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Istanbul Fashion Week

 Istanbul Fashion Week

Istanbul Fashion Week If baking in the sun on a hot Mediterranean beach becomes a bit much - you can always put away the sunscreen and hop on a flight to Istanbul and attend the Istanbul Fashion Week. During Fashion Week the city is alive with designers, models, celebrities and thousands of serious fashionistas.

In tune with Istanbul being chosen as the European Capital of Culture in 2010, the city hosted the 4th annual Istanbul Fashion Week for the Fall/Winter 2011/2012 collections. The events were held at Santralistanbul from February 3rd to February 6th 2011. Over 40,000 visitors attending the 21 fashion shows with such famous designers as Arzu Kaprol, Atıl Kutoğlu, Tuvanam, Gamze Saraçoglu, Mehtap Elaidi and Gël Agis. Also in attendance were over 500 foreign journalists present at the runway shows and at the CPI trade show evidencing Istanbul Fashion Weeks draw of international media attention.

The 4th edition of Istanbul Fashion Week not only showed Turkeys pre-eminence in the textile industry, but its fast emerging design and creative talents. The influence of Anatolian and Ottoman culture are often reflected in the diverse, colorful and unique modern designs of Turkish fashion designers. The history, traditions and culture that marks Istanbul as one of the most inspiring cities in the world will no doubt mark the influence of Turkey on international fashion.

Istanbul Fashion Week 2010 brought about 38,000 visitors to the city of which 8,000 were from foreign countries generating over 11 million dollars to the city economy during the four days of the event. Istanbul is the place to be during the week of the Istanbul Fashion Week with everything from entertainment venues to restuarants and bars in the city offering special activities catering to the fashion orientated visitors flocking into the city.

A number of celebrities were present in Istanbul, including the American actress Dita Von Teese and the top model Irina Shayk who modeled for local designers Damat Tween. Other well known models were German model Franziska Knuppe, American model Giorgio Cooper and model Christelle Koko amongst the prominent names modeling for the Atıl Kutoğlu fashion show. Last year’s event was opened by American actress Meg Ryan and hosted famous models like Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Alexandra Richards - the daughter of Rolling Stone’s guitarist Keith Richards, as well as Anna Kournikova, the professional tennis champion.

For more information bookmark the Istanbul Fashion Week website currently undergoing changes for the next fashion week in Istanbul at: ifw2012.com

Turkish Fashion Designers

A sampling of some of the fashion designers in Turkey who often possess Ottoman, Turkish and Byzantine inspirations from the Turkish culture and bring them into the present in their fashions.

Zeynep TosunZeynep Tosun went to Milano to study fashion design after graduating from Işık University in Istanbul. She took classes at Instiituto Di Marangoni for a year, and then obtained her master’s degree at the same school. She also worked at Alberta Ferretti for one year and designed for Alberta Ferretti and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti. Later, Tosun returned to Turkey and participated in a competition of young fashion designers, which was organized by İTKİB in 2007, and received third prize. She is one of the eight young designers, who were selected for the Designloft, which was founded by Esin Maraşlıoğlu. For a short while, Tosun worked as a design assistant at Ece Ege’s Machka. Tosun then founded her own brand and opened her workshop in Istanbul.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: zeyneptosun.com




Gül AğışGül Ağış was born in Istanbul. She studied fashion design at Istituto Marangoni in Milano. She then continued her master’s degree on design at Politecnico di Milano University. After she worked in Costume National brand for 4 years, Ağış returned to Istanbul. She has designed over 55 brands such as H&M, Mango, Vero Moda, and Only for 3 years. In addition, she taught fashion art and design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In 2010, Ağış had her fashion show with her brand “Lug Von Siga” in the Istanbul Fashion Week. Gül Ağış, also known as the fashion designer who rejected Christian Dior’s job offer, was featured at the Istanbul Fashion Week, or IFW, on Aug. 26, 2010, in a joint show that included six other fashion designers including Zeynep Erdoğan and Zeynep Tosun. Gül has her own boutique in Nişantaşı in the heart of the fashion and luxury brands in Istanbul. Ağış also gives lectures at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York on Fashion Art and Design.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: lugvonsiga.com




