Once home to Levantines, Tomtom Street becoming Istanbul's new creativity point
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULOct 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Oct 12, 2016 12:00 am
With new cafes, art galleries and modern buildings, the historic Tomtom neighborhood and its namesake street, are emerging as Istanbul's next trendy area after Karaköy. This month, dozens of brands will join a big event ‘Tasarım Tomtom Sokakta,' introducing famous names from art, fashion and design
In Istanbul's busy Beyoğlu district, Tomtom Street, a promising center of creation with a rich history and architecture carrying the past into the present from its restaurants to art galleries and museums to design stores, will bring design to the heart of Istanbul late this month. Creative people who know what it means to live in Istanbul and produce artworks based on personal stories will come together at Tomtom Kaptan Street, one of Istanbul's most beautiful areas. The street will host the event "Tasarım Tomtom Sokakta" (Design in Tomtom Street), which will be celebrated between Oct. 20- 23. Over 100 designers will come together at 50 stands and some 30 stores during the festival. Planned to be an annual event and held for the first time this year, the festival will inspire the designing world.
Sponsored by the Registered Brands Association (TMD), the event is created to strengthen the creative atmosphere of the Tomtom Street and breathe new life into it, under the initiatives of Tomtom Garden Project creator Hakan Kodal, fashion designer Bahar Koçan, Serra Arıkök, the owner of Key Danışmanlık, which has taken over many organizations, and Ayşegül Temel, a former designer and market manager and current owner of Manner Istanbul, one of the street's creative stores.
Bahar Koçan, the creative director of the event, will feature a design created with the inspiration from the idea that everyone is an element creating the whole as a result of the communication of each piece that ever existed in the universe with one another. Prepared with ropes and aimed to spread through the whole street, the installation reminds everyone that they are connected.
One of the noteworthy works on display at the event is "Art Street" featuring the works of Ahmet Rüstem and Hasan Pehlevan. Rüstem designed his artwork at the street under the title "Space Perception and Design," and graffiti artist Pehlevan will present his works in different parts of the street.
The festival will be celebrated in different venues surrounding the street in addition to four areas actually on the street, and various designers in the areas of fashion, accessories, decoration, graphic, and cuisine will be discovered. Aiming to host 5,000 visitors in four days, the event will unite its guests with the sector's professional figures through design chats and workshops. "Design in Tomtom Street" will be also included in İKSV Design Biennial Creative Streets Parallel program.
Visitors can buy jewelry and stylish home accessories designed by Özlem Tuna and traditional cultural gifts by Aydan Öner. For fashion enthusiasts, Epidotte, a creative brand designing fashion and homeware accessories from a unique washable, flexible, eco-friendly paper and Ümit Tuna's fashion studio will be there.
More women in brand design
TMD will organize a competition called "Woman in Brand Design" under the scope of the event, and winners in three categories - Original Logo, Original Product Design and Young Brand - will be awarded. Held for the first time in order to emphasize the place and importance of women in design and branding, the competition is planned as an annual event.
Making the shopping experience easy, fast and safe for all parties, BKM Express will support the event with a social responsibility project in addition to its main sponsorship. Visitors will be able to make donations to the "Kansersiz Yaşam Derneği" (Cancer-Free Life Association), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and "Koruncuk" (Foundation for Children in Need of Protection) via BKM Express throughout the festival.
The Tomtom neighborhood used to be busy with the city's Levantine society, beginning from the late 18th century. The Tomtom Kaptan Street in the namesake neighborhood takes its name from the mosque situated at the entrance on the Çukurcuma side built in 1592. The mosque was built by an Ottoman seafarer, Tomtom Mehmet Kaptan ("Captain" in English). Another account says Tum Tum Abdullah Efendi, who worked as an imam at this mosque and was very much admired by the residents of Istanbul thanks to his unique skills, had the street named after him.
These days, the neighborhood is transforming into a trendy place like Karaköy, where new art galleries, cafes and luxury restaurants pop up with a historic ambiance that pulls tourists visiting Istanbul.
Festival venues: Tomtom Garaj, Italian High School, Tomtom Gardens courtyard, Tomtom Kaptan Street, pop-up stores in Boğazkesen Street and Tomtom Street's participant stores.