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Timeless designs by Academia

Neslihan Gezent, the Design Manager at Academia which has blazed a trail in men’s fashion in Turkey, defines their current collection as a rebellion against classical menswear. Gezent told us about the creative journey of Academia 2021 Spring/Summer collection.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I’ve been working at Beymen since the establishment of Academia Men’s collection. For six years, I was responsible for the designs of both Beymen Club’s menswear and Academia Men’s Collection. Before that, I worked as a designer for brands such as Calvin Klein and Cynthia Rowley in New York.

What’s your favourite part of being a designer? I love seeing my designs on people. What I love the most about being a designer is that it’s a job that requires constant research and creativity.

We have recently been distant from many sources of inspiration such as travel and art with the obligatory limitations in our lives. What inspired you to make this collection? The beginning of the lockdown coincided with the time we started working on Academia 2021 Spring/Summer collection. For the first time ever, I could concentrate only on the collection for months in a restricted space. When I finally took a break, I had the chance to see the movies on my watchlist and finish the books I hadn’t had a chance to read for a long time. Lockdown feeds one’s imagination. You can imagine yourself to be in the most exotic and different places. Blood Orange’s music video “Call Me”, Yoshiuki Yatsuda’s photographs from Japanese markets, Toshio Saeki x Supreme collection, and watching Parasite and rewatching Lost in Translation guided me towards Asian themes.

What do you think about Academia Men’s Collection’s evolution since its inception? Academia Men’s Collection started very small. Its interpretation of fashion which is modern, idiosyncratic, and different gained clarity over the years. Now, it’s a collection that reaches big masses, but it also is a rebellion against classical Turkish menswear.

What are your favourite pieces in Academia 2021 Spring/ Summer Men’s Collection? Shirts with bandana patterns, and white leather trucker and metal-clip pants are among my favourites.

Which celebrity or film would best reflect Academia 2021 Spring/Summer Men’s Collection? Wong Kar-wai (especially 2046) and Yasujiro Ozu’s films accompanied by a soundtrack by the Wu-Tang Clan.

Men’s fashion weeks are being held on “phygital” platforms that intertwine physical and digital platforms. What do you think this implies for the future of fashion?

No matter how digitalized fashion becomes, it always needs human interaction. Online platforms and social media are among the most significant sales channels for fashion and it dramatically influences classical retailing. In the future, we may see an increase in virtual shopping experiences, and new adventures at physical stores.


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