We had the pleasure of meeting up and coming fashion Designer Menekse Ercan, find out what she had to say on her experience in the Fashion industry.
Tell me about your work: The inspiration for my graduate collection is based on a fantasy dystopian future seen through the eyes of my real life muse, the rapper ‘Tyga’, and through the gangster and hip-hop culture that surrounds him. A sudden zombie apocalypse hits Compton and Tyga struggles to survive the harsh realities of his environment. Coming from a life of crime, drugs and rap music, Tyga is prepared and leads his crew through the chaos. Society and morals are failing while people are looting and running in fear; he and his crew raid local stores, grabbing clothes, accessories and provisions that they will need as they take first steps into the new world.
The collection draws influences from the scenario, mixing intimidating and distorted oversize hip-hop silhouettes with cut camouflage fabric techniques and colours drawn from the apocalypse, creating a unique take on this clothing genre and providing attitude and mood to the collection.
What was your experience like at Graduate Fashion Week?: Graduate Fashion week was incredible! Not only was I able to show all my work that I had been working on through out the year, but I also got a chance to see other peoples work. Being able to see their style and thinking process in their portfolio and in their final garments was really amazing! What I loved most of all was being able to socialize and meet people that I may not have met otherwise. It provided me with an opportunity that then opened doors for interviews and jobs!
Fashion Design is a very competitive market, being involved in Graduate Fashion Week how has that helped?: If it wasn’t for Graduate Fashion Week, I doubt I would have been able to show case my work and receive the same kind of interest I did. I received job interviews, job offers and got a job because of Graduate Fashion Week and also the opportunity to be interviewed for your magazine! Now that’s what I call amazing!
Do you feel it is imperative to go to university to study Fashion Design or can you learn on the job?: To be honest for myself, I feel that going to University has been one of the best choices I have done in a while. It has given me that leg up that I would not have been able to do by myself! I personally love education and always have done! So it was an easy decision to pick going uni. I love being able to learn something and follow through until I am able do it without doubting myself. I’ve been able to learn and experience pattern cutting, CAD drawings, illustration and so much more by being in the right environment! I believe it’s all about the person! Learning comes from everywhere as long as you are willing to learn and open your mind you can achieve anything! You get back what you put in! Even at my current job now, I’m continuously learning new things!
The illustrations for Looking Good in the Apocalypse collection we completely fell in love with, what was the inspiration behind that?: Thank you so much! I’m so glad you love them! I would say drawing is my first love! When I’m drawing, I’m in my zone! I am able to create anything I desire! My inspiration behind my drawings was definitely my muse, my story and also what I wanted to portray was the mood! I wanted to try and sell you the story through my sketches and illustrations. Hopefully I did! I love being creative in many aspects, from drawing, painting, pattern cutting, digital illustrations and even using music as a form of inspiration for all of my ideas and influences.
In your illustrations you focus on very specific brands, why is that?: As part of my university course, in our final year we not only focus on our final collection garments, development and portfolio that goes along with it, we are also doing another four projects for brands which are then used for contests. So in my portfolio there are projects for Burberry, Hollister, Topman and Asos. I loved doing them all!
Why have you chosen to focus on Menswear?: I have always been drawn to Menswear and I would say that it’s not only because of my dads taste in fashion but also because of that moment I have gone to my first Tyga concert in 2010 when I saw Tyga step out in his Versace silk shirt with nothing but him and the stage and a cloud of smoke. At that moment I decided I wanted to design for Male rappers! Most of all, I wanted to design for TYGA! That was my goal!
Will your brand ever cater for females?: What I love about Menswear is the shapes and styles can be reflected to suit females! That’s why 9/10 times you will see me wearing my dad’s clothes because I love the shapes and the size of the garments! But hopefully in the near future I will cater to females too, never say never!
Where would you love to see your brand stocked?: I would love to see my designs in Dover street market, Selfridges, Harrods! I mean how incredible would that be! Imagine walking and then you see your designs in the store or even on window display! That’s mad! I would walk up and down that road just to see them again and again! Another thing I hope to achieve in the near future!
Why is Tyga your ultimate celebrity to draw, style and design for?: My ultimate celebrity to draw, style and design for with out a second thought is Tyga! He is the perfect guy! His style, his music, his attitude and the mood are everything I aim to capture in my collection! I’ve met him in person and he is one of the most humble people I have met, he is so down to earth and very calm considering his music is so hype and sometimes a bit naughty! But his attitude, mood and the way he carries himself is something I really am inspired by! I have already drawn, and designed for him and he is even interested in some of my garments, which is amazing!
Do you have any plans exhibiting in the future?: A few of my garments are still being used at exhibitions in Newcastle but hopefully I would love to still have my work on public display! My doors are always open!
What trends should we look out for this Autumn Winter?: There are quite a lot of trends going around from the 90’s rock Tee’s coming back into fashion to the oversized garments and elongated sleeves, customized denim and even double denim! Cropped men’s baggy trousers and a few earthy tones! And camouflage!
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs, wanted to break the industry?: One main advice I would give to young entrepreneurs is to believe in yourself, believe in what you are trying to achieve and don’t be disheartened when things don’t work out the first time because everything does happen for a reason and something better is waiting for you! Also stay true to yourself! But also remember to keep an open mind, be respectful and appreciate all the hard work that will continue to come. Good manners will take you far!
Where do you see brand in 5-10 Years?: Hopefully, I see my brand continuing to grow and develop and also being easy to spot in a crowd! What I hope for is that my designs become a well-known brand, A Brand that is connected to the music industry. I also want to create another brand that is on a designer level, however making it affordable for people to purchase. Not only that but continue to give a percentage of the profits to charity! What I love most is the challenge of being able to make something out of nothing. I love the personal reward that comes with achieving my goals.
If you didn’t study Fashion Design, what would you have studied instead?: Creativity is one of the most important things in my life and I wouldn’t know where I would be without it, or how I would view the world or even deal without it, It allows me to be in my zone, being able to connect with my emotions, my thoughts and my feelings at that moment. I would have studied something that would cater to my creative side. Which may have been graphics or fine art.