Arzu Kaprol Arzu Kaprol

The Istanbul designers you need to know about

The Turkish fashion industry has boomed in recent years, as a generation of young designers has emerged, to the recognition of an in-the-know international fashion crowd.

With Istanbul's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just around the corner, there’s no better time to take stock of Istanbul’s fashion scene. We’ve put together a list of five Turkish designers that you should be on your radar and where you can purchase their designs in Istanbul.

Arzu Kaprol

Known for her futuristic designs and architectural shapes, Arzu Kaprol creates both couture and ready-to-wear collections. She opened her first showroom in 2007, and today she has nine stores in Turkey. Although she hasn’t recently put out a couture collection, Kaprol, who prefers working with leather and silk, has shown during Paris Fashion Week, and her designs have been sold at high-end retailers in over ten different countries. In Istanbul you can find her structural ready-to-wear jackets and dresses at her eponymous gallery in Galata. www.arzukaprol.com

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Zeynep Tosun

zeynep-tosun© zeyneptosun.com

After studying at the prestigious Istituto Marangoni in Milan and working for such renowned design houses as Alberta Ferretti, Zeynep Tosun launched her own brand in 2008. This young designer is probably best known for her ready-to-wear collections, which have shown at London Fashion Week and can be found at the Zeynep Tosun store in Akmerkez. Her designs often invoke the whimsical with her large, draping silhouettes, while her choice of patterns and embellishments adds a certain tongue-in-cheek playfulness to the garments. www.zeyneptosun.com

Related: 5 of the best design stores in Istanbul

Hakan Yıldırım

hakaan© www.vogue.com.tr

The inimitable Hakan Yıldırım has been dressing Istanbul’s elite for years. After being feted in Turkey during the 1990s and working closely with several Turkish designers, he moved to London and established his own brand, Hakaan Yıldırım, in 2009. It’s under this line that he creates his glamorous couture-like gowns, which have won praise from individuals and institutions alike – his collection at London Fashion Week in 2010 was highly regarded by the New York Times, which dubbed him a ‘breakout star’. He also created another label, H by Hakan Yıldırım, that focuses on ready-to-wear garments with a more youthful style. Clothing from this line can be purchased at his boutique in Nişantaşı, as well as at the Beymen department store in Kanyon. www.hakaanyildirim.com

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Burçe Bekrek

burce-bekrek© www.vogue.com.tr

Another graduate of the prestigious Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Burçe Bekrek has made a splash onto the Turkish fashion scene with her own eponymous brand, which was launched in 2010. Her ready-to-wear collections feature architectural garments imbued with a minimalist aesthetic. What shoppers love is her ability to make clothes that are wearable – her emphasis is on clean cuts and excellent fit – yet also exude a strong sense of personality. Bekrek’s collections can be found at her airy flagship store in Nişantaşı, the epicentre of all things fashion in Istanbul. www.burcebekrek.com

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Elif Cığızoğlu

elif-cigizoglu© www.vogue.com.tr

Popular with Turkey’s celebrities, Elif Cığızoğlu isn’t afraid to mix unusual shapes with bold colours. After studying fashion both in Turkey and abroad, she began her career at Donna Karan in Men’s Fashion. When she returned to Istanbul, she launched her own label and quickly became a household name after her designs were featured on popular television shows and worn by numerous acclaimed actresses in Turkey. Cığızoğlu’s garments, many of which feature feminine silhouettes, can be purchased at her boutique in Nişantaşı. www.elifcigizoglu.com

Istanbul Fashion week runs from 14 - 18 March at the Zorlu Centre

1 Zeynep Tosun by Akmerkez
2 Hakan Yıldırım
3 Burce Bekrek Fashion Studio
4 Elif Cığızoğlu