Sisters founded Dice Kayek in Paris in 1992. Ece is the creative mind behind the brand's architecturally-inspired designs, and Ece is the detail-oriented business manager. This year their show at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week was a huge success, another well-deserved tribute in their career that now spans 24 years from when they launched their first collection. The two sisters were recently part of the jury for this year's Jameel Prize, the prestigious award that they themselves had won only three years ago with their Haghia Sophia, Dome and Kaftan designs from the Istanbul Contrast collection exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. At a time when nearly all luxury fashion brands belong to big conglomerates and fashion has become synonymous with trends, Ayşe and Ege stand tall as a curiosity of sorts: a duo of independent fashion knights dedicated to timeless style.
Can the tuxedo trend for women compete with evening wear?
Ayşe Ege: I've always found a shirt and tuxedo very sexy on a woman. I'm mainly talking about Yves Saint Laurent style tuxes.
What do you think about luxury brands dressing celebrities?
Ayşe Ege: We are totally against this. We're always getting asked ''Who are you dressing these days?'' The important thing is to dress everyone. A woman who wears Dice Kayek is the only true spokesperson for the brand.
Dice Kayek designs were rare in Istanbul at some point. Now we can find them in many places, correct?
Ayşe Ege: We started selling our ready-to-wear collections at Harvey Nichols, then Beymen Zorlu Center and now at Gizia Gate in Nişantaşı. Many visitors to Istanbul, especially those who come from the Middle East for shopping, would like to see Turkish designers. They can already find international brands everywhere around the world. This is why it's important for department stores in Turkey to feature the collections of Turkish designers.
Your collections portray a timeless, global style. What's your secret?
Ayşe Ege: We never target a certain demographic or region when creating our collections. This is the secret to success for any brand. It would be very difficult to make different collections for Europe and the Middle East, but some brands are forced to go down that road.
What is the starting point for Dice Kayek collections?
Ece Ege: L’air du temps. The social, political and cultural state of the moment is very important. And apart from that, I have a very distinctive style. I never go for a piece that is trendy, that is a best-seller or might become a best-seller. Otherwise you're never able to express yourself as a creative person. Changing styles every season is against the brand’s DNA.
What's your take on the fashion world today?
Ece Ege: At the end of the day, fashion is a business operation. Design, production and sales processes are very quick, and everything gets consumed rapidly. Research, discovery and mystery used to be the essence of fashion, but these concepts have been eroded today. Discovering and being able to afford some designs used to be a privilege for a certain group of people. When I started out in 1992, creativity and new ideas were paramount. Today, fashion and design don’t have the same appeal. The quality of textiles and seaming have gone down the drain to keep the prices affordable. This is a time when we have to produce and consume a collection every three months for Resort, Pre-Collection and the seasonal collections. Whichever brand can put its products on the shelves first wins the competition.
How do you summarize the Dice Kayek style?
Ece Ege: I defend a conservative kind of attractiveness. What makes a woman sexy is not décolletage, but the details in forms, fabric and stitching. Fabric quality is vital. People should not be focused on women's bodies, but their brains. I always design for the ever-confident woman, fit for the l'air du temps.