At the beginning of 2009, Çuval’s founder Ayşe Özgüneş started to spend her weekends in a studio with a friend making pillows out of scrap fabrics and designing burlap bags for packaging.
The burlap material is called “çuval”in Turkish, therefore the label’s name born as Çuval.
After selling products in local markets and summer bazaars, bags attracted more attention than pillows because of their design aesthetic and colors.
Realizing this Ayşe decided to create her first collections in 2010 introducing canvas and denim to the burlap material.
In 2011, the products evolved into first leather/fabric mix collection with “Birds Fly High” when Ayşe was in NY to test her brand in the US market. Working as a Sales Executive at Found Future showroom she had a chance to analyze the market and the consumer trends. .
“Birds Fly High”is a collection that flew from Istanbul to New Yok and a combination of 100 % natural Turkish Leather with mill-end fabrics blended with classical designs .
After returning to her hometown Istanbul, Ayşe made her dream collection came true.
Inspired from the ice cream parlour located in Philadelphia Çuval’s S//S2012 Collection “Scoop de Ville” is the first introduction of Turkish vegetable tanned leather mixed into linnens and stripes of French Riviera.
This collection made a great hit in Istanbul and sold internationally.
Keeping two models as its signature, Çuval’s A//W2012 Collection “Gun Powder” discovers the misty and sooty rainforest, which gave direction to find its refined materials.
The rubbery and fluid surface of the fabrics studied water resistance, wool and velvet added texture and elegance and silver metallics focused on modernity.
To mock the contemporary aesthetic of our time that tries to imitate the precious past traditions, the basket wave material used in this AW//13-14 Collection is made of plastic instead of natural fibers. While focusing on durability and weather conditions of this season, this material is shaped around the vegetable tanned leather as a Çuval classic and is stabilized by antique silver plated hardware, left to age over time.
Mixing fabric and vegetable tanned leather found another form around the bags with coated canvas, outdoor mesh and waterproof linings used in these collections.
Until 2015, Çuval’s experimental collections has been sold locally at Beymen, Istanbul and also at various shops around the globe.
POP UP SHOP
After working with Beymen on a consignment based, Çuval needed a space on its own.
Karaköy was an up and coming area favored by tourists. so a Pop Up Shop worked well to sell out overstock and samples from recent collections. This space also hosted Christmas and NYE events of the brand changing its summer concept to fall and winter.
ÇUVAL STORE / SHOWROOM
Çuval’s first store functioning as a showroom opened its doors in Nov, 2016.
Establishing the new store was Ayşe’s primary goal before creating a new collection.
She started working on all leather line that can be used for all weather conditions.
Çuval’s NEU LAND collection naturalized old school high quality craftsmanship by embracing vintage colors, traditional methods and modern looks with a contemporary feel.
Suitable for all weather conditions, water repellent nubuck has clean and raw cuts around native forms such as sacks, buckets and pouches with a finish of Çuval’s classic sturdy vegetable tanned leather.
Each bag has either an inside or hanging outside zipper pocket to be used as a sperate accessory.
NEU LAND collection was first born in 2017 with the idea of repositioning the brand as “afforable luxury” within the local market.
Although due to economic imbalances of the country, the main supplier for Çuval has been working for years, shut down their factory and the nubuck used in this collection was not available. Unfortunatley these lookbooks couldn’t be used for international sales.
Ayşe pursued her will to produce this collection and changed her whole supply chain. The new vegetable tanned leather supplier has a great background and deep-rooted passion for tanning since 1927 using antique recipes including natural extracts and fat liquors; and the supplier for nubuck is a boutique family owned factory established in 1980, who uses only domestic raw materials.
NEU LAND has been produced as a limited edition collection having some colors available not more than four pieces.