EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Basak & Defne Kocabiyikoglu

Basak & Defne Kocabiyikoglu are 2 Turkish sisters and partners in fashion crime. They lived and worked in London and New York until settling back in their home city in 2007. Defne is a trained trend-forecaster, gaining her MA from Goldsmiths College, London. Basak gained her MS degree from London School of Economics and established herself as a fashion buyer at the iconic London-based boutique Browns. They are known for their combined ability to analyze the fast-changing needs and aspirations of today's society & mold them into trend patterns... They caught my eye ever since I saw their 'What I'm wearing today' on Vogue. They have a chic and easy style that adds to their credentials as fashion insiders. Now all I want for my sister to graduate so we can start our own fashion empire! 
Fashion + Family = Success
I interviewed the fabulous duo and ever since, I have re-read this piece and held on to every word... Read it & enjoy... 


F:When did you know that fashion was a part of your lives?
B&D:As early as we can remember! But sadly it took us a little longer to figure out we wanted to make a living out of it.

F:You 2 are sisters,why did you decide to work together & is it easy working with a sibling?
B&D:Yes, cause we just don't know otherwise. I think our parents did a great job raising us in complete partnership. And our interests were so parallel. So it just made perfect sense. But then of course it's not always easy... You have to show extra effort to separate work frustrations from sibling ones...

F:Who's in charge of the business side and who's in charge of the creative side?  
B&D:There's no clear separation as such. But Defne is a trained trend-forecaster and she's coming from a design background. So she has a 'free'er' eye, when it comes to creative matters. Where as I come from a fashion-buying background and I'm trained in social sciences. So I am more interested in customer & market reactions and macro directions. 

F:You 2 run a fashion retail consultancy service providing trend-analysis, buying strategies, fashion communication, and creative direction; that's very interesting please elaborate and tell us about the trends 6 months from now?
B&D:In fact, fashion trends are reflections of macro level lifestyle trends. Likewise, all fashion-related areas such as buying, communication, and creative direction are affected by trends. So we consult our customers on the directions which will be valid in the coming future.
6 months from now, we're talking about summer 2013. The up and coming trend of the summer ahead is the 60's influence: Think of an Edie Sedgwick-uesque look of mini a-line dresses, maxi skirts, square tops, and stripes of all kinds. All inspired by 60's visionaries such as Courreges and Pierre Cardin.

F:Describe your personal styles?
B&D:An intersection of classic tailoring and rock'n roll, I guess...

F:Image is everything these days, If you don't educate yourself and evolve you'll find yourself out of date or old fashioned, What do you do to keep your style up to date?
B&D:Of course exploring fashion helps... But I think the real inspiration comes from non-fashion sources such as books, films, travels, good conversations, and plain fun.
F:Are you inspired by vintage clothing or old films?
B&D:We love old films and we have certain favorites which we watch and re-watch whenever we feel blue. I guess Defne's all-time-feel-good-secret-movie is High Society and mine could be When Harry Met Sally.

F:Who are your favorite designers?
B&D:Of the past: Yves Saint Laurent and of now: Nicolas Ghesquiere.

F:Who are your fashion icons?
B&D:We don't really have a fashion icon. Today, we are exposed to overloaded images of so many personalities that we find it difficult to get inspiration that way.

F:What are your favorite cities? (list your favorite restaurants and shopping spots in each city)
B&D:Istanbul and Paris without second thinking! In Istanbul our top spots are Kantin for food and Grand Bazaar for shopping. In Paris, it's Bar Hemingway for it's legacy and Colette for shopping.

F:What do you do in your spare time?
B&D:Travel and day dream...

F:List 3 items that are always present in your bags?
Defne: Lipstick of the season, sunglasses and sun-screen.
Basak: My black diary, a super rich hand cream and snacks.  

F:Blogs are very 'in' these days, do you follow any fashion blogs?
B&D:We do like to tune in to the usual suspects...

For more information visit: http://basakdefne.com/



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