• Atil Kutoglu
  • Atil Kutoglu
  • Atil Kutoglu
  • Atil Kutoglu
Atil Kutoglu

    Interview; ATIL KUTOGLU - ON HIS WAY

    07 November 2011

    By Katharina Czerny

    For the third time the Austrian-Turkish fashion designer Atil Kutoglu presents his collection at the “IFW – Istanbul Fashion Week”. This time there was a premiere: his men’s collection.

    Katharina Czerny: Since this year you started designing men’s fashion. Why not before?

    Atil Kutoglu.: The first men’s collection will be in stores in January. There have always been moments when I wanted to produce a men’s collection, but either 9/11 or the last economic crisis in 2008 was in the way. But I have produced custom-made pieces for men like Hubertus von Hohenlohe and others. In the past year the demand worldwide has been huge, so the time was right.

    K.C.:  Despite the current financial crisis?

    A.K.:  Yes, because somehow one crisis turns into the next. After 16 stores ordered the collection there was no turning back. At the fashion show in Istanbul we’ve shown 30 pieces for men and all were received very well.

    K.C.: You used to show your collection at the New York Fashion Week and this year in Istanbul. Why not at the Vienna Fashion Week?

    A.K.:  For almost 10 years I’ve presented my collections at the New York Fashion Week. Then with the crisis 2008, we stopped. After that I’ve made my dream of an own flagship store in Istanbul come true. This year was the third time I’ve presented my collection in Istanbul. Almost 100 international journalists, including the editor in chief of Italian Vogue, Olivier Zahm from Purple Magazine USA and Patricia Field were there. So it’s strategically important for us to be present at the fast-growing Istanbul Fashion Week.

    K.C.: Which city has more potential as a fashion city? Vienna or Istanbul?  

    A.K.: Istanbul is currently hyped by the international press and a big discovery as a new luxury market. A lot of brands which don’t have stores in Vienna have several stores in Istanbul. From Bottega Veneta to Lanvin or Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. All have “free standing stores” in Istanbul. Around the corner is Louis Vuitton and as far as I know, that branch has the third-highest turnover worldwide. Istanbul is apparently the fashion city of the future.

    K.C.: By now there is a Turkish Vogue. Are you represented with your collections or is it similar to Austrian magazines, that local designers are rarely presented?

    A.K.: Also a sign that there is a vibrant and growing fashion market. We are represented in Turkish Vogue regularly, but since Vogue is a foreign publication most of the space is given to big, international labels. But I have an international status in Turkey because I’m from Austria, worked a lot in New York and I have to say that helps a lot.

    K.C.: You present your work at the Fashion Weeks in New York, are friends with Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova and have achieved a lot. Do you have another goal?

     A.K.: Of course. I’m never satisfied with what I’ve accomplished so far. My big goal is to become an international lifestyle and luxury label like Ralph Lauren. With worldwide stores and not only fashion but decor, porcelain, etc. I’ve designed furniture for a Turkish fashion company last year but there’s a lot I have to achieve yet.

    K.C.: Originally you’ve studied business studies in Vienna. What was your career aspiration then and how did it happen that you became a designer?

    A.K.: I’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. In Istanbul I went to the German secondary school and through my mother, who was an architect, I came in contact with art at an early age. I always drew fashion for my fellow students. My designs were then sewn by their mothers and tailors. So there was the idea to have a fashion show in school at the end of the year and it was clear that I was going in the direction of fashion design. Business studies gave me the basic knowledge to start my business.

    K.C.: Why did you come to Vienna back then and not to Berlin or Paris?

    A.K.: For me, Vienna was the city of the arts and had a big appeal to me. Somehow I was taken with Vienna and for my parents it was a safe city to send their son to study in. I’m still very happy about my decision at that time.

    K.C.Thank you for the interview!

    A.K.:  You’re welcome!



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