If you know me personally or if you’ve read any of my posts on VG, it’s no secret that I am a proud Turkish Philadelphian with a great love for fashion and for green living. So it should be no surprise that I’m beside myself in (over)excitement, as today is the day I get to introduce to you all a very special brand called Cuval.
Cuval (chu·val) means ‘sack’ in Turkish and the label designs just that: bags and accessories which are all handmade in Istanbul by Turkish craftsmen using mostly milled fabrics and materials derived from 100% natural leather remnants.
Originally hailing from Istanbul, Cuval designer Ayse Ozgunes, a Drexel University graduate, seeks to establish her brand as an eco-conscious one, combining her Turkish roots with Philly’s burgeoning fashion scene. Ozgunes’s main goal in creating Cuval was to raise eco-awareness while simultaneously churning out fabulous bags in the process; there is no doubt in my mind that she has succeeded. Ozgunes chooses only remnant materials to construct her bags, and, in this way, stays on the good side of the gods by making use of what would otherwise be waste while continuing to build her budding brand, which is mostly inspired by a 21st century mega-mix of trend, art, music, and pop culture.
I am, admittedly, pretty much in love with every single piece of the Cuval collection but I suppose if I had to narrow it down to just one favorite, it would be the leather shoulder bag bearing a red pattern. If you too see a bag here that you’d like to make your very own, they are available for purchase at Vagabond boutique in Philadelphia or at eco-retailer Barret & Strater in New York City. And hey, if you ever happen to be strolling through Istanbul or Megura (Japan), they are also available for purchase at a handful of select organic fashion boutiques. However, if you simply can’t wait because you ‘WANT IT NOW,’ you can point, click, and shop online directly on Cuval’s website. Psst! A little secret from a Turkish insider: These pieces are all priced in Turkish liras, so they’re even less expensive than they appear. CHA-CHING!
Now, are you crushin’ on Cuval as much as we are? Well, here’s your chance to snag your very own slice of Turkish delight… for FREE. Simply leave a comment below (*be sure to fill in your email address*) telling us which Cuval bag is your favorite and ‘like’ us on Facebook to win one of Ozgunes’s beautiful Belt Bags, which will be shipped right to your front door. BETTER STILL: Follow us on Twitter (note in your comment!) and receive an EXTRA entry to win! Contestants will have until 11:59pm on Friday, October 28, 2011 to enter. The winner will be notified on Monday, October 31, 2011. Good luck, everyone!
Photos provided courtesy of cuvalist.com