Happy Holidays!!

Now that it’s officially Friday and the world has not come to an end, all of us at Studio Manhattan are ready to welcome les vacances! No matter where you are in the world, we wish you a holiday season filled with all the magic of Manhattan. And if you’re nesting in New York for the next week, throw your ice-skates in a bag and head over to Bryant Park. If we’re not at our booth, you’ll find us on our bums in the middle of the rink.

Bryant Park Bonanza

Happy Friday, Friends!

The weekend is just about here, but we’re not planning on wrapping up any time soon. We might take a small break this evening to down a bathtub of wine, but then it’s back to Bryant! Since we basically live at Bryant Park these days, we thought we’d share a few snapshots of our home away from home with you. Although the holiday season has been hectic so far, we kind of dig it. When else do we get to meet and greet our products’ new parents? So stop by and say hi! We’re always here. (Seriously.)

Manhattan Memos – The Creative Process

In the spring of 2009, I took my scooter on one of its usual trips to Brooklyn. It was a cloudy day – one that was perfect for my new HDR portfolio. As I rode around Dumbo, I suddenly noticed the rocks on the East River, which had emerged as a result of the low tide. I realized I had just stumbled upon one of those postcard-perfect scenes of the Brooklyn Bridge and downtown Manhattan.

This photo made my portfolio, and at Studio Manhattan we decided to create our first five-piece canvas set around it. It was an instant hit and I was really proud of the result – partially because I think of my work as my children. I create them. They even have birthdays – as well as ISO values and shutter speeds.

This is what I thought when I saw my newborn son’s identification tag for the first time this past weekend.

Name: Ali Emre, Weight: 3246 gr., Length: 48 cm, Born: 5:54AM, 12/03/12.

This time, however, I wasn’t the real artist. I was, like the camera, merely an instrument in the creative process. My immense gratitude goes to the true artist who brought me this perfect little masterpiece.

-Ayhan

Manhattan Memos – Giving Thanks

I was born on November 24th in Vienna, Austria. I was in such a hurry to join the world that I opened my eyes in the ambulance en route to the hospital. At the time I was born, my parents were factory workers who had migrated to Austria from Istanbul, Turkey. When I was six years old, we moved back to Istanbul. There, I spent my childhood playing amid Byzantine walls, ancient Roman churches and Ottoman mosques. In this historic city, I grew up to become a photojournalist. Eight years later, in 2002, I decided it was time to leave the old empire behind and set foot in a brave new world. That world was New York City.

 New York gave me the chance to create my life through art. I wanted to create moments, ideas, and ways to change the world. So I set out to do just that. Getting access to galleries and stores where I could display my photography proved difficult, if not impossible. So I found another – and arguably better – way to reach the eyes and ears of New Yorkers: I hit the streets. I showcased my work in front of museums, at art fairs, on the streets of Soho, and anywhere else where I could prop up a stand and chat up a crowd. Four years later, Studio Manhattan was born.

 My goal is, and has always been, to create art and designs that enhance people’s lives. Making art out of everyday products is my way of creating, communicating, and bringing the world a little bit closer together.

 As we approach the season of giving, I would like to give thanks to those who brought me – and Studio Manhattan – to this point.

 I wish everybody a prosperous and peaceful holiday season.

-Ayhan

Holiday Market Madness

Hi Friends!

Since we last spoke, we’ve stuffed our faces with autumn’s favorite foods: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cornbread, green beans, pumpkin pie, and, of course, turkey. Now, with Thanksgiving feasting officially at an end, we’re taking on Christmas! Although we still have another month to go before it’s socially acceptable to indulge in yule-time gluttony, nothing is stopping us from immediately strapping on our gift-giving gear and diving into a sea of stocking stuffers. So if you’re anything like us, and desperate to drink the Christmas Kool-aid, we can help. Whether you’re uptown, midtown or downtown, we’ve got boutiques stuffed with solutions to all your seasonal shopping needs. Below, we present you with an overview.

Bryant Park (through Jan. 6th)

Monday–Friday: 10am–8pm, Saturday: 10am–9pm, Sunday: 10am–6pm

Columbus Circle (through Dec. 24th)

Monday – Saturday: 10:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday: 10:00am to 7:00pm

Union Square (through Dec. 24th)

Monday – Friday: 11:00am to 8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am to 8:00pm, Sunday: 11:00am to 7:00pm

Sandy and the Seaport

A few shots of the devastation wreaked on the Seaport by Sandy. Our store survived, but others were not so lucky. In the aftermath of this horrific hurricane, our thoughts and well-wishes go out to all those lives and livelihoods were affected. Our Seaport and Bryant Park stores will, hopefully, be up and running tomorrow. We will keep you posted. For now, New York remains in our hearts, prayers, and products.

