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Interview – creative Lilay Yuzgulen on finding inspiration in everyday objects

lilay yuzgulen

Creative mind Lilay Yuzgulen founded her eponymous label in 2019, when she felt the need to do things differently. Since the start she’s stormed the fashion world with her ‘product drops’ and designs that lack a sense of seasonality. We talked to this inspiring lady about the much-needed changes in the fashion industry, her main sources of inspirations, weird fascinations and founding her own brand. “I love it when the ordinary becomes extraordinary.” Let’s get to know Lilay Yuzgulen.
Cover photo: © Lilay Yuzgulen

Lilay Yuzgulen

When founding LILAY YUZGULEN, creative soul Lilay Yuzgulen had in mind that things needed to change. With solely a few ‘product drops’ a year, she goes against the current state of the fashion industry. It doesn’t come as a surprise that her brand is a reaction to this widespread system. Yuzgulen: “I believe that in this era focus is most important and sustainable. Instead of launching collections I focus on the mere value of a single item each time.” Let’s discover the unlimited drive of this inspiring lady.

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A shift in consumption

After graduating from the Willem de Koning Academie at Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Yuzgulen freelanced for a while, after which she became Creative Director at a well known watch company. While she’s learned a lot during those years, she felt the need to found her own brand – in order to do things differently.

“I think that the market should be dominated with investment pieces that outlast trends.”

Yuzgulen explains: “Although I really notice that the fashion industry is changing positively, there are still many big brands that dominate the market. Collections are put down at lightning speed and exchanged for new ones just because the season continues. This barely gives the consumer time to consider the purchase of an item. And if you have already saved for a (seasonal) designer piece, it will go on sale. I think that the market should be dominated with investment pieces that outlast trends.

Finding inspiration in everyday objects

When asking about the main source of inspiration for her brand, Yuzgulen starts to smile. “As long as I can remember I have this weird fascination with unconventional designs and objects, like oddly shaped gems or perished signboards.

“I love it when the ordinary becomes extraordinary.”

She continues: “When I was in New York a few years ago I walked past a construction site which was covered with yellow ribbon and on the floor there was a large piece of paper in an old pink color. Those colors combined with the concrete sidestep makes me happy. These kinds of coincidences have resulted in setting up my own brand in which I can express and translate this fascination in my own products.

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Handbag FAYE

The first product drop is gorgeous handbag FAYE, a.k.a. a ‘modest stunner’. We’re curious about the story behind this unique design.

Yuzgulen: “With FAYE I wanted to create something that hangs on your arm as a casual sculpture but can also work in an interior because of the sharp and quirky details. Most importantly, it should be a bag that compliments you but doesn’t overshadow you. That compliment for me is in the details like the material, tomboyish finish, colors and chunky handle and humor.” Fun fact: the top handle is inspired by the chew bone from her dog Balthazar.

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Next product drops

Luckily for us, there will be more soon. Yuzgulen: “I’m currently developing a blazer – one with a relaxed fit. I am still in the sourcing phase and that’s OK because I want all my drops to be well thought out. Furthermore, my boyfriend and I started designing a lamp but this is a long term project. To be continued!

Also read: Interview – Helene Oudman from IKIGAI LABELS on how and why to buy smart

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