Coquette Boutique is known as an irresistible destination with color, flair, warm hospitality and customer service.Photo by Scottie Taylor Iverson
By Scottie Taylor Iverson
The very chic Meltem Yilmasturk, owner of Coquette BoutiquePhoto by Jeanine Thurston
Meltem Yilmasturk was born and raised in Turkey in a small city with a population of 60,000 – 70,000. Her father was the first college graduate in the family (construction engineer) and the family ran the family businesses that grew to four factories, apartment and office building construction and a hotel.
Meltem’s sense of fashion began when she was 6 years old. The family’s first business was a fabric shop. She had fun unfurling the yardage and playing with the patterns. She was influenced by her parents’ good taste. By the time she was in sixth grade, she was telling her parents what to buy and emphasizing quality over quantity. Her father traveled extensively and would bring home one “killer” outfit for her instead of multiples making the quality over quantity impression indelible.
She went to Istanbul for higher education and studied economics.
“My roommate and best college friend’s entire family were stylists and designers. I was in Heaven,” she said.
One of her roommate’s aunts was a designer who shopped the world. She brought back samples of Armani, Chanel and the likes that filled two rooms.
“We all wore the same size and same size shoes so we played and borrowed and talked fashion for three years,” Meltem said.
One of those family members is now in New York launching her own shoe label after a position as head designer for a large company.
Meltem met her husband, Haluk, during her last year of college. They had a long distance courtship for one year. She was the only person in her family to live outside Turkey. While living in London for seven months to learn English, she found the malls fascinating with their offerings compared to small shops in her own country. Although the selections were overwhelming, she shopped smartly.
Meltem (whose name means sea breeze – from mountain to sea) with her sister Dilek and well-dressed mom Gulseren at a family wedding in Turkey.Photo courtesy of Meltem Yilmasturk
Meltem was from the northern part of Turkey and Haluk was the south so there were numerous engagement celebrations. She returned to Istanbul and worked for a bank and traveled to her fiancé’s hometown for design adjustments and fitting of her gown. Her mother-in-law was into fashion and preferred everything custom created.
Haluk’s brother had been in Denver for 20 years and was Americanized. Haluk came to Denver to earn his masters in Marketing Management at University of Colorado-Denver. Meltem had wanted to settle in New York, but they landed in Denver. Two years after their wedding in Turkey, Meltem was helping her friend, who in 1998 opened Coquette, a boutique in Cherry Creek North. She and Haluk returned to Turkey where they both had corporate jobs – hers with Xerox. After the devastating earthquake that killed 50,000 people, the aftershocks and economic crisis, the couple moved back to Denver. Meltem landed a job the first day and spent six years in retail. When her friend who owned Coquette decided to move, Meltem insisted on purchasing the store.
“My goal is to find the lines that have European flair – classy and elegant. Coquette carries the largest inventory of Joseph Ribkoff in Denver. I chose this line based in Canada because the fabrics are very high quality and the pieces are timeless. I call it updated classic with a European flair,” said Meltem.
She has also carried Komarov for 13 years because the European designer who lives in Los Angeles is an Emmy winner offering very special and distinctive crinkle fabric. Currently, Meltem is focusing on dresses for which Coquette is known.
Lines such as Elena Kattan (European designer whose fabric is from Europe, but cut in Miami where she lives), Desigual, a designer from Spain who features fun, print dresses, skirts and tops. Others include three dots, red23, Tart, level99, Nally and Millie, and Petit Poi.
Meltem gracefully balances business and family and looks chic herself – the best representation of her industry. Her son, who is now in fourth grade, is named Peren, which means North Star and her daughter Lara is 2 years old.
Coquette is located at 3003 E. 3rd Ave. in Cherry Creek North. For more information, call 303-355-7770 or email email@example.com or follow the store Facebook.
Meltem on her wedding day in her custom gownPhoto courtesy of Meltem Yilmasturk
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |