The London based sustainable brand, Harem London, founded by Turkish sisters, Dee and Begum Ozturk, is the up and coming streetwear brand you need to know about! Inspired by travel comfort with a ‘London x Istanbul’ culture fuse, Harem presented us with a beautiful 22-piece collection, full of flowy, oversized, tailored streetwear.
We spoke with Dee and asked her a few questions about the collection.
Where did your inspiration come from for this collection?
So Harem London is all about cross-culture, it’s a mixture of my Turkish background, from Istanbul, and obviously London, which is a big part of my life. Everything is ethically made in London, it’s easy sportswear that’s made from 100% Turkish organic cotton which we mixed with some cotton jersey to create a really relaxed cool street vibe, so it’s really a mixture of two cultures which, together, are my life.
What does genderless clothing mean to you and why did you decide to include unisex pieces?
Unisex is nothing that calculated for me, I just shop menswear, it’s what I feel comfortable in, I don’t believe in that certain looks must be worn [by certain people], I just feel like, whatever you feel comfortable in you just put on, that’s why most of our cuts are quite large and versatile, they’re comfortable, because I want people to wear what I wear which is quite hard to find these days.
Where did the idea of ‘versatility’ come from?
It’s all about travel, we’re all world citizens now, like I don’t believe in cities anymore, it’s the world that people go and explore; such as myself, I love travelling, I love to be comfortable and I love to look good when I’m comfortable, especially with stuff that’s easy for travelling. You don’t need to iron [our clothing] and it’s really thin to pack – that was the idea, whatever you pack, you don’t need to worry about how good you look, you will always look good. It’s streetwear but with tailoring details, such as piping, and its very well made – that’s what stands out from the rest of the joggers made in London. Of course, ours are made in London too, but you feel different when you wear ours, that was the concentration, you always look good and sharp.
It’s very geometrical actually, one of the inspirations when I say my background’s from Istanbul is geometry, which I was very into when I was studying – like angles and shapes… We really like sharp shapes but with the fabric we use it’s challenging – it’s very soft jersey, so creating that is our challenge in Harem London, it’s tedious but it’s fun!
Who would you say your favourite streetwear brand is and do you take inspiration from them?
To be honest I don’t- obviously I buy other brands as well, but there’s not one particular brand that I always shop, I try to find independent designers that are like us, something that’s not factory made, something special that’s not mass-produced, something that’s ethically produced, and this is what I look for, I shop around small independent designers, I feel like they have to be found out.