Bringing Back Bryant

It’s amazing what a makeover can do! Bryant Park had its facelift in the nineties, and, in the years since then, we’ve followed suit. Every holiday season, we devote ourselves to transforming a simple station into a showcase of Studio Manhattan art. We hammer and paint in order to create a happy holiday haven – for you. So, this Friday afternoon, shake up your sandwich routine. Bring your lunch break to Bryant Park and see how we do.

Back at Bryant Park!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…at Bryant Park!

On Oct. 26th, our booth will be back behind the library, and, this season, we have savings for all! Ladies, we know how hard it is to shop for your man, so we made it a little bit easier. Give your guy the gift of three – a belt, a wallet, and an iPhone case – and we’ll throw in a fourth product for good measure. And that’s just the beginning. So stop by our booth next Friday and let the gift-giving begin!

STUDIO MANHATTAN SPOTLIGHT: AMANDA IREL

When you love fashion as much as we do, the biggest hurdle when stepping out the door in the morning isn’t deciding what to wear, but, rather, refraining from spending every penny you own. Luckily, at Studio Manhattan, our most spend-happy style mavens are kept in check by our team’s most cost conscious fashionista, Amanda. As the author of the fashion blog TheSensibleStyle.com, Amanda Irel knows how to stay stylish on a budget. Needless to say, such sartorial smarts quickly earned her a brand ambassador appointment. We sat down with the twenty-something New York native to pick her brain about fashion and blogging, as well as to – hopefully and clandestinely – glean some tips on how to get the most mileage out of our own products.

  •  Your blog, TheSensibleStyle.com, offers readers tips on how to stay fashionable on a low budget. When and why did you decide to start blogging and where did your inspiration come from? 

Since I have a lot of hobbies and eclectic interests, no matter what I’m doing, I’m always interested in making sure that my outfit reflects my mood and is comfortable and appropriate for the activity. As a fashion blogger with a psychology degree, I consider it of great importance to analyze the clothing we wear relative to the activities we wear them for.

More importantly, I love finding affordable alternatives to designer wear that are still high quality. Forcing myself to remain on a budget just after college (while living on my own and paying for my education) was tough, and I realized that so many young people were in the same predicament. That is why I began writing The Sensible Style. The Sensible Style is an outlet for those striving to look fashionable and to keep up with the latest trends, despite living on a budget.

 

  • What do you love about fashion?

As I’m not artistically inclined, I love that fashion provides an easy way to create something aesthetically pleasing. In a world where we always try to look appropriate and people are highly judgmental, fashion is an outlet through which anyone can stand out while fitting in. You can learn so much about a person’s personality just by their choice of garments. I believe fashion is a simple creative way for people to express themselves. What’s better than that?

 

  •  What does blogging offer you, personally? And what do you hope your blog provides your readers?

For me, blogging is a creative outlet. I love writing, and often help friends with styling, shopping and organization –  so being able to share my thoughts on a larger scale is exciting. Unlike some, I blog for my own enjoyment and to help others, NOT to gain popularity. I hope that my readers recognize that they can look put-together, whether professionally or casually, regardless of their financial situation.

 

  • What appeals to you about Studio Manhattan’s products? Which designs/items are your favorites?

Studio Manhattan’s sophisticated-yet-worn look immediately caught my eye. I have a weirdly edgy-yet-feminine style, so industrial art on the high quality materials makes me really love Studio Manhattan’s products.

My favorite item, the American flag clutch, can be worn with a dress for a night out, or carried with jeans and a t-shirt on a weekend brunch date. The clutch even comes with a skinny strap, so it can double as a small cross-body purse. Being a blogger who focuses on fashion on a budget, I especially appreciate that Studio Manhattan’s products are super versatile.

Spotted

At times, when you’re focused on the logistics of running a business, it’s easy to lose sight of the art that you create. When that happens, someone needs to remind you to adjust your lens a bit. At Studio Manhattan, we’re very lucky because we don’t just have someone, we have several — several fans, that is. And nothing makes us happier than being reminded by our fans that, in their lives, our art is always in focus. So here’s to them.