Sebnem is only 23 and born in a family working in the fashion business. During her short career she won the Best Design Award at the Who’s Next fair in Paris. In March she’s about to throw her fifth runway show during Istanbul Fashion Week. Let’s say it was about time to ask this interesting young lady a few questions.
Through your family you were in touch with the fashion business from a very young age. Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career in fashion or become a designer?
Initially I never thought about creating my own brand, I rather expected to go work for my father on the business side. Also, I grew up in a small village in Belgium where there wasn’t a school nearby to study fashion at such a young age. So I chose to go for a degree in commerce instead.
Things changed when I reached the age of 17. Like every summer we went to Turkey for the holidays but after a few weeks of chilling my sister and I got bored. So my father signed us up for a summer course in fashion design. There I met my teacher Raf Stesmans, who graduated at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. He was the one who convinced me to start a bachelor in fashion design in Istanbul after I graduated from high school in Belgium.
Why did you decide to study fashion in Istanbul and not London, Antwerp, Paris or Brussels?
Antwerp was actually top-of-mind. But it’s one of the best fashion schools in the world and some experience is required when you want to get in. I had never even taken drawing lessons before that summer course. It was thanks to Raf Stesmans that I chose to move to Istanbul and take my chance at the Moda Academy. The initial plan was to go back to Antwerp afterwards but things turned out quite differently.
During a summer course in London I was seriously considering to do my final year over there. But after three weeks I just had the feeling that I didn’t need to be there so I returned to Istanbul. Honestly, I never regretted my decision to stay in Turkey because I wouldn’t have reached what I have reached now.