Civan's City Notes #1: İliya Gülerşen Kumaş Mağazası

A three-floored store on Balo Sokak which hides classics and trends on each floor, at the end of Nevizade/Beyoğlu. The store is magically associated with the street’s name (as Balo means ballroom in Turkish)

If you’ve ever been in this street before, it is highly impossible that you have not wondered about İliya Gülerşen Fabric Store’s display window which is magnificent and close to perfection. We are talking about a store which is located between in the center of entertainment in Beyoğlu/Nevizade and the most crowded, touristic street of Istanbul, Istıklal Street. In the middle of this dynamic location, the store is standing up with its warmness and nobleness.

As you walked into the store, you are welcomed by an Istanbul gentleman and perfectly showcased fabrics in the shelves that make you feel like it’s all an illusion. Mr. İliya’s timeless posture is the biggest factor in his success.

The fabrics from Belgium, England and – Mr. İliya’s personal favorite – Italy are not only laying the groundwork for the next season, they’re also waiting to change into timeless designs, just like their owner.

The range of the store’s visitors is quite wide: from 20 year old fashion students in Italy to 90 year old regulars. He considers his customers as his friends who made him who he is now, not as walking money. He’s visiting his friends’ homes with catalogues if necessary, which is why his approach to “giving service” became iconic.

The “Roditi” tie collection – named after Mr. İliya’s second name – is hand-sewn from his favorite fabrics.

Beside the tie collection, expertly tailored coats, jackets and art piece alike, imported buttons are displayed in the store.

İliya Gülerşen is doing much more than selling fabrics, he’s creating a gusto for men : “How to bring depth to the shallowness of daily life and how to stay a gentleman”