Tuesday, February 22, 2011



Occupation: Fashion Designer
City: Toronto, Canada

"Life is all about creating one's own destiny, following up instincts and never giving up on goals along the way..." - Merve

Merve is a young fashion designer from Turkey, who came to Canada in search of her dream. Her passion for fashion and designing began in Ankara where she decided to start her fashion education. After moving to Toronto, she graduated with Honours from the Fashion Arts Program at Seneca College.

Merve takes inspiration from observing the world around her: urban life, people in the streets, fabrics, colours and music... Her designs are both edgy and sophisticated and urban and feminine. As an added Merve signature, she incorporates wires into her collection to add uniqueness. The women wearing Merve's designs are powerful, unique, distinctive, and energetic. They are women who are not afraid to be seen, not afraid to stand out from the crowd, and not afraid to experiment.

With a clear vision of her goals, this talented and ambitious young woman will certainly go far.

Read an exclusive interview for the Fashion Studio below:

FASHION STUDIO: How did you get interested in fashion?

MERVE: I started to get interested in fashion when I was a child. I was really interested in colors, clothes and sneaking in my mother’s wardrobe to play around with her clothes. After thinking in between many careers, I decided to follow my dream and chose fashion. I also think that as long as humankind exists, it will need clothes. Following that decision, I started my fashion education in a fine art institution in my hometown and then continued in Toronto...

FASHION STUDIO: What was the inspiration for your first collection?

MERVE: My first collection was inspired by punk. There was a time when I felt tense and wanted to come out of the shell and scream as loud as I could. I decided to use this as my starting point and applied it into my collection. It’s about breaking the rules and finding your real self.

FASHION STUDIO: What kind of fabrics do you use for your designs?

MERVE: Fabric is one of the key points of a successful design. I like to play around with fabrics and get ideas out of it. My collection consists of vinyl, silk taffeta, wool, tulle and fur. I generally prefer to use natural fibers as they have better quality and make the design stand better.

FASHION STUDIO: You graduated from Seneca College in Toronto. What was the most important thing that you learned during your education?

MERVE: I had so many talented friends around me. I got to see different ideas, shapes and lots of creativity. I learned to think more out of the box, go crazy and be confident about it.

FASHION STUDIO: What is the brand's mission and how do you promote it? 

MERVE: Merve Fashion Home aims to create a line where women define themselves. I want them to feel they are powerful and unique. I think my style is sophisticated and edgy and that’s how I think a woman should look. I promote my line through fashion shows, my website, and now, publications.

FASHION STUDIO: How would you describe your personal style?

MERVE: I like European fashion. I like to mix and match my clothing and accessorize it with scarves, bags and hats. I like to dress up, and spend quite a lot of time in front of my closet deciding what to wear. I also like to change my style constantly and try new looks.

FASHION STUDIO: Who is your fashion icon?

MERVE: I prefer to brainstorm and create my own ideas instead of following a certain figure. I try to put my brainstorming and creativity into reality.

FASHION STUDIO: What are the best fashion spots in Toronto?

MERVE: I think Yorkville is a nice fashion spot as it has high-end boutiques and surroundings. I also enjoy Queen St. West with its unique boutiques and entertainment places.

FASHION STUDIO: What would you say about street fashion in Toronto? How do people dress?

MERVE: Toronto is a multicultural city so it is interesting to see cultural elements in the street. Everybody has their own style and taste, but I find the street fashion in Toronto dark and a little bit boring. I think some people tend to wear more conservative and want to be safe with the look they have. As I compare Toronto street fashion with Europe street fashion, I can say that Europe is more different in terms of fashion and I find it more stylish.

FASHION STUDIO: Favourite fashion magazines...

MERVE: My favourite fashion magazine is Vogue. I like to follow every single editions of Vogue. I also like Gap Press, Show Details, Elle, In Style, and Harper’s Bazaar. I also follow design magazines such as I.D.

FASHION STUDIO: What will be in fashion this spring?

MERVE: We can see glamorous gypsy looks with vibrant colors from YSL, punk from Jean Paul Gaultier, 70’s from Marc Jacobs with long dresses, flares. We can also enjoy being in the garden with D&G’s collection of floral prints, boho dresses and high wedge espadrilles.

FASHION STUDIO: Your favourite evening look...

MERVE: My favourite evening look can be a mini black dress styled with a fur shrug, big hoop earrings or small pearls, long necklace, red heels, and red lips.

FASHION STUDIO: Best dressed celebrity...

Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Jessica Parker and Victoria Beckham.

FASHION STUDIO: What are the 5 essential items that every woman should have in her wardrobe?

MERVE: Black dress, jeans, white shirt, tailored blazer, black heels.

FASHION STUDIO: How is the fashion industry in your country of origin of Turkey? Is there anything unique about it?

MERVE: I can say that apparel production is one of the most important sectors in Turkey. In addition to that, Turkey is considered one of the most important raw material producers such as organic cotton, yarns and fabric production.

Turkey also has world famous designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Bora Aksu, Atil Kutoglu and more. The majority of Turkish designers are attending fashion weeks in Europe. History plays an important role in fashion in Turkey. Many designers use Ottoman Empire as their inspiration and blend it into their collections.

FASHION STUDIO: What is your ultimate goal in designing?

MERVE: I like to extend my label to Europe and get into major fashion weeks around the world.

FASHION STUDIO: What projects currently are you working on?

MERVE: I’m currently working on a new collection and some photoshoots of my new looks.

FASHION STUDIO: What is your biggest dream?

MERVE: My biggest dream is to have my own retail chain in the major fashion capitals, I have a very different concept of retail places to put into reality. I also would like to see my style adapted by lots of women and change the direction of style.

FASHION STUDIO: Thank you. We are looking forward to seeing your influence on fashion in Toronto!
By Eva Fydrych

Photos by Sil Kwon

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