A big challenge for emerging fashion designers is to show their collection abroad, and the Mercedes-Benz International Design Exchange Program allows for many to do that. Turkish fashion designer Şansım Adalı traveled to Georgia, where she presented her label Sudi Etuz internationally for the first time as part of the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program
(IDEP) during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. The designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 was a love letter to Istanbul, with references to the city through its geography and opulent buildings. Bulbous sleeves were shaped like Palace doors, while the decolletage of a bandeau top traced the outlines of the famed Bosphorus Strait that links Asia to Europe. Delicate ruffles and swathes of tulle gave the collection and ethereal touch, ideal for that staid woman who lunches, and the fun, young debutante alike. Adalı spoke to a group of reporters after her show, where she discussed her first time traveling abroad, her ode to Istanbul, and the challenges of being an emerging designer.
How did you get the opportunity to present at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi?
Last season I was presented by Mercedes-Benz in my hometown, Istanbul, and they gave me a chance to do an exchange program. There was a list of some cities in which Tbilisi took my attention because the emerging designers are so cool. Fashion week goes really well. I really wanted to be a part of it, and thanks to Mercedes, they just placed me here, and replaced me with a Georgian designer, and the experience improved me a lot because I’m out of my country for the first time, so it was a really great experience to be a part of it, and working with Georgian models and a Georgian team.
Turkey shares a border with Georgia. Is there a strong connection between countries?
Yeah we do. We don’t even need passports to fly. We’re just neighbors. We’re so close.
Were you exposed Georgian culture growing up?
In Istanbul I have some Georgian friends, and my teacher from fashion school was Georgian, so she was telling me stylist friends who are visiting Tbilisi Fashion Week, they are always telling me a lot about it, like how cool the places are, and how the street style so good, and how international press is giving much attention, and the city is inspiring. I didn’t expect this much. They preserved all the buildings, everything really good, and inspired me. Being in the city gave me so much inspiration.