Ümit ÜnalÜmit Ünal began working in his father’s “Master Craft” textile / fashion workshop at the age of eight. This Istanbul based workshop was where Ünal honed his technical skills and knowledge of the industry. He graduated from the Department of Archeology and Art History at Istanbul University in 1989; the Textile Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Marmara University in 1993. Ünal currently runs his private atelier in Istanbul, where he designs and creates his pieces with a team of 15 artists and craftsmen. His designs can be found worldwide in 13 countries. Ünal served as the Turkish delegate in ICC (International Color Commission) between 1996 and 2007. He has presented fashion shows in Athens, Portugal, Bulgaria and Tokyo on international basis.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: umitunal.com




Arzu KaprolEce Ege was born in Bursa in 1963. In 1992, she founded Dice Kayek brand with her sister, Ayşe Ege in Paris. Ege created 13 shirts in white poplin for her first collection in 1991. The success led to the launching of her pret a porter line Dice Kayek in 1992. Since 1992, her brand Dice Kayek has participated in the Paris Fashion Week, which has been held twice in a year in the Louvre in Paris. With her brand Dice, their second line also launched in 1994. In 2003, Ege was chosen Femme en Or, which is an award given to the most successful women in France. In the same year, Dice Kayek was included in the project Turquality, which aimed at localization of Turkish products in abroad. Dice Kayek collaborated with Japanese companies such as Mitsui&Co, Hanae Mori and Itochu Corporation Textile Division as well as Korean companies including Jindo F& Co. and Su International. In 2004, Ege undersigned in the Kinetix - Dice Kayek KNX project. In 2005, Ece worked as an advisor for Monoprix and La Redoute. In 2006, she established Machka brand collaborating with İpekyol Company. Ece and Ayşe invited international press, broadcast and foreign media such as Le Figaro, L’Express, Le Nouvel Observateur, Euro News, CNN, and TV5 to Turkey and realized many programs, which introduced Turkish creative and modern face to the world. In 2006, Ece and Ayşe opened their first boutique in Paris, Saint Germain des Prés and have launched their collections with the etiquette of “Made in Turkey” to over 35 countries in the world. Their brand gives support to the aid project for destitute children in the third countries, which is organized by UNICEF and Croix Rouge.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: dicekayek.com/




Arzu KaprolArzu Kaprol, born in Bursa in 1972, studied fashion design and graduated from Mimar Sinan University in 1992 as well as the Paris American Academy in 1994. In 1995, she won first prize in the Beymen Academia New Talents Competition and founded her own office in Nişantaşı. Since then, Kaprol has participated in many fashion trade shows and fashion weeks in Istanbul, Milan, Paris and Dusseldorf. She is actively involved not only in the management of her company but also in designing phase of her company’s product line. Since 2002, Kaprol has acted as the creative director of Network, the leading brand of Ay Marka Mağazacılık and Que brand. She has also designed home products under the name of Arzu Kaprol Home Collection for the Linens shops. Kaprol couture line is launched at her concept stores in Istanbul, Bursa and Antalya; and the pret-a-porter de luxury line is launched in Europe, China and Japan through showrooms located in Madrid and Hong Kong.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: arzukaprol.net




Atil KutoğluBorn in Istanbul in 1968, Atil Kutoğlu graduated from the German Lycée in Istanbul and went to Vienna, Austria to study business administration. When still at high school in Istanbul he was already freelancing for the country’s leading fashion companies Vakko and Beymen. Since 1999, Atil Kutoglu has been presenting his collections at the New York Fashion Week with a fashion show. In 2009, he opened the first “Kutoglu flagship store” in Turkey. The 170 m2 store is located in the trendy Nişantaşı neighbourhood in Istanbul and has been designed by the Italian architect Claudio Nardi with an airy but minimalist concept. In 2009 and 2010 Atil Kutoglu opened the newly featured “IFW – Istanbul Fashion Week” with fashion shows, sending international topmodel friends like Alek Wek, Alexandra Richards and Franziska Knuppe on his catwalk. Clients and admirers of the Kutoglu designs include members of the aristocracy and show business personalities such as actresses Jessica Alba, Molly Sims, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anna Paquin, Princess Ira von Fürstenberg, Princess Michael of Kent, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Archduchesse Francesca von Habsburg of Austria, Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe, Arriana Boardman, Mica Ertegün, Naomi Campbell, Elizabeth Jagger, Karolina Kurkova, Heidi Klum, Gabi Pröll, wife of the Vice-Prime Minister of Austria and Dr.Claudia Schmied, Austrian minister for Arts, Culture and Education.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: atilkutoglu.com




