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Forever Inspired by Begum Kiroglu

Traveler: Begum Kiroglu – Designer & Founder of Begum Khan

Why do you travel?

For adventure, excitement and fun.

What are some of your most unforgettable escapes that have inspired the identity and story of your brand?

My 6 years in China and my travels around Asia have been the biggest sources of inspiration for me. One can always find asian orientalist elements in my designs and creative process. I feel blessed about how much richness and colour Asia added to my soul. 

Where do you search for inspiration?

I don’t think I ever look for inspiration but inspiration finds me. Birds chirping, a person I meet, falling in love, a tile in a museum, a painting in a gallery, a house I am visiting, music I hear, a smell – they can all be inspirations.

As long as we fully live and enjoy life, we are forever inspired. 

How does travel shape the development of new collections and new pieces?

Travel is very important to me as I am always very touched and influenced by different cultures. Whatever is different than me, I am drawn into that. I think Curiosity is the magic element of creativity and travel feeds my curiosity.

What are your favorite escapes at home, unique hidden gems in Turkey that everyone might not know about?

Bozburun is my favourite summer escape since childhood. I love how untouched and dramatic the nature is and also Bozburun’s inhabitants. I always have the best time!

And for the Fall, Mardin always amazes me.

How is your brand tied to our culture, geography, heritage and history?

Born into a family of Ottoman art collectors in the ancient imperial capital of Istanbul, I think I cultivated my love of beautiful things from a very early age. As a child, I explored the ancient alleyways and hidden nooks of cities my family visited in search of antique treasures, and Istanbul’s many labyrinthitis became my playground. I learned that art is not defined by present time or place but art is free of borders and time.  

Share with us some of your favorite summer stays here in Turkey.

I love being on the water. Bozburun is almost like a huge floating boat. It’s the dream!

Some of my best summer stays have always been in Bozburun or cruising around, discovering new bays and gems with friends.

Favorite restaurants?

Manzara in Sogut is a beautiful, delicious, hidden spot! We had the most dreamy night this summer despite everything.

In Istanbul Suna in Kandilli, Delicatessen in Nisantasi and Lucca in Bebek are my local canteens.

Favorite local finds from local brands, artisans and craftsmen?

In Turkey we have many extremely creative, young, exciting designers. I don’t know where to start! They are all extraordinary.

Misela, Gul Hurgel, Aromatherapy, Nackiye, Rumisu are only a few. The list is very long! One should come to Istanbul and discover it for themselves.

And of course the Grand Bazaar is the biggest gem in the world to discover local tapestry, artworks, crafts, calligraphy and fabrics. 

Ideal travel partners?

Myself. I really enjoy traveling alone. 

Can you share with us an unforgettable memory from a Mediterranean escape.

There are so many to tell 🙂

Where are you dreaming of escaping to next?

Once the world is safer to travel, I dream to escape to Colombia. 

What does traveling mean to you?

Traveling gives me a great sense of freedom. When I travel, I always remind myself that everything is possible and it actually is.