Love For Leather

The founders and makers of UNIQKA, Kerem Aris and Merve Parnas passionately love leather. In collaboration with the designers around the world, they create unique handmade products that are completely sustainable.

Merve & Kerem

UNIQKA: a design brand

UNIQKA is an Istanbul-based design brand, focusing on craft and material. The emphasis is on the versatility and elegance of leather. Carrying forward the heritage of art and craftsmanship of four generations, UNIQKA offers timeless pieces for living spaces.

Kerem Aris and Merve Parnas; the duo behind UNIQKA

Kerem and Merve share a passion for creativity and in creating the brand UNIQKA focusing on leather material, they are following a common dream. Both Kerem and Merve are highly inspired by Kerem’s father, Koray Aris, a renowned sculptor who has been working with leather for the past 50 years.

Kerem: “It feels like we are carrying forward the heritage by giving shape to new objects. Our motto is love for leather!”

UNIQKA: Love for Leather

Kerem and Merve love leather, because it is natural and versatile. Leather is their signature material and they love combining leather with other materials.

Kerem: “Leather is unique. It is not a uniform material, because it is natural. As humans, we are also unique. Any moment in our lives is unique. The magic in handicraft is that each unique second spent in the making of a product is preserved in the DNA of that product. Each UNIQKA product has a history. Each UNIQKA product is unique.”

How Kerem and Merve work

Kerem and Merve believe in the excellence of handicraft and they are proud to say that all their products are handmade. They feel handmade objects carry a part of human life and embody a story. There is an emotion and a connection between the maker and the user; sharing emotions and honouring the heritage.

Kerem and Merve contribute to circular economy

Merve: “Leather is a by-product of the food chain. We use that by-product to give life to objects that will live forever.
We use cowhide leather from cattle that is raised in an environmental friendly way in Europe and South America. It comes to us, to be transformed into other forms and to become eternal. We value leather, each piece of leather is very precious and we minimise waste by designing new products where we can use the leftover pieces.”

Kerem and Merve form a good team for UNIQKA

Kerem and Merve are not only business partners but also life partners.
Kerem Aris is a designer, who creates for UNIQKA. He as well is the art director of the brand and is responsible for product design and production processes.

Merve Parnas has extensive experience of retail, luxury brands, merchandising and trend analysis. Merve is responsible for UNIQKA’s sales, marketing and communication, and supports the design team with research and trend analysis, as well as contributing by working in the workshop.