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Interview with Well-Known Turkish Designer Niyazi Erdoğan

Fashion Industry News

Interview with Well-Known Turkish Designer Niyazi Erdoğan

By August, 2020April 16th, 2022No Comments

Niyazi Erdoğan, who has been blending global fashion trends and his cultural background in successful collections for more than 10 years, gave an exclusive interview to IFA Paris Istanbul right before his first digital fashion show for the MBFWI (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul) in September.

Niyazi Erdogan, has been preparing collections for international brands such as Zara, Esprit, Pull & Bear and Tommy Hilfiger, shared his carrier path and design process with us on this special interview.

IFA Paris Istanbul: How was the Niyazi Erdoğan brand born and could you tell about your career transition from architectural education to fashion industry?

Niyazi Erdoğan: After graduating from ITU-Faculty of Architecture in 1999, I started working as a professional architect. I was in a constant research about what I could add to the education I received. I decided to study for a master’s degree on architectural history while doing research on subjects such as advertising and film directing.

Niyazi Erdoğan

Niyazi Erdoğan

On the other hand, I had an interest for fashion design as long as I can remember. But I was not sure about how to shift to another industry or what I would encounter. That’s why I attended a summer school in Parsons School of Design Paris, and when I returned in 2003, I made it to the finals in the young fashion designers competition organized by ITKIB (Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Association). The fashion adventure started after this competition. After gaining some industry experience for a while I evaluated the job offers and opened my own design office in 2006. I started to provide design consultancy services to local brands and export companies. I decided to make my own name brand in 2009 and I have been preparing men’s collections ever since.

IFA Paris Istanbul: Did studying architecture have any contributions or difficulties in the design and production process?

Niyazi Erdoğan: During the first transition period, I had difficulties in the design process. As opposed to architecture being a more objective discipline, fashion is a more personal design branch. I adapted to this in a short time. I have greatly benefited from the discipline and systematic work that both my character and architectural education brought me. Preparing collections for men as a discipline is very close to architecture. Both require producing rational solutions in limited areas with rich details.

IFA Paris Istanbul: You brought technology and digitalization together with fashion, and carried out many different projects with an innovative approach in your designs. What did you do, what was your starting point, could you talk about them?

Niyazi Erdoğan: It is necessary to have innovative approaches not only in production but in all processes of fashion design. From communication to the service you provide to the consumer. First of all, we launched our online store and aimed to reach a number of people that we could not reach before. We use social media extensively in terms of communication and we give news from our design processes or new products. Besides, at our Tenth Anniversary Exhibition, we collaborated with a start-up project called MYSIZE ID. It was a project that aimed to maximize consumer satisfaction in digital integration and online shopping. These days, we are going digital in our design process. In a program called CLO 3D, we implement our designs and prepare them for presentation without entering the sample process.

IFA Paris Istanbul: What do you think the pandemic process will change in the fashion industry, will new normals create new fashion trends?

Niyazi Erdoğan

Niyazi Erdoğan

Niyazi Erdoğan: The pandemic process has affected the fashion industry as well as many areas of life. We will see the results of this more in the future. What matters is here that the consumer behavior and people’s adaptation to every situation have gained an incredible speed. The fact that it is possible to meet the needs with online shopping at home will affect the collection structures in the future. I think collections that can be selected more easily than digital and do not require trial will increase. Sharp seasonal distinctions will gradually fade and the colors used will gain variety.

IFA Paris Istanbul: What do you think about the changing and digitalizing Fashion Weeks across the globe, does their effect and splendor decrease with this process?

Niyazi Erdoğan: Fashion is a social concept and directly linked to social structure. Social butterflies trying to appear in the weeks will be a little upset, but for designers or industry professionals like us, the situation may even become more efficient. Fashion weeks, that attract the interest of those who are in the fashion business, will be away from the night club culture.

IFA Paris Istanbul: In addition to your collections over the years, you have prepared successful and original shows in Fashion Weeks. What are you preparing for this year at MBFW Istanbul?

Niyazi Erdoğan: This year MBFWI is happening on a digital basis for the first time. We are preparing the design and presentation process with an innovative vision for a week when its presentation is digital. The entire collection is designed in computer environment and sewn in 3D. We will do a fashion show that we perform on virtual avatars without sewing any samples. I think this will be a first in Turkey.

IFA Paris Istanbul: What would you recommend to more than 1500 students from different countries, who are IFA Paris International Fashion Academy students, based on your industry and experiences?

Niyazi Erdoğan: The toughest process is finding and understanding yourself. Research, reading and traveling are concepts that should not be even mentioned anymore. However, a designer who knows, analyzes and understands himself can make sense of all people and the existence and reflect his difference in his work.

For more infos on our Istanbul campus, please visit: IFA Paris – Istanbul Campus