Traveler: Demet Muftuoglu Eseli – Co-Founder of ISTANBUL’74 & Creative Director
What is your most unforgettable Escape?
Bodrum! It has always been a favorite, but especially this year, as international travel is not possible and we turn inwards to appreciate the beauty and nature we have at home.
What was the purpose of your travel?
I’m so excited to be working on a project that has long been on my mind, but made particular sense to start up at this moment. Over the last six months, due to the global pandemic, so many small businesses and independent brands have really suffered and need all the support they can get. An online shop for 74Escape has long been in the works, and right now, it is the perfect opportunity to activate our platform for the benefit of our creative community, and to support our friends and their much-loved brands, as well as emerging local designers, artisans and artists.
Istanbul is home to so many wonderful brands that each share a unique vision and story, strongly rooted in our culture and history. Hence the first edition of the ‘74 Escape Store & Gallery, which will open shortly at Maçakızı Hotel in Bodrum, will present a journey into our culture and celebrate and champion our homegrown talent.
I’m currently here at Maçakızı preparing! We’re putting together the ‘74 Escape Shop and the exciting shipments of products have started to arrive. The gallery section will present a beautiful selection of brand new ceramic works by local ceramic artists, and we are starting the installation.
With how many people did you travel?
I came to Bodrum with my husband, and now 74 team members have slowly started to arrive as we gear up to opening next week.
Where did you stay?
Of course at my favorite Maçakızı Hotel.
What did you most like about the trip?
Putting together and preparing the store, this exciting opportunity to bring together some of my favorite brands as well as new discoveries. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip?
We’re still in the thick of it, but in general the anticipation and excitement of gathering people together again after months of being at home, I know will be unforgettable.
Your most surprising find during the trip?
While the shop brings together some of my favorite brands who are by dear friends of mine, this has also been an invaluable opportunity for me to discover new brands and local artisans.
Favorite restaurant(s) or food you have tried during your trip?
Aret’s cooking at Maçakızı is always to die for.
What are the must tries of the city?
Miam in Türkbükü is great for the buzzing atmosphere, and has great food and cocktails.
Amanruya is an actual paradise, a welcome escape from the bustling centers with its ancient olive groves and the secluded and tranquil atmosphere.
Any hidden gems you could whisper to us?
I love the various roadside shops and plant nurseries with their lush plants and cactuses, and eclectic antiques. The roadside wicker and straw craftsmen are also fantastic, with endless ranges of umbrellas, baskets, and other accessories.
What does traveling mean to you?
Traveling is the intimate process of discovering people’s traditions and experiences, and making new discoveries of your own. Each new escape is another journey into a new culture, and I hope that the 74Escape Store & Gallery will present a vibrant and inspiring journey into the Mediterranean way of life.