ailing from a family of artisans, Kloto designer Senem Gençoğlu’s passion for art and design was nurtured from a young age. Spending her childhood summers working alongside her grandfather in ateliers in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar exposed her to a long tradition of jewelry making and allowed her to indulge her curiosity and hone her craft. She later went on to study Industrial Design at the famed Rhode Island School of Design which helped to expand her worldview. Her education and experiences, coupled with her reverence and respect for the spirit and culture of her native country, has had an indelible impact on her approach to the design process.
From morning coffee to Turkish delight to late night inspiration, the artist showcases a passion for design, her business, her team and Istanbul, in everything she does.
Creating work that is fluid in both form and function, Senem melds old-world craftsmanship with state-of-the-art production processes and a contemporary sensibility. Always mindful of fine jewelry’s ability to forge connections—with the universe, with our heritage and to one another—she ensures that her entire team embodies environmentally conscious production processes and uses only responsibly sourced materials throughout her body of work.
We were delighted to be taken along for a typical day in the life of Senem. From morning coffee to Turkish delight to late night inspiration, the artist showcases a passion for design, her business, her team and Istanbul, in everything she does.
8:00 am – Waking up Luna: Luna’s adorable messy face never fails to put a smile on mine.
8:30 am – Sipping my morning coffee: Ah, this is one of my favorite moments of the day. I kick it off by sipping my morning coffee out on my terrace, soaking up the warmth of the weather and jot down my ‘To-Do’ list.
10:00 am – Arriving at our office: I make my way to our office, right at the heart of the bustling Grand Bazaar, strolling through those narrow streets, full of vibrant energy. I absolutely love my view from my window looking over the Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Once I’m in my workspace, I tackle emails, meet up with the team, and dive into discussions about our upcoming Paris show.
11:00 am – Time for some creativity: After tackling the email pile-up, I carve out some creative hours in my day.
This is where the real fun begins – sketching, designing, and creating 3D drawings on my laptop. When I’m in the zone, my entire workspace turns into a creative mess.
1:00 pm – Lunchtime at Aslan restaurant: Lunch is a treat here. Aslan serves up the best home-cooked Turkish food, and the best part is, it’s just a quick two-minute walk from our office. We all gather as a team, enjoy good food, and chat while sipping on some Turkish coffee.
2:00 pm – Checking out the Atelier: My next stop takes me to the Atelier. It’s always thrilling to see our creations casted for the first time in silver and gold.
I work closely with our local artisans, going through each design, discussing revisions – it’s a meticulous process that sometimes takes six or seven iterations, or even more. I always keep a record of our tests. I have files going back to the first collection.
4:00 pm – Turkish delight energy boost: By mid-afternoon, it’s time for a quick Turkish delight snack.
Today, we’re putting the final touches on our lookbooks. I’m loving the results from our recent photoshoot, and I’m determined to make sure everything is absolutely perfect.
5:00 pm – Zooming in with the Retailers: I usually schedule my Zoom meetings with our US retailers in the afternoon, because of the time difference with Istanbul.
Today, we’ve got a meeting lined up with our wonderful retailer, Tiny Gods, for our upcoming Trunkshow. We are revisiting our past events for inspiration.
6:00 pm – Wrapping up the workday: It’s time to call it a day and head out for dinner. Istanbul traffic can be chaotic, so I prefer skipping it by taking a boat across the sea. The sea breeze does wonders for unwinding, and Luna is a big fan too.
7:00 pm – Dinner by the Bosphorus: Evenings are for relaxing with friends and indulging in some meze, seafood, and rakı at a dinner spot along the Bosphorus.
11:30 pm – Late-night inspiration: I keep a sketchbook by my bedside. Some of my best ideas come to me at this quiet, late hour. I jot down abstract quick drawings as notes to myself, right before I drift off to sleep.