Umran Aysan is a luxury resort wear brand seeking to revive and sustain Turkey’s craft heritage of Turkey’s Aegan Region. Umran Aysan‘s Resort Collection is defined by nonchalant luxury and is enriched with delicate details oozing traditional craftsmanship adorning fine, sustainable fabrics. Placing artisans in the spotlight and helping them build a brighter future for their families, the collection is as ethical as it is beautiful.
Timeless, feminine silhouettes and vibrant prints bring together a refined array of getaway styles that are as effortless as they are eye-catching.
Umran Aysan has been awarded the Butterfly Mark in recognition of her commitment to sustainability. We have the pleasure of spending a moment with Umran, we share her story here;
Can you tell us a little bit more about your background?
It’s been 20 years since I first sat down in front of a computer to retouch images in a photography studio as a student to support my college education. It took me the next 10 years as a graphics designer in various fields to realise that I wanted to design for fashion. I gave up my day job and started attending fashion design courses. My first job in the business was as an assistant designer in a lingerie and nightwear company, in which I eventually became lead designer. Then I moved to London and attended Istituto Marangoni. After graduation I designed and developed leather handbags and accessories for the next few years.
What prompted you to start your own label and why resort wear?
It’s about combination of various factors really. First and most important, 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.
Secondly, 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 every-day items.
Third, ancient Caria, located in today’s Aegean Region had a big influence on me. I spiritually grew up there. It’s such a wonderful climate. Land is so fertile. Living is almost effortless. I had so many inspirations that I wanted to realise and share. I started with resort wear because it is 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.
What separates Umran Aysan from other resort wear brands?
You will know that you have contributed to lives of some craftsmen greatly. You will own timeless pieces you can enjoy throughout the day and night.
You have hand picked and deliberately chose the particular fabrics you work with, can you tell us more about these?
Fabrics are Tencel, silk, and cotton. I chose them because of their comfort for the intended activity and matched them with styles. They are the best fabrics I touched. All of them are from certified sources. They are manufactured in Turkey in facilities I have personally been to and confirmed their working conditions. The garments are manufactured close to these facilities to reduce transportation carbon footprint. I thank all those suppliers because they believed in my story. I am very happy to see that there is hope for a more sustainable future.
The meticulous details, for example with the needle lace, that adorns your garments is unparalleled and simply beautiful. Can you share with us the art of these traditional crafts?
Needle lace is a very special ancient technique. It’s been traditionally made for the trousseau of a young girl. There aren’t any fixed patterns, the maker improvises according what she feels at that very moment, be it wishing good for the future or coming into terms with the past. It’s an expression of the feelings through the lace. They are delicate, intimate and very time consuming to make. It’s like a meditation. It was very special for me to see smiles on these women’s faces when they were needle lacing despite the grim facts of their lives. Thank you for noticing and appreciating it. Their makers will be very happy to know your compliments.
Although it’s very difficult to choose, what is your favourite Umran Aysan piece and why?
Tough question! Well, the needle lace and crochets are my favourites because they are simply beautiful and pay the artisans as well.
Discover Umran Aysan’s collection here
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