but our soul and mindset are very much in the luxury," she explains. "The long-term goal is to carve out this relatively untapped space and offer truly special bags at accessible prices; we want to make sure we reach people who deeply care about the kind of work we are putting out there."
And reach they will — their newest Spring/Summer 2021 range is now available for pre-order at the designer department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue. Dedicating the new collection to Mother Nature and the wonders it can do for the human psyche, Güneş names the collection Terra-py — traveling back in time all the way to antiquity and allowing Terra, the mythological Roman goddess of the Earth, to guide her out of these strange times.
"I wanted to play with colors and textures of mother nature, as she is who helped us through the difficult year we have had globally and are still facing at the moment," she added. "So there are lots of natural fabrics — be it free-flowing raffia or suede tassels, embellishments with real semi-precious stones, handwoven bags, rope bags handmade by an actual sea captain, our signature box bags, this time adorned with velvet, raffia, rattan... All the sumptuous yet sleek and natural-looking materials out there."
In this new range, the label's signature Chacha line welcomes a new, box-like addition — the Chacha box, sporting the look of a solid camera bag. Inspired by Bertolucci’s adaptation of The Sheltering Sky, the design embodies the nomad spirit of a traveler at heart: practical yet romantic at the same time, adorned with meters of rope, leather detailing and crossbody straps in sandy colors. Other new additions to the handbag line include Terra and LouLou — the former hand-woven by local Turkish female artisans and coming with semi-precious beads embellished options, the latter embodying a playful amalgame of contrasting shapes and materials.
It is worth noting that the entire collection features an abundance of precious stones derived from volcanic minerals, soft fabrics mimicking desert sands and playful shapes. "I used huge agate stones embedded in custom-made gold-dipped brass plates on the Agatha bags, almost like a protective talisman placed right in the middle of the bag, sending negative energies right back into the universe and turning them to love," Günes notes. "The initial inspiration was definitely mother nature, and the interpretation came through Mehry Mu's love for feminine and understated sophistication, along with style inspirations from The Sheltering Sky, Jackie Onassis in Capri and even Nefertiti, the Egyptian Queen."
Aside from being the inspiration for Mehry Mu's Spring/Summer 2021 range, Jackie Kennedy Onassis also acts as the eternal muse of the brand — a fashion-forward urban woman known for her love for suedes, leopard prints and — most notably — straw bags. In parallel with Mutlu’s therapeutic approach to her new collection – like the transformation of velvet into a summer texture by coming together with the brand’s signature rattan pattern - Spring/Summer 2021, these tactile elements are accompanied by different versions of agate on certain pieces, marking Günes' therapeutic approach to her new collection — also seen in the transformation of velvet into a summer texture via the brand’s signature rattan pattern.