13 November 2007


While on Wikipedia this morning, the featured picture on the home page happened to be of my much-loved Milwaukee, in a panorama dated 1898.
This 1898 chromolithographic panorama of Milwaukee, Wisconsin shows the German Renaissance Revival style City Hall in front center. By the mid-19th century, Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area had become the final destination of many German immigrants fleeing the Revolution of 1848. One of the most salient consequences of this migration was the emergence of a brewing industry in Milwaukee, such as the establishment of the Pabst, Schlitz, Blatz and Miller breweries, all established by German immigrants between 1840 and 1855.

Image credit: Gugler Lithographic Co.

19 September 2007

Chicago Trunk Show September 29

A Trunk Show for Social Change
Join us on Saturday, Sept. 29th at Painted Light Photos & Framing (1742 W. Balmoral) for a unique shopping experience featuring fabulous handmade bags by Turkish-based designer Rose Deniz. The sale will also include wearable designs and accessories from a number of area artists.
25% of all sales benefit our Seed Fund grantmaking efforts.

more info...
Saturday, September 29, 2007 3 to 6 p.m. at Painted Light Photos & Framing,1742 W. Balmoral in West Andersonville 773.275.4121 paintedlightphotos@sbcglobal.net

Painted Light offers full-service custom framing and photograph restoration, carries a variety of original and printed artworks, and features local and sustainable gifts and treasures for the home and body. To benefit Seed Fund grantmaking efforts at Crossroads Fund. Featuring gorgeous handmade bags and accessoriesfrom Turkish-based designer Rose Deniz. Including wearable designs and accessories by:Amy Andrews Designs Imperfect Articles Make-Out Goods Minerva Jewelry. Fancy Patch Jackets 25% of all proceeds will be donated to Crossroads Fund.Question? Call Sheila O'Donnell at 773.227.7676.

06 September 2007

Trunk Show Sneak Preview

Fresh new spa sets from Citara's

The traditional Turkish hamam towel, "pestemal" (pronounced pesh-te-mal) has a fresh, new look. Clean, crisp white hamam towels are incredibly absorbant, lightweight, and fast-drying. Citara's presents the pestemal with motifs designed by me exclusively for Citara's. Two handstitched motifs are available:

Bamboo + Vine bud

The pestemal set also includes a bar of natural, handmade soap with three varieties: Pistachio/Olive oil, Lavendar/Olive Oil, and Bay Leaf/Olive Oil. Soap can be purchased separately, as can the pestemal. The soap comes in a pretty little soap sack designed by me, too!

The spa set can be purchased at the following trunk shows in September:
September 15
Hosted by/Benefit for Nest
September 15 5-9pm
featuring Rose Deniz and Rectangle Designs
located at 5141 16th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MI 55417

September 27, benefit for Crossroads Fund at Painted Light Photo + Framing
(time tba... probably 2-6)
located at 1742 W. Balmoral, Chicago, IL

And last but not least, a trunk show in Milwaukee is in the works for September or early October. Just email me for a private viewing, too! rose at rosedeniz dot com.

27 August 2007

Directions to Minneapolis Trunk Show

View Larger Map

Here's a map of Minneapolis where the trunk show with Nest and Rectangle Designs will be on September 15. I've tallied up my stuff (haven't weighed my bags yet!) and it looks like I won't be brining any clothes... just bags and cute accessories!

24 August 2007

Fall Update

Already I am dreaming of fall colors, orange, red, and yellow leaves, brisk air, light jackets and scarves, but here in Turkey it is still over 90 degrees! I will be taking a nice month-long trip back the US to visit family, friends (and eat things I miss like sushi, reubens, a real bagel, and thai food), and introduce Evren Toprak to his American family. I always associate fall with the Midwest and I am eager to experience autumn in Wisconsin! I haven't been home in over a year and a half.

There are three trunk shows on the calendar:

Saturday, September 15 from 5-9pm at 5141 16th Avenue South
Saturday, September 29 (time tbd) at Painted Light Photo + Framing (address forthcoming)
Milwaukee: TBD

If you are in the Milwaukee, Chicago, or Minneapolis area and want a private showing or would like to host a trunk show, email me for availability! rose at rosedeniz dot com.

