Born and raised in Turkey, Umran Aysan lives in London. Worked as a graphical designer for over ten years. Switched to fashion design and been a fashion designer for the last ten years. Attended fashion design courses in Turkey and graduated from Istituto Marangoni in London. Designed lingerie, nightwear, women’s leather handbags and accessories, and recently resort wear. Worked both full time and as a freelancer fashion designer and product developer – involved in full life – cycle of product development including sourcing, prototyping and manufacturing.
1- Could you please share us the story behind creating your own Brand; Umran Aysan and what sparked your interest into Fashion?
I had been a graphic designer for over ten years when I realized that I wanted to design for fashion. That was a realization of my discontent of what was available to me. My tastes had changed, but my options didn’t. I gave up my day job to study fashion design. I got involved in full-fashion design and product development life cycle. Ending up with a physical product that you wear, rather than something you create on paper as a graphical designer, gives you a completely different form of satisfaction.
However, the more I got involved in product development the more I started questioning the ethics of fashion manufacturing and fashion consumption. It eventually became apparent to me that this production and consumption cycle cannot be sustained neither socially nor environmentally. I had an irresistible urge to contribute to fixing this.
Artefacts of craftsmanship, especially those made by traditional methods, inspire me. I find them real and timeless. They have stories that speak to you. They show you the bond between the people and the nature. Yet, these traditional methods are disappearing. There is simply not enough demand for them to survive. They need to continue evolving in terms of aesthetics and usage as they had done so for many centuries. Unfortunately, today’s pace of change is too quick for them to adapt. I wanted to show their uniqueness to the rest of the world by incorporating them in modern items. Ancient Caria, located in today’s Aegean Region had a big influence on me. I spiritually grew up there. It has such a wonderful climate. Land is so fertile. Living is almost effortless. It’s been a great source of inspiration for me. Starting with resort wear was a natural medium for me to create exciting products with least environmental and most social impact, and, very importantly, have those products enjoyed and appreciated by their consumers. This journey helped me realize that fashion design is tool to I express my creativity, while sustainability and resort wear are the means I contribute to environmental and social well-being.
2- Please share with us the sources of your inspiration Umran Aysan?
Anything honest, that tells a story and is beautiful inspires me. This can be an expression, a frame of nature, a measure of a song, or a stretch of a street. However, I find these most often in intimate coastal towns and traditional handmade artefacts.Umran Aysan
3- As a Founder and Creative Director could you please share with us the biggest lesson you have learned since you started your journey?Umran Aysan
While I am sure that there are more lessons to learn along my journey, so far the biggest lesson I have learned is that starting a new business with an original idea can be the most demanding thing in your life. However, I think there are two main elements to succeed: First, be honest. Everybody understands honesty. Second, don’t give up until they understand your honesty.
4- Based on the following description, how would you relate to the Mayshad Woman?
That description resonates a lot. I am confident about what I want to be, what my values are. I am determined, and grateful for the opportunities I have.