Founder of Assouline, Prosper Assouline knew what he was doing when he approached Irem Kinay to spearhead Turkey’s Assouline. Istanbul-born Kinay was, until then, focused on a successful career in finance, but her quintessential creativity made the transition to book publishing a seamless process. It is no surprise to see the extension of Kinay’s vision, Madame Malachite, a line of luxury accessories for the library and coffee table.
More than a specific aesthetic, the persona behind the brand of Madame Malachite comes from Kinay’s connection to talismans such as the malachite stone, which protects one’s soul against bad luck. The madame in this case is a woman who is curious, not unlike Kinay herself, who draws inspiration from the rich historic backdrop of Istanbul and the ancient city of Constantinople during Byzantine rule, and later, the throne to the Ottoman Empire, with many stories that create the perfect playground for the creation of unique pieces.
“In general, I love collecting and mixing different textures, materials and periods. I love color, abstract forms and geometric patterns, and prefer mixing vintage objects with my own designs when I’m styling a library or a coffee table. As Madame Malachite, I am inspired by Gabriella Crespi’s apartment in Milan in the 1970s, which was a period that also highlighted craftsmanship in all areas of design. Scandinavian design using natural elements such as wood, ceramic and leather is always appealing. I collect vintage lighting, particularly from 1970s. Hand-embroidered textiles, both new and old, always add a nice layer to any interior.”
Madame Malachite works with local artisans whose skills have been passed down from generation to generation. She works to support their community, and particularly the women, whose skills are not traditionally fully utilized.