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Şansım Adalı & Eda Gürkaynak TRAILBLAZERS IN FASHION



Two pioneering women in Turkish fashion: Şansım Adalı is the creator of the brand Sudi Etuz which, since its foundation, has interpreted fashion with high innovation and artistic visual integrity. Eda Gürkaynak is the founder of OriginalSeconds, the second-hand luxury fashion platform that aims to become an alternative cycling fashion movement for a sustainable future. Adalı and Gürkaynak came together for a fun photoshoot.


Shoes: Versace, Beymen

Earrings: Begüm Khan


You are the first designer in Turkey to use VR technology in a fashion show. As someone who closely follows technological developments and adapts these to her brand, how do you see the digitalisation of fashion?


We were prepared for a similar situation with our initial VR studies. In fact, these developments are a reflection of the need for a revolution in the textile and fashion industries, which was brought to the forefront with the pandemic. Millions of items manufactured, products waiting in warehouses, giant supply chains… We saw how all this can create a vicious problem that cannot be solved. When we asked how we could make this better, we found the answer in technology and the digital. Now, designs are created digitally instead of physical samples, eliminating the problem of fabric clippings. We’ve begun to see how presentations can be effectively fit into short periods of time instead of large-scale organisations and how much we can reduce the carbon footprint with these implementations.


Though digital clothing contributes to sustainability in terms of eco-friendliness and using less resources, it is also criticised for further accelerating the fast-paced consumption rate, which gained momentum with social media, and for the inadequacy of the virtual to altogether replace reality. What do you think about this?


Virtual reality is pure reality. We’ve come to realise that and have implemented it to an extent in our lives. In the future, big operations will be replaced by more minimal, result-oriented efforts and formats that can be modified from all corners of the world. It’s crucial to be ready for this when the virtual contents we experience (or believe to be experiencing) entirely transform into reality. It’s hardly possible to differentiate 3-D collection pieces from a physical fabric; you can see how it will look on a person from every angle and experience it without actually wearing it. This is a great source of hope for the world. We need to make large efforts to minimise the lasting damages of the textile and fashion industries. There has been an effective increase in the accessibility of giant productions, or our designs, for the rest of the world via a few minutes’ long video attached to an email. Other happy developments include minimising the costs, waste, flights, and related harmful consequences of big fashion events. The physical performance of a fashion show and the experience of gathering with different people around the same energy can be priceless; however, we had to stop at some point to keep doing fashion. All brands have experienced this, and the future will be much less damaging. I hope so.


Metaverse, NFTs, AI influencers, VR fashion shows… Everything is evolving at incredible speed, and this has presented the fashion industry, which was in dire need for transformation, new areas to explore. Which brand(s) or application(s) do you enjoy or find inspiring?


The soon-to-be-released mobile application that enables users to communicate with our AI-supported lifestyle astrologist SUI-D, launched in February 2021. There’s also Hirokazu Yokohara, not as an application but as an artist, Horizon Metaverse. dressX, with which we’ve collaborated for our two last collections, is a wonderful platform where we sell 3-D clothing with the latest technology. It’s exciting to see our designs used in games and metaverse.


“VIRTUAL REALITY IS PURE REALITY. WE’VE COME TO REALISE THAT AND HAVE IMPLEMENTED IT TO AN EXTENT IN OUR LIVES. WE NEED TO MAKE LARGE EFFORTS TO MINIMISE THE LASTING DAMAGES OF THE TEXTILE AND FASHION INDUSTRIES.”


Earrings: Begüm Khan


What kind of digital transformation awaits Sudi Etuz in the future?


Our mobile application will be released very soon; we have worked on it for a year as a big team. We will also launch an important collaboration this spring. I think we’ve transformed completely; we’ve been working on this for four seasons and now, we can create our designs in the digital world as well from clothing to speech and capturing a moment at a fashion show.


Everybody knows that self-expression is a currency and design is a way of expressing it. Since its foundation Sudi Etuz has succeeded in being a liberated, innovative, and genderless brand. Do you believe that the fashion industry has become more comprehensive and lost its aesthetic prejudices?


Definitely. The introduction of the concept of gender fluidity into fashion has refined both fashion and other industries in the way abstract art meets various forms of expression.


What inspired your 2022 Spring/Summer collection?


This season, I dedicated my collection “Dalyan” to my father. In fact, my inspiration is hidden in the name of my brand. The story begins with the last name “Sudi” given to my family who migrated from Syria to Adana in the late 19th century and continues with them building a fishing farm in Dalyan. I grew up at that fishing farm, placed within the magnificent lagoons of Adana and run by our family for generations. I wanted this collection to reflect my childhood dreams, my fantasies originating from the sea, and how the place I grew up is preserved as part of natural heritage.