Gamze SaraçoğluGamze Saraçoğlu graduated from Işık University. She pursued a pre-MBA degree at Marmara University. In 2002, she went to the US and studied at the Parson’s School of Design in New York. She also attended a prestigious course at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. In 2004, Saraçoğlu founded her own brand - Gamze Saraçoğlu Fashion Design Studio in Istanbul. Her products are launched not only in Istanbul but also Paris, London, Copenhagen and across the rest of Europe. She took part in Istanbul Fashion Design 1-2, Fashion Week, Istanbul Street Fair, Istanbul Design Week and Address Istanbul-Wedding Dress Fair in 2006; Who’s Next-Paris, Pure London-London, and SIMM-Madrid in 2007; Pure London-London and Pret A Porter Atmosphere-Paris in 2008. In 2007, Saraçoğlu became the Creative Director of Saydam Tektil. She also undertook the position of creative director at MRM Leather Company. She designed for Zara, Marks&Spencer, Kokooi, Nafnaf, Etam, Promod, Chevignon and Apple. In 2008, Saraçoğlu prepared designs for the women’s brand of Cottonbar and Boyner Plus Size. She became the designer and the creative director of the brand in 2009. She began teaching classes on Fashion Design at Mimar Sinan University. Saraçoğlu is a board member of the Fashion Design Association, and has her shows every season at Istanbul Fashion Week.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: gamzesaracoglu.com




Bora AksuBora Aksu, born in Turkey, is a London-based Turkish fashion designer. Aksu set up his fashion label upon graduation from his MA at Central Saint Martins. Awarded a New Generation sponsorship, he catapulted straight onto the London Fashion Week scene and has showcased his collections there for eight years. His collection is stocked in Selfridges and Liberty & Co in London, and across the world in Hong Kong, Moscow, Turkey and Tokyo. He has also prepared seven window displays at Selfridges and is a 4 time New Generation recipient.This Turkish-born designer started his own label immediately after graduating from Central St Martins catapulting straight onto the London Fashion Week scene and quickly made a name for himself with his romantic, floaty designs. Subsequent collections have seen Aksu working with other young designers to create metal embellishments or extravagant body jewellery. His signature style is based upon finding the balance point between contrasts - being romantic with a darker twist. His brand new website will launch in September which means customers from the EU can purchase directly from him for the first time. The new tights line produced by an incredible Italian manufacturer finally arrives in September and he is also introducing pre-collections from the autumn/winter 2012 collection.

Biography from: wikipedia.org

Designers Website: boraaksu.com




Bahar KorçanBahar Korçan had an interest in fashion when she was a middle school student. After finishing high school, she went to Paris to study fashion. However she received a good offer from Vitali Hakko and decided to return to Turkey. She later founded her own design brand company, which was the first in Turkey, and participated in many fashion fairs and fashion shows in Turkey and abroad. In 1993, Korçan established a style office, which was also the first in Turkey. With the sponsor of Dusseldorf IGEDO, she participated in a fashion show in the category of New Fashion Generation and her collections, which were made of Turkish regional textiles with historical synthesis, drew big attention. Her collection is full of colors with hidden meanings, such as greens which symbolize hope and deep blacks that show pessimism in the world. Geometric accessories and frock coats are used for decoration transforming the garments into a fun and retro look. In addition to being a fashion designer, Korçan is an essayist and has written the books: “Deli Öyküleri” (Istanbul: Okuyanus publication house, 2002) and “Gelecek Öyküleri” (Istanbul: Okuyanus publication house, 2003). She is the first and only fashion stylist to be a member of the executive board of Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association and is the chairman of the Fashion Design Association. As of today, Korçan continues to create her collections at her own boutique in Galata, Istanbul.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: baharkorcan.org