Also, any online orders before September 1 will ship from Turkey, but after September 1 until October 1, they will ship from the US. All the bags and goodies will be traveling with me by plane!

03 August 2007

Nest's Interview with Daryn Kagan

Here's an interview that features Nest on Daryn Kagan's daily digest of art, business, love, charity, and world events. On the video clip, you can hear Rebecca explain her passion for Nest and the work she does. Nest has helped two people I work with very closely get micro-loans... Meral Tuncer, and now Sevinc Esen, my seamstress. On this video clip you will see a slide of the bag I most recently designed for Nest, Ilke, and a table of Meral's shiny chandelier earrings. Sevinc's atolier and sewing machine is on there, too! This clip makes me so happy.

28 July 2007

Turquoise Summer

Just when I think my favorite color will be replaced (by a bright spring green or citrus) this impromptu little still life happened. It makes me think of my three summers in Turkey (so far), the way the light reflects off the sea, the bright warm sun, etc...

The tiles in this photo are from Iznik, a city famous for its tile work in Turkey. The tiles have a historical legacy in Turkey. Handpainted tiles are still sought after too, and when visiting palaces, mosques or other public places, Iznik tiles can be seen everywhere in Turkey. We bought these tiles in February of 2005, three months before Devrim and I got married. They were the first purchase we made for our home, and after buying them, they sat in our closet for nearly two more years. One day I came home to a gorgeous surprise in my living room... Devrim had the tiles made into a table top, based on a design we sketched out two years before. I love the bright contrast of turquoise and red, the flowers an abstract tulip design, and the line work an intricate web.

On the table:
Handmade turquoise necklace by Meral Tuncer
Beautiful cardinal locket by Parlour Boutique
A turquoise ring from Cappadoccia, a gift from Devrim
Polka dot headband from Boncuk Dunyasi (Bead World) in Izmit, 3ytl ($2.50)!

27 July 2007

Shop Nahil Istanbul

The Limited Edition 50% off sale continues! And in other exciting news, I'll be selling my bags for the first time in a little shop in Istanbul! It's located in Taksim (which means square) in Beyoglu, a hip and fashionable part of Istanbul on the European side. Here's a little glimpse into the shop! It's called Nahil and they support women by selling their handmade goods and by contributing to organizations for low or no-income women. The "tree" pictured is called a bridal tree and its adorned with jewelry, sachets, and other lovelies. By the way, I found the most gorgous lavender-filled velvet sachets (or pincushions) with beaded detailing. I'm tempted to go back and scoop them up... they are only 10ytl each (about $8.00)!

10 July 2007

Huge Sale!

Hi friends! All Rose Deniz Limited Edition bags are 50% off! Make way for fall and add some pretty prints and velvet to your collection. All shoulder bags, pouches and clutches are on sale. We have some new projects in the wings that we need to make room for!

As an added bonus for those serious shoppers, buy any two LE bags and get 25% off a future order through December 2007. Get a little discount on what is to come!

18 June 2007

New Paintings

I've started another blog devoted just to my new work on paper and canvas. Here's a link and a one of my tiny new pieces, Sprout.

03 May 2007

Maison Francaise

We are so excited to be featured in this Month's Maison Francaise - Turkish edition. Take a look! And if you can't read in Turkish, I'll try to post a translation soon.

02 May 2007

Istanbul Street Style

For everyone in Istanbul, or for those who have been dying to visit, come to the Istanbul Street Style Sahane on Saturday, May 12 at theHall.

There's a rundown of the events of the evening posted on the site, and if you look under the designers section on the event site, you'll see me! I'll be outfitting the models in my newest Limited Edition bags and will set up shop in ISS's Bazaar. (Also, they have been sponsored in part by M.A.C, and there is a new M.A.C on Istiklal! I haven't allowed myself to go inside yet because I know what will happen.... though I am thinking of designing a new handbag collection around their amazing colors.)

This is also a great time to introduce ISS and give a glimpse of what they do: the Blog features fresh, real fashionable folk on the streets of Istanbul. They also do interviews, articles and host super events like Sahane. In a recent conversation with Dano Alexander, one of the founders, I heard all about how he and his team hope to merge the worlds of art, fashion, design and culture in Istanbul... pretty exciting, so check them out!

06 April 2007

Turkish Daily News

Turkish Daily News March 17-18, 2007
We were featured in the March 17-18 Weekend Edition of the Turkish Daily News! Writer Damaris Kremida gives what we feel is a beautiful account of the origins of Rose Deniz Handbags and the collaborations that have developed between Nest and Meral Tuncer. The online edition can be read here: http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=68345 or click on the above pic and zoom in to read the full text.

04 April 2007

Jeweled Travel Pouch for Nest!

rose deniz

Is the thought of spring cleaning making you groan with dread? Then we have a sure-fire motivator. Nest has launched its new line of fresh spring products, all of which will be perfect replacements for those ratty t-shirts and out-of-date necklaces fro

m springs long gone and forgotten. The best part is that won't have to feel guilty shopping with Nest! Your purchases directly help women like Rosario Bautizta escape the cycle of poverty. Feeling a little more motivated about spring cleaning?

Hallelujah, let the shopping


29 March 2007

Zeynep Keklik

Yesterday I made a visit to my lovely friend and colleague Zeynep's airy, bright, and pattern-filled apartment in Izmit. She is a closet clothing and accessory designer who is now ready to reveal her intuitive sense of design and unique use of materials scoured from both everyday and vintage items.
Zeynep with macrame and beaded wall hangings

Rather than get discouraged by lack of financial means when she was a high school student, she began designing her own clothing in order to wear stylish, tailored clothing. Employing her mother as her seamstress, she turned out piece after piece of strikingly original clothing. She not only designed following current trends, but wove her own ideas into at times breezy and flowing pieces, and other times neat and fit two-piece suits and jackets. Here is a sampling of her beautiful work and a little trip through her deliciously decorated apartment. I particularly love her sense of minimal design, working geometric shapes and bright, modernist colors into pillow covers, cheery necklaces, boleros and tunics.

(left) Accessories made by Zeynep, including reworked brooches, beaded belt made from ribbon, transformed chiffon scarf into necklace and beaded pin.

(right) Modernist red and sequin-shaded lamp. The curtains are vintage, made by Zeynep's mother.

Zeynep in her silk-blend halter top

(left) Pretty yellow floral tile pattern in kitchen.

(right) Cheerful oval shapes on Zeynep's living room rug and sofa draped with her clothing designs.

Chiffon hand-beaded blouse and red tablecloth

Tea in Iznik tile-inspired cups, cookies, a vintage candleholder updated with a coat of red paint and pearl beads, and white pillow cover with sequined-square design.

17 March 2007

Coming soon!

Coming soon.... Meral Tuncer Damla earrings! Here's a sneak peak at her tear-shaped earrings in pink and bright, lovely Chalcedon necklace and earring set.

05 March 2007

This is Rose!

At home

In studio


Same place!

01 March 2007

We're back!

Rose Deniz is pleased to announce the 2007 Limited Editions collection is available online now. We've used lush velvet interior linings for all of the handbags, felted jean fabric, lightweight corduroy, quilted panels and side pleats. Take a look here! This collection also includes some little satin pouches and my new favorite fabric pattern, paisley.
Paisley Cake Pouch

Filiz Tote

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08 January 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy 2007 from Rose Deniz Handbags! While there hasn't been a lot going on on the site, lots of things are happening behind the scenes. I can't wait to update the site with my 2007 collection that is underway for Spring and Summer. Meral Tuncer was featured in the Nest notebook, so if you want to see more of her jewelry, take a look!

My New Year's resolutions this year include designing a new catalog, improving my Turkish, and cooking more at home. 2007 is off to an exciting start with the birth of our baby, Evren Toprak. He loves to hang out in his carrier while I sew in my studio, and I think the sound of the sewing machine is calming to him because he heard it all the time in utero!