If you had to use a single material to design collections from now on, which material would you choose?


Recycled or upcycled denim. They’re amazing!


Earrings: Editor's own


Back when second-hand clothing hadn’t become trendy, your mother founded OriginalSeconds. Then, you and your sister became a part of this project. Can you tell us about the starting point of this concept?


OriginalSeconds was founded 15 years ago by my mother and aunt, inspired by the second-hand stores in New York. They started this journey with their friends and grew over time to sell their products at various e-commerce platforms. I worked at finance and tech start-ups in New York. When I came back to Turkey, I combined my experiences with fashion, an area that has always interested me, and decided to expand OriginalSeconds and make it more tech-adapted. I was granted a small investment, put together a team, rebranded the company, developed the technology, and recreated our website. We’re getting ready for a new investment tour and will be taking even bigger steps soon.


Consumption has accelerated tremendously, and you contribute to sustainable fashion by giving a second chance to the designs of luxury brands and elongating their lifespan. What else about your job motivates you?


OriginalSeconds is a brand that has been in my life for 15 years and has almost become one with me and my style. It’s a great source of motivation for me to manage a company that has been identified with my name. Thanks to OriginalSeconds, I have access both to products that exceed my budget and to unique items. I think this enables me to create a more idiosyncratic style. My greatest motivation is to make fashion both environmentally and financially sustainable.





Boots: Editor's own

Shoes: The Attico, Beymen

Ring: Başak Baykal Jewelry


Though it is still too early to talk about second-hand digital fashion, what kind of plans does OriginalSeconds have in terms of digital transformation?


I’ve looked a little bit into what OriginalSeconds can do to enter the world of NFTs. However, it’s still too disorganised, and the maker has to be the creator in order for art to be valuable. So we don’t own the rights to our second-hand products in the world of NFTs. Our ears are open as to what we can do for metaverse, but we’re not doing anything yet. However, we’ll be using artificial intelligence for processes such as determining the price of second-hand products and how much/by whom they will be demanded, offering a customised experience, creating recommendation algorithms, and bringing vendors and buyers together in the most optimum way. The combination of these two disciplines excites me both as a person and on behalf of my company. It’s a valuable thing for me to reshape the philosophy of second-hand clothing with a format that speaks a more contemporary language and is more suitable to our daily habits, and to turn it into a culture passed down from one generation to next, just like it has been in my family.


You also have an upcycled product group where you reuse damaged and unsold products, and this income is donated to Yuvam Dünya Derneği. How did this project come about?


Lal, the founder of the brand Cekette, is a close friend of mine. Due to faulty mass production during the foundation of her brand, she had a large amount of surplus materials. During a brainstorming session, we decided to upcycle OriginalSeconds’ second-hand luxury brand pieces that are damaged or haven’t been sold for a long time with the surplus materials of Cekette. Our project aimed to elongate the life cycle of well-preserved products and to create awareness by contributing to sustainable fashion. So, we believed donating our revenue to Yuvam Dünya Derneği would serve the vision of our project. We will continue our upcycled series with local brands. We’ve already begun thinking about our next collection!


Earrings: Başak Baykal Jewelry


What inspires you recently?


I love people and am nourished by them. I believe the most inspiring thing in the world is for people to explore themselves and to create their own happiness. When I meet people like this, I listen to their stories and share them on social media #ilhamverenlerbyEda. I think understanding people lies at the heart of inspiring them. It’s important to value the little moments in life and more important to share them with others. A few days ago, I ran into a group of older men who were fishing along Bebek Coast; they were drinking beer and eating fish sandwiches. I sat among them and joined their conversation. They told me that they meet every morning during weekends to have breakfast and then to fish and dinner in the evening. This inspired me greatly about the simple joys of life. I care about collecting and sharing such moments.


Shoes: Fangitalyofficial


 

Editor in Chief: İrem Bakic & Selim Can Çelik

Digital Content Manager: Gökhan Oğuz Ünal

Photography: Memet Erol

Photography Assistants: Melis Albayrak & Furkan Kumas & Çağdaş Sezgin

Styling: İbrahim Duman

Styling Assistant: Vedat Esendere

Hair: Ferit Belli

Makeup: Özge Taş Özmen

Production: Müge Sarıoğlu

Production Assistant: Merve Ünal

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