Aysegül Öz is pursuing her master’s degree in fashion at KASK Ghent, but is already showing tremendous potential. Her chic evening wear shows her mastery of draping, honouring her Turkish roots.
What makes you different from other designers?
I aim to make evening wear in such a way that it is also casual and wearable every day. That’s not an easy balance. There’s also a lot of emotion and depth in my pieces. My Turkish roots are very important. In my designs, I always put the woman at the centre, while unfortunately, in Turkish culture, the oppression of women is still very real. I use those underlying emotions as my inspiration and translate them into clothing. In my pieces, I often incorporate small details from traditional Ottoman Empire costumes in a modern way. At the moment I’m mainly focusing on my studies, but after my master’s I want to develop my own brand further. I have no intention of going to Paris or Berlin. First, I want to see what’s possible in Belgium, because there’s not much competition in the area of evening wear.
How do you combine the artistic and business side of things?
‘I want to push my creativity to the limit, but of course it also has to sell and be wearable for the customer. I want to make crazy pieces but also more commercial pieces. Just not too commercial. I made my first collection for sale for ZEB (Belgian clothing chain – ed.). Along with four other young designers, I received their Young Talents Award. I based that line on my third-year bachelor collection, which was very arty. For ZEB it had to be more commercial, but I’m proud that my concept remained strong. This shows that you can combine both worlds perfectly.
How do you deal with sustainability?
From the second year of my bachelor’s, I’ve mainly bought second-hand pieces and no new fabrics. I also want to take sustainability into account in my own brand. I’m already sure I don’t want to go into fast fashion. I always want to work as exclusively as possible. For example, the collection with ZEB is a limited edition. It’s not continuously produced, and the pieces are high quality so you can keep them longer. We all need to learn to live more minimally; we don’t need that much.