I guess there was a time I discovered brands beyond my iPhone screen, but since lockdown, I can hardly remember those days. Social media undoubtedly presents a glut of fashion day in, day out, so it takes a lot to stop and stare while absentmindedly scrolling the newsfeed. Enter: Lug Von Siga, who had me hooked from the moment I first laid eyes on a ruffled sleeve. While it’s a new discovery of mine, Gul Agis’ line of storybook-worthy dresses and romantic separates has been going strong since she founded it in 2010. The designer officially presented her Spring Summer ’21 wares today, via film, as part of Istanbul Fashion Week, alongside a plethora of emerging and established talent. She tells The Daily about where it all began and what’s to come. Get ready to fall in love!
How did you end up pursuing fashion?
For me, it all started with drawing skirts when I was four-years-old. As a child I was always different and loved drawing and playing with colors for hours. There was not a proper school for fashion design back then in İstanbul. Therefore, I settled for English as I loved reading and history. After graduating from University of Bilkent where I studied English Language and Literature, my passion for fashion multiplied and I decided to go to Milan and learn everything from scratch. I studied at Istituto Marangoni and then completed my Master’s at the Politecnico di Milano, Scuola del Design.
What were you doing before launching Lug Von Siga in 2010?
I lived in Milan for almost eight years, where I studied and gained experience with ready to wear. After many years of learning, I became fashion assistant to Ennio Capasa, founder and then creative director at Costume National. Under him, I gained a lot of experience, especially with tailoring techniques and printing. I have been lucky to have worked with great names.
What’s Lug Von Siga’s specialty as a ready to wear brand? What marks it apart?
Lug Von Siga is not only about clothes: it is a kind of attitude and way of living towards all the things we often keep forgetting from the past. We forget our roots, where we have come from, our sensuality, and our kindness for others as well as the planet. So I believe in pursuing our past and dreams. I come from a vivid Turkish culture, which is rich in texture and folkloric details, prints, and so on. I keep using many references from my roots and heritage. When I feel lost during the creative process, I go to the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul to ground myself and it helps me a lot.
Can you sum up the last ten years leading your own brand in one sentence?
Dedication and discipline is the essence of creativity.
Tell us how sustainability comes into play with your designs?
We have been using vegan fabrics for more than eight seasons. However, after the pandemic, we have started being super sensitive when choosing the fabric for the collection. We try to use as much organic and vegan as possible, but we are still not 100% sustainable. We have started a project of planting five trees for each item we sell online. By the end of summer 2021, we will hopefully create a forest. This is a kind of pay back to the planet for what we have done in the past.
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Where do you look to for inspiration and do you have references that you routinely come back to?
I love historical costume books, antique fabrics, and details from all over the world. Especially in Turkey, starting from Grand Bazaar. There are so many cities and villages in Anatolia that are full of inspiration.
Do you have a Lug Von Siga woman in mind when designing? What do you think she is like, if so?
Yes, there is a woman who is mystic, sometimes more feminine, sometimes more masculine—but there is a strange and magical balance between.
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Tell us about the new collection! What can we expect?
This was the first collection created after lockdown, so it was kind of a summary of the new feelings explored during that time: uncertainty, fear, hope, gratitude, anger and frustration all mingled together. I decided to collaborate with architect Can Dagarslani to create a movie and campaign images which were like a continuation of his ‘identities series’ book. The resulting campaign and lookbook, Analog Diaries, is like an opposition to new digital era and the speed behind it. It’s a collection of feminine silhouettes, flowing dresses and masculine pants paired with oversize cotton shirts. My hobby of gardening and aromatherapy has also made the collection more eco-friendly and I used as many sustainable fabrics (vegan cupro, organic cotton) as possible.
How does Istanbul as a creative capital inspire you?
Istanbul is like an immortal beloved for me: it is magical and profound, versatile, and emotional at the same time. My stories of the collections always end in Istanbul.
What will 2021 hold for the brand?
Being on the global platform for more than sixe years now, we have had many important stockists from Net a Porter to MATCHESFASHION, Yoox, and Neiman Marcus. We are now planning to expand our business in an ethical and more sustainable way. We hope to touch as many people’s hearts as possible.