Interview: Raisa and Vanessa Sason
You designed your first bag at the age of 15. When did you decide to pursue fashion design as a profession?Raisa “After we got our start with bags in high school, we went on to design bikinis and apparel for a polo team outside of Turkey. But as soon as we designed our first bag, we knew we wanted to be in this business.” What was the best part of designing a capsule collection for Trendyol?Raisa “We used to brainstorm ideas on how to put together a collection that’s both accessible and affordable. When Trendyol called us up, what excited us the most was the idea of creating a collection that anyone could buy.” Raisa & Vanessa is best known as a couture brand. How do you adapt your designs to today’s fast-paced lifestyle?Vanessa “Street style has started to have a huge impact on fashion. Designs we thought would be impossible to see on the runway 20 years ago are now being embraced by couturiers. The reason behind this is the increasing influence of street style on fashion trends. Tech products and innovative fabrics are also a part of our lives these days, and they enable us to design pieces we normally couldn’t.” We have to ask: do you often come up with similar designs, being identical twins and all?Raisa “Our passion for design was actually born out of the fact that we’re twins. We were in the same predicament as every other pair of twins – namely, being dressed the same by our family – so we decided to modify our look, starting with our clothes. We’re still influenced
This weekend (June 18-19), be sure to stop by Bomontiada for Souq Sayfiye, a two-day shopping event hosted by Souq that brings together the summer-approved pieces we’ve been lusting after from major Turkish brands. There’s an endless number of items to fall in love with, including men’s swimwear and t-shirts from Bey Karaköy, handmade kimonos from Vajra, sunglasses and beach accessories from Boho Vesper, peshtemals from Bravoistanbul, swimsuits and bikinis from 5thPosition as well as temporary tattoos from the Brooklyn-based online shop Tattly.
Scarved for attention: Debunk’s new collection
If you were to call Debunk a tool of protest, you’d be right. The brand’s aim is to go boldly against every type of doctrine imposed on society by critiquing popular culture, political views and fashion trends. The woman leading this rebellion is İrem Erman, who started Debunk with “Wear your opinion” as her motto. As the founder and designer of Debunk, Erman says all of her collections seek to provide criticism, and will continue to do so, as this is the attribute that forms the backbone of her brand. Take the names of two of Debunk’s previous collections for example: “Dear Motivation, Where Are You?” and “Freedom Fighters.” According to Erman, the latter was a reference to the limitations imposed by governments around the world, including right here in Turkey, on the rights of citizens to protest. The new collection, “They,” which comes out this month, focuses on the theme of surveillance as it’s left its mark on modern life, particularly given the evolution of social media. “We’re being systematically watched, followed and labeled,” Erman says of the idea behind Debunk’s latest collection. Debunk currently only sells scarves, which Erman believes is an accessory that’s “easy to use yet still challenging.” “A simple scarf tied around your neck is powerful enough to change your whole look,” she says. “It becomes the dominant piece in any outfit.” The scarf may be a seasonless and timeless accessory that’s able to go with any outfit, but it’s up to the wearer’s imaginatio
What to wear this summer
Beach looks Lightweight pants are the item to have this season, whether you’re relaxing on the beach or hanging out by the pool. These flowy, wide-leg bottoms are ideal for those times when you want to look effortlessly chic while remaining comfortable. And since matching sets are so on trend right now, don’t hesitate to go bold and wear the same pattern on your top half. The ideal bag A summertime bag must be lightweight above all else. The popular style this season is colorful and roomy enough for daily use. These functional, chic totes embrace the energy of summer through rich patterns – the ideal choice for the city as well as the seaside. Multitaskers We can’t stress this enough: summer means comfort. According to Eskinazi, the most transportable pieces of the season are patterned linen mini dresses and jumpers. These designs take up little room in your suitcase and can easily go from day to night, making them summertime staples for on-the-go style. To get even more mileage out of your beach pants, we suggest pairing it with a patterned silk blouse for an elegant dinner look. Taka products are sold at Miniko in Asmalımescit. For more info click here.
Popular Istanbul shops
When it comes to denim wear, Blue Matters is the local brand to watch.
With the same name as the store, the brand’s first season featured cashmere sweaters and lots of wool coats that match well with sneakers. The Wunder vintage collection features pieces from the 80’s and 90’s collected from different countries around the world. Wunder also features products like books, watches, and candles. In short, Wunder sells a lifestyle inspired by street fashion.
Kia Ora's handbag revolution
Before they started to work magic with leather at Kia Ora in 2014, Melis Erdoğan and Ceylan Toplamaoğlu led highly successful corporate careers. Erdoğan studied international management and economics in the States, while Toplamaoğlu studied brand management in Italy and went on to offer consulting services to many accessories and footwear brands, actively taking part in the design and production processes. In other words, the duo was fully armed with all of the experience and knowledge they needed to establish Kia Ora. The leather I live in Erdoğan and Toplamaoğlu intend for their designs to be “timeless, high-quality accessories that can be heirloom pieces.” To achieve this, they chose to focus on leather, a living material that breathes and gets better with age. The result was a resounding success, as Kia Ora managed to fit immensely popular designs in colors that have become the brand’s signature within the span of a year. In its first season, Kia Ora produced seven models, all handcrafted right here in Istanbul. The designs – which are divided into two seasons in accordance with the international fashion calendar – have become staple pieces for those who adopt the brand’s motto of “understated elegance.” Kia Ora’s use of leather-on-leather has become a trademark of the brand. More than a design feature, this strategic move also enables the brand to differentiate its products from others, as all big accessory labels do. Although the designs are generally done in e
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