D2C Stories #1: Fashion brands by inspiring female founders from Turkey

June 16, 2022

Turkey is one of the world’s most important fashion & apparel manufacturing countries. It is the third biggest textile supplier to Europe and holds the sixth place in global textile manufacturing.

This success paved the way for talented Turkish designers to create their own brands with unique products. Gradually increasing manufacturing capacities, advanced manufacturing technologies triggered the innovation in creation of new fashion products as well.

There are so many appealing D2C brands out there. We decided to start a weekly blog series for crediting some of the powerful brands. We dedicate this first post of our series to inspiring female founders of fashion brands from Turkey!

Who are We? Why Do We Do This?

My co-founder Demirhan and I, founded Fabrikatör in 2018. We build software solutions for D2C brands to simplify their manufacturing and supply chain operations so they can focus on building amazing brands and products. As we work with exceptional brands, everyday we meet founders of D2C brands who deeply inspire us. We decided to share our domain knowledge in D2C industry to inspire more founders and contribute to the developing ecosystem.

Outstanding Women's Activewear  - Yorstruly

Yasemin Örs, the founder of Yorstruly, in 2016 decided to create an active wear line that also embodies the casual style. As a yoga enthusiast, Yasemin creates not only flattering cuts in her designs but also fruitful, powerful and beaming life patterns!

Our paths crossed with Yasemin while volunteering together at Turkey's one of the exemplary NGOs. Now looking back, these were the days where Yasemin found her inspiration of "creating something right from heart".

This experience, the deep feeling of doing, executing something right from the heart, reinforced my will to look for that one thing, which excites my spirit; to design and to produce.. Yasemin Örs - Founder of Yorstruly (source)

The collection of Yorstruly grew over the past 4 years. Today it offers a wide variety of women's activewear from yoga pants to chic but yet comfortable swimsuits. We are excitedly waiting for the winter collection of Yorstruly!

Ethical Fashion with mah-roc

Mah-roc proves that chic fashion can be crafted with "zero-waste" as well! Roksan, the co-founder of Mah-roc travels around the world and collects local fabrics. She repurposes the collected fabrics and craft unique products in their collections. Recently Roksan came back from Ordu — a beautiful northern province of Turkey. She worked with local women and sourced the new fabrics for her next collection. You can read Roksan's journey of collecting fabrics from her journal here.

Pre-loved Fabrics Being Loved Again with Souqsamurai

Souq Samurai is built by two Mediterranean hearted girls who got inspired from the endless Mediterranean continent and twisted oriental elements of coastlines. Just like Mah-roc, Souq Samurai repurposes leftover fabrics — in their words "pre-loved fabrics". There's no doubt these fabrics will be long loved by their new owners as well! Read the founders story from here.

Premium Maternity Wear by Accouchee

Accouchee has spectacular design proves that maternity wear does not have to be unfashioned. The founder of Accouchee, Ilgın Ozdemir Yazgan, gave a speech at Davos 2020 as a graduate of the Cherie Blair Foundation. Ilgın's goal is to empower mothers during and after pregnancy without compromising their social life. Go ahead and check out Accouchee's story from her own words at Davos.

Eclectic and Playful Prints with Lar

The founder of Lar, Laris Alara Kilimci, reflected her diverse cultural background on the designs of Lar printed on foulards, shirts and pareos. Their lookbook is vivid enough to make us all miss the playful summer days! The products of Lar combine art and symbolism are produced in boutique amounts, ethically in Turkey.  

What Makes These Brands Promising and Unique?

If there is one thing that stands out in all of these brands — it is the reflection of the founders' passion on each of their products. It may not be possible to formulate a perfect recipe for building a successful direct-to-consumer brand but we can share tips!

Compelling story: As you may have noticed all these brands have their unique story carefully woven with the ambitions of the founders. The most successful direct-to-consumer brands are the ones who are able to create an emotional bond between their consumers. Having a unique and purposeful story will always help you to reach your target audience faster and easier.

Product offering in line with the brand story: Having a story alone is of course not enough — you have to reflect your genuinity  in your way of doing things. Starting from design to manufacturing and even delivery of your products you must follow the values mentioned in your story. Consistency is the key to build a trust relationship with your consumers.

Identifying the need: Even though the fashion industry has a long history with a saturated market look, it still has a lot of uncovered potential. Identifying these potentials and building on them definitely requires a level of empathy and expertise. Empathy is required for understanding your potential customers and expertise is required for building what they need.

We hope you found our article about the inspiring female founders of the fashion D2C brands interesting. Please feel free to suggest more brands so we can include them in our upcoming posts!

Best wishes from Istanbul and Berlin!  

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