TR – NL fashion entrepreneurs
FashionUnited (platform for the fashion branch) organized the Turkish Fashion Break at the World Fashion Centre Amsterdam in 2006. It facilitated Dutch fashion companies, brand owners, wholesalers and shops. Their aim was to gain knowledge of Turkish fashion brands and to find a partner amongst these fashion brands and producers for production, new collections and consumers in Turkey. During the Turkish Fashion Break, over 25 Turkish companies were present in the World Fashion Centre Amsterdam, and a well known Turkish designer, Evrim Timur (1967, Istanbul) gave a fashion show. See http://www.fashionunited.nl.
Below are some categories of organizations that operate between Turkey and the Netherlands with one or more examples. This is by no means a definite list of companies.
Based in the Netherlands but with roots in Turkey
Olcay Gulsen (Waalwijk, 1981) won the Amsterdam Business Award 2010 with her fashion label Supertrash. Olcay Gulsen, born in the Netherlands but has a Kurdish background, had her own business since she was 21. Globally Supertrash has more than 1000 points of sale and aims to create stylish clothes for an affordable price.
Based in Turkey and in the Netherlands
Guga Jeans is a family business based in Istanbul with a factory in Yenibosna. They have a branch in Amsterdam and plan to expand their company to Middle and Eastern Europe as well as the Balkans. The reason Guga Jeans has opened a branch in Amsterdam, located in the World Fashion Centre, is that in the Netherlands potential clients who visit the Centre automatically come in contact with Guga. Guga Jeans has 110 point of sales in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Surinam, and Dutch Antilles.
The delivery time from Istanbul is about 7 weeks for: knitted garments in single jersey, heavy jersey, pique, interlock, ottoman, 1x1 rib, different types of cotton of mixed fabrics and many other textiles. They mostly produce for high level brands from Italy and Northern Europe. The unique selling point of Metraco is that they can both design collections for its customers and produce for whole sale prices. They also develop new textiles, finishing, prints, and embroideries. 6 times per year they make a collection for themselves, so that every two months they can show new products to their clients. Metraco’s creative input gives them a competitive advantage over other suppliers.
Based in the Netherlands with a partner in Turkey State of Art, part of the Albert Westerman Groep, is an apparel company in Lichtenvoorde that designs comfortable, casual clothing for men over 25 years old under a label with the same name. Their collections are produced in Turkey and they sell their collections in the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia, England and Germany. They work with 6 different Turkish partners in order to spread risks. One problem that arises now is that the labor costs rise, and for this reason State of Art may decide to leave the country. State of Art also has their clothes produced in China. Turkish partners visit the Netherlands 2x per year and State of Art visits Turkey 4x per year. They consider Turkish partners as real partners, not just suppliers, so personal attention is important.
Based in the Netherlands selling in Turkey For almost 30 years Addy van den Krommenacker has been selling chique brands in his shop in Den Bosch. Since 2001 he also designs women’s fashion himself. He is quite successful with his designs and sells his expensive dresses in Italy, Russia, Montenegro and Turkey. He has also given shows in Budapest, Montenegro and at the couture fashion week in Rome. He has his designs produced in Italy.
Based in Turkey selling in the Netherlands
The Turkish brand Koton opened its first shop in the Netherlands at the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam. The brand aims at a market of young people with an individual taste which the brand describes as ‘Urban Yuppie Attitude’.