Harem London presented their last collection on Friday in a very creative way: they launched an interactive lookbook that you don’t want to miss! Viewers can play around with different clothes and colours and order their favourite outfits.
London based sisters Dee and Begum Ozturk bring us high-quality, edgy streetwear pieces that not only are sustainable but handcrafted. Istanbul born designers produce contemporary, wearable clothes that combine heritage and future and feel great on the skin.
Harem London’s aim is for the citizens of the world to be comfortable wearing unique and fashion-forward designs.
Yesterday, I had the chance to talk to these extremely nice, talented sisters in a virtual meeting where we talked a bit about their new collection. And what a lovely chat!
Do you want to know what they told me? Keep reading.
Would you tell me a little bit about Harem London? What defines you as a brand and how do you define the brand?
We have a few core elements that are very important to the branding. First of all, we are a street-culture, minimalistic, edgy brand. For us, sustainability is extremely important and our aim is for the people to be comfortable in their own skin. Harem London is a minimalistic comfortable sustainable streetwear brand. We do believe diversity is key which is one of the most important core elements that defines our brand.
What is the highlight of Harem London’s SS21 collection for you?
Undoubtedly the colour. We normally produce monochromatic pieces and for this collection we wanted to challenge ourselves and introduce colour. After everything that has happened this year, the difficult times for everyone and all the negativity that surrounds 2020, we wanted to send vibrant and positive vibes with our clothes and spread good energy.
Every piece is hand dyed in our studio in London and everything is 100% handmade.
We are a 100% sustainable, zero-waste brand and, for this collection we have used fabric we already had from previous collections. It can be said that SS21 collection is an upcycled one as we used fabric we already had in the studio instead of ordering new ones.
Who would you say your references in the fashion industry are? Is there anyone who has influenced you as designers?
We can’t say there are certain names or individuals from the industry that have had an influence on us or our journey. My background is costume design - says Dee - and we take our references from cultural disciplines, mainly.
Theatrical scenes and movies are our biggest inspiration to always think forward and create something new and innovative.
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone but especially for the fashion industry. How do you think the pandemic would change the fashion business?
If there’s something positive about this pandemic is that individuals have started to be more aware of living slow. We have become a very aware generation thanks to the media and the amount of information we’ve got access to, which makes us think twice before acting. As well, we think people have become more appreciative towards the items they buy. The last few years, the industry has focused on selling as much as they can without thinking about the environment nor the value of the items. However, we feel the pandemic has been a wake-up call for brands and individuals to reflect on what they produce and buy before doing so.
Being a creative is not easy. Sometimes there’s a lack of creativity or a mental block that stands in the way of meeting deadlines and deliver an outcome. Lately, creativity has started to be more considered and valued because society has realised that fast fashion has to change, and consumers have to buy better and appreciate what’s behind an item purchased.