CELEBRATING HER 10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF HER OWN BRAND, THE SUCCESSFUL FASHION DESIGNER WENT TO NEW YORK TO STUDY DESIGN AT THE BEST SCHOOL.
The famous fashion designer who was graduated from Parson’s School of Design in New York with a degree works in many areas from brand counseling to couture collection with success. She relates her success with being disciplined and she is as friendly as she is hardworking. Gamze Saraçoğlu had Mudo, where she became the creative director a short time ago, go through a great transformation. The designer whose 2015/2016 collection received wonderful praises emphasizes that they’ve designed the collection in accordance with the new woman figure that is coded in the world. We met with Gamze Saraçoğlu and talked about fashion.
How did you decide to go to New York to study?
I won a scholarship from the USA when I was doing my MBA in Marmara. I was going to complete my second year there but I decided to drop my MBA and study design at Parson’s School of Design instead. I took a skill qualification exam, passed it, and began to study. I finished the school with a degree.
When did you feel your passion to design for the first time?
I wanted to create something and reflect it through fabrics, textures, dressing women. There was a few foreign fashion designers that I liked their creations. Reading their life stories encouraged me. There wasn’t many alternatives in Turkey, so I decided to study out of Turkey. It became my first target. I thought that ‘I should study at the best fashion school if I am going to do this.’ At the end of this process I explored, searched, and found myself. I knew at the first year of my MBA that I wouldn’t work in this area.
How did your friends react to that?
Most of my friends were already telling me ‘you should do something creative.’
Today you are at a successful point, when you look at back, do you think studying MBA had a part in this?
Definitely. One of the major rules of my job is sustainability. What I design must sell. As I sell, I have to know what financing I am going to use for my next collection. I make sharp business plans. Since I received management education, I know how much I spend each season, so I know how much investment I need for my next collection. I have been growing for the last ten years without the need of downsizing.
What did you do this season for your brand?
My 10th anniversary show was in last January. Along with the show, we also had our 10th anniversary night. It was a very important night for me. It was also among the large-scale shows that took place in Turkey until now. We introduced my couture collection. Then we had an important after-party. We worked almost for a year on the collection. We received a great sponsorship. Since feedbacks are so positive, we are going to have another couture show.
You lived in New York for a long time. What does it mean to you?
New York is important to me because I realized what I wanted to do with my life there. I did my plans in New York. I visit every six months. One becomes motivated by seeing the starting point. I used to wonder when I was there if I would have my own brand someday.
What are things that you like to do in New York?
I have a route that I always follow. There is a bookshop that I love, I spend a lot of time there. I prefer another location for breakfasts. I feel great when I visit the galleries at Soho. I like to walk with my husband, eat, then walk some more.
What inspires you during designing process?
I created many collections inspired by movies or books, but the things that touch me the most are streets, people, and their stories. I combine them all and then reflect in my designs. Human relations are very important to me. My collection should have a human dimension.
Do you become excited before you present your collection or show?
Yes, I do. It is hard to catch me when I bow during my shows. We begin to work six months before a show. We don’t make last minute decisions. We give every detail a great thought. This ensures the best quality. I take my job seriously. I work with great effort. However, there is always the risk of not being liked. So, I bow with a worry in my mind. I don’t stay long on the catwalk.
You are very friendly, are you like this as a teacher?
I actually am like this in all my relations but I am disciplined so that might tire people somehow. I am not a tough team leader; however, I always make sure that the job is being done. I rarely become tense. I am behind my students to the end. I work to bring them in positions at the companies that I work with. I am the President of the Education Committee to Fashion Designers Association. My heart beats for the educational part of this job. Passing our knowledge to others is the most important one among the things we do.