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Celebrating Creativity: Eda Franci ve Seda Aksoy

In 2010, Eda Franci and Seda Aksoy founded the platform “Davet Çok Elbisem Yok” to offer users the opportunity to rent garments from the world’s best fashion designers. They expect the fashion world to sway towards luxury and durable products in the future.

Seda Aksoy Coat: Acne Studios/Beymen

Shoes: Saint Laurent

Eda Franci Coat: Ganni/Vakko

Pants: Her own

Shoes: Saint Laurent

You developed an original idea that had never been done in Turkey before with “Davet Çok Elbisem Yok.” Can you tell us about the foundation of your brand? How did you come up with this idea? I think we should start by talking about the influence of being raised by a well-dressed mother with a sense of style. Our mother has a high-quality selection of stylish and tasteful clothes. This had a great influence on our sense of style so much so that our friends would frequently ask to borrow our clothes, purses, or accessories. The fact that our wardrobe was in demand led us to ask, “Why don’t we rent these?” First, we put our own clothes and our mother’s vintage dresses on lease. After earning some money by renting 100 dresses, we got a small, 80-square-metre shop in Bebek. We had a bigger perspective on this business and decided to study other examples. We did some research in Europe and the U.S. The former was still lagging behind in terms of rental clothing, but we saw a place opened in the U.S. in 2010. Two Harvard alumni entrepreneurs founded a company called “The Runway” and amde a wonderful business model come true. This was highly suitable to what we were doing; it was a promising model which could be integrated into the Turkish market and advocated for saving instead of the consumption craze. “Lots of events to attend but I don’t know what to wear,” was something we often heard from people around us, who didn’t want to wear the same dress twice, partly because of social media. So, we adapted a similar system to the market in Turkey. That’s how “Davet Çok Elbisem Yok” (DCEY) was born.

DCEY is a platform that is particularly helpful for celebrations. What do you think about the transformation of celebration culture in recent years? What are your thoughts on this change?

Marriage celebrations have grown a lot in size. Besides the engagement party, henna night, and wedding ceremony, brides now wear different dresses for their bachelorette party, the ceremony to leave their parent’s house, or the after-party. Since traditions and customs hold greater importance in our culture, it’s important for both the couple and their families to have a unique experience on this day when their lives are coming together. It’s a highly expensive endeavour. This is where we come in since renting is a more attractive alternative than buying. The number of events and organisations has increased dramatically in the last decade during which communication has been done on a tight network of connections. There’s also the sustainability aspect of it. The widespread expansion of celebration culture, especially at such high speed, makes one think about the high level of consumption. Today, consumers can easily access information thanks to technology and increase their awareness about keeping up with fashion trends without needing to buy clothes. All in all, this change in celebration culture proves how on-point our business model has been.

You say that DCEY aims to show that a sustainable philosophy, luxury, and sharing can co-exist. How do you see the future of fashion in this context? Sustainability matters a lot to us. We can see how it’s becoming a global trend thanks to the new generation’s self-learning tendencies. The biggest problem of this century is what we call “fast fashion.” The biggest retailers of the age continue to open up stores all across the world and the pieces sold in these stores change up fast. Brands in the upper segment launch two collections a year while fast fashion brands can create up to 12 collections a year. These collections are manufactured in large volumes. Consequently, 93 million tons of clothing are estimated to go to waste or are burned every year. This means that every hour a truckload of clothing is destroyed. The global carbon footprint of the fashion industry is constantly growing. This is because people’s shopping habits have evolved towards this in the last decade. As people consumed more by buying cheaper textile items with low quality and limited lifespan, the fast fashion industry has become responsible for 10% of the global carbon emission. Thanks to the fact that this kind of information is easily accessible with technology and that the new generation is actively using social media in this context, the concept of sustainability has finally started getting the attention it deserves. We guess the fashion industry will start slowing down and people will start preferring luxury and durable products. Consumers will gradually lean towards products that are made by small-scale and local businesses instead of mass manufacturing. Hand workmanship and durability will come to the forefront along with brands that take social costs into consideration for pricing. In order to become a more ethical future with our eco-friendly and long-lived products, we are determined to discover new methods and to further our position on this issue.

Do you have any new projects planned? We definitely do. We always invest in technology and keep up with the innovation that would improve our infrastructure. We started operating in London. Europe is next on our radar. We’re very excited about it. We’re happy to carry our business model abroad. Besides, we wanted to include DCEY customers in the platform and created a rental/sales platform called “Become a Lender.” Users can upload images of their products, whose retail sales price is over 5,000 TRY, and can turn them into investments. They can add any items they want to sell or rent via DCEY’s platform. The consumers’ access to luxury items in the second-hand market through online rental platforms hints at the new modes of consumption. The concept of “ownership” is being replaced by use value as people grow more and more interested in second-hand items. We believe this business model will be highly successful.

What are your favourite aspects of your job? Our business model constantly invites us to challenge ourselves. Some of our favourite aspects of it are constantly thinking and questioning, pushing the limits, having long meetings with our team, and reaching an agreement with a sense of satisfaction and celebration. Besides, we’re also very happy to always offer something to our customers’ liking thanks to our capacity to cater to a majority. Entrepreneurship requires both courage and believing in your idea. We’ve never stopped believing in our job. That’s why we were never afraid of failure. In the end, empowered by our passion for fashion, we’ve created a brand that focuses on unique shopping experiences.

Photography SAMET TURKAN Photography Assistant: MELİH ARAN





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