Rıfat ÖzbekRıfat Özbek was born in Istanbul in 1953. He is known for his exotic, ethnically-inspired outfits. He moved to England in 1970 in order to study architecture at Liverpool University and graduated in 1972. He then studied fashion design at Saint Martin′s School of Art and Design in London between 1974 and 1977. He has designed for the seminal 1970s designer Walter Albini (Trell, Milan) between 1978 and 1980. Özbek then worked as a designer for the chain store Monsoon in London between 1980 and 1984. He founded his own firm, “Ozbek” in London in 1984. He established second line, O, renamed Future Ozbek in 1987. He produced clothes under the license by Aeffe SpA, Italy since 1988. He launched New Age Collection in 1989. In 1995, he produced signature fragrance “Ozbek” and “Özbek 1001”. Özbek also designed carpet for Christopher Farr in 1999. Özbek designed for Pollini brand between 2004 and 2008. After retiring from fashion world, Özbek moved back to Turkey and opened his cushion boutiques in Istanbul. In 2010, Ozbek launched a new business called Yastik which means cushion in Turkish with shops in London, İstanbul and AlaÇati. In 1986 he recieved the Woman Magazine Designer Award, the British Designer of the Year for 1988 and 1992 and the British Glamour Award in 1989.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: yastikbyrifatozbek.com




Hatice GökçeHatice Gökçe was born in Şanlıurfa in 1973. She is the first and foremost name in Men’s Apparel in Turkey. She graduated from Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts in 1998. Having adopted experimental studies and undersigned especially innovative fabric designing, Gökçe acts as a fashion design consultant for major companies of Turkey such as Flokser Group, Abbate, Bil’s Shirts and Erenko Textile, and produces very exclusive solutions. She is also the founder and board member of Fashion Designers Association (MTD) in addition to her active roles in all kinds of civil society and social activities. Gökçe has undersigned many achievements on her avant-garde designs and extraordinary activities both in Turkey and abroad. In addition to many honorable mentions, she received “Unique Design” reward at a contest, which was held in Japan in 1999; and “Best Design” reward with her collection for men at a contest she attended in Turkey in 1998. Gökçe has also performed many fashion shows such as Praise to Light, Authorize and Angel Dust in Dusseldorf and Berlin. While paying due care to create cooperation with professional individuals and incorporations for the purpose of moving the brand “Hatice Gökçe” into the future, she arranges her very unique designs for casual and exclusive use of many successful artists. She has also accomplished exceptional projects for many theater plays and commercials. Gökçe has exhibited her collections at Bread&Butter, Tokyo, CPD Düsseldorf and Pret a Porter shows since 1999.

Biography from: turkishculture.org

Designers Website: haticegokce.com




Pinar ErisPinar Eris is a contemporary designer line that blends aspect of both reality and fantasy. Her collections are edgy yet feminine approach to fashion for the style-conscious woman who might be aware of the latest trends but does her own thing. It's all about the elements of color, texture and artful presentation coming together on a woman's body. Pinar was born and raised in Turkey and moved to Los Angeles, California in 1999. Over the years Pinar developed her artistic talent through variety of channels including poetry, jewelery design, and painting before settling on clothing design. Pinar realized that designing clothes provided her a platform for exploring the various elements of color, form and function while allowing her to express her eclectic artistic vision within a single discipline. Pinar Eris's pieces are fun to wear, a bit avant- garde, expressive and definitely feminine. Her designs have been featured in publications such as LA Weekly, Malibu Art Reviews, Elle, Vision, Fashion Tribes, Gothic Beauty, Neo-Head, Mag, Chaosmagazine, and Trendsetter. Her designs have been worn by ambient rock artist Imogen Heap , British actress Rachel Grant and American Singer Brig Feltus.

Copy by: Pinar Eris

Designers Website: pinareris.com



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