Off The Cuff Remark-able
We’re big fans of Istanbul, and of course its fabulous bazaars and markets, so it came as a delight when shopping in Alter, one of our favourite lifestyle stores in Shanghai, to find Turkish expat and first time jeweller Begüm Kiroglu’s collection of cufflinks.
Even more delightful was discovering each piece was handmade in a small, specialist bronze and silver-casting atelier hidden in a tiny alley close to the world famous Kapaliçarşi Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. With a family of dedicated antique collectors, and a prolific interest in both Ottoman and Chinese heritage and culture, it’s little wonder Kiroglu’s creativity was piqued when trying and failing to find the perfect cufflinks as a gift for her soon to be married brother.
Not only did she go on to design and create that elusive gift for her brother, she created an entire new brand in the process.
Referencing nature and architecture, the beautifully nuanced and detailed ball-links include frogs, bees, birds (inspired by a pair of antique eagle cufflinks inherited from her grandfather), beetles, tigers and minaret domes, all hand-cast in bronze, then plated in silver, yellow or rose gold, with some featuring semi-precious stones like baroque pearls, lapis lazuli, coral, quartz or agate. With eight styles in multiple finishes, you could wear a different pair almost every day for a month, or as the designer intended, give a pair as that perfect gift.