Serra Turker was born and raised in Istanbul, and moved to the States to study Textile Design at Rhode Island School of Design. After completion at RISD, she moved to New York and worked at TOCCA, a contemporary brand for two years before launching her own unique and exquisite brand Misela. "Istanbul in my Dreams' Holiday 2008 Limited Edition Collection was initiated to celebrate its new beginning along with the approaching Holidays and New Year when it enters the stores in US. " I dreamt a special collection that came true with unique finds that I came across in my time between New York and Istanbul", says the designer. Each bag is made from handwoven fabric with vintage metal trim applique on the front that dates back to early 1920's and also adorned with the antiquated crescent logo on the leather back. How did you get into fashion design?
I had no intention of getting into fashion design. My initial plan was to study Interior Architecture but quickly realized I wasn't good at three dimensional design. I had a background in painting so it was a battle for me to choose between painting or fashion design but was fortunate when I discovered Textiles. It was a completely new world that I had no clue about and a great solution for what I had to offer. I began to explore all the various ways to use color and patterns from my paintings. Launching Misela was the true evolvement of using textiles,color and turning those creations into art pieces that are not meant to be on the wall but that could be carriable.
How does NY inspire you? Even tough I find myself very much attached to Istanbul, New York very much feels like home in a very unexplainable way. It is like my heart beat. New York taught me to let go of all the things that I actually don't need and don't like. In a city of many possibilities, I learned to keep things simple. I think by achieving this, the identity of Misela was created.
I tend to be very selective of where I go, just because I like to be surrounded in places where I can forget where I really am, I like places that take me somewhere else. That's why I like little shops like Sucre that has a distinct jewelry selection, or the second hand bookshops in the Village, or ABC home on Broadway where the first floor is a world of wonders. As for clothing, Barney's is my one and only destination in New York. I have recently came across two more great stores, Midnight Express in Istanbul and D'na in Riyadh.
I admire Dries Van Noten. Each of his collections is a masterpiece in terms of the use of color, print and embroidery combinations, attention to detais, the silhouettes and of course the amazing scene at the runways. I love the look of Lanvin that is created by Alber Elbaz, he leads the way with his exceptional detaling in shapes also in using signature colors. I really liked Phoebe Philo when she was the head designer at Chloe. Her approach created a special delicate and feminine look.
What is your design philosophy?
My design philiosophy is to keep things simple and straightforward. It is actually more difficult to keep things simple because you really have think through each detail carefully. My inspirations always come from color and I think I always carry colors of Istanbul with me. Where does one find Misela?
Scoop, Sucre, ideeli.com, D'na in Riyadh and couple of select boutiques in Istanbul.