A designer creating difference in detail
We have talked about Selma Çilek’s brand with Selma Çilek, who has a successful impetus in fashion world at a very young age through her designs that are elegant enough to make a difference in details.
Positioning SELMACILEK brand as a ready-to-wear garment company that appeals to all women, who want to be stylish with no exeggeration, self-reliant and form-confident, who want to look simple and striking, between A, A+ plus, 18 to 45 years old, the goal of the successful designer, is to open up to the world..
Selma Çilek is a very young and successful designer.
Can we know more about you as a successful name pursuing her dreams?
I started designing at the 3rd year of the University. When I was dressed up totally the same with my best friend on a New Year’s Eve, for a moment I found myself designing my own dress. Then I found a tailor and I sewn it. I received an incredible recognition and even a lot of orders afterwards. Then, I recognized one thing that I was continuously drawing during my classess. After that day, I went to Italy at every opportunity to take short courses and prepared myself for my future. As soon as I graduated, I studied design in Milan for doing this job professionally. Since then, I have been desingning.
You have created a brand in totally a different sector than your family, by not following the traces of family tradition. How do you define Selma Çilek brand? What is your brand’s target audience?
I am positioning SELMACILEK Brand as a ready-to-wear garment company that appeals to female between 18-45 years, A, A+ customers who want to be simply stylish with no exeggeration, self-reliant and confident to her shape, want to look simple and striking.
Comparing to recent years, Turkey is far more progressed and in a much better place in fashion
Where do you see Turkey about Fashion?
Comparing to recent years, Turkey is far more progressed and in a much better place in fashion. Turkish fashionists are now working their damndest to announce their names abroad and most of them are appericiated very much. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is an important platform for Turkish fashioners to promote their creations both in Turkey and Abroad. We should try to utilize these possibilities as much as possible and try to introduce our own brand, Turkish fashion to the world. Our goal is always ought to be to open to the world.
I had really bad acne in high school, so I’d get away with wearing coverall and that’s it. Still, my mother would look at me from her bed—I did, and still do, my makeup in her room because it has the best lighting—and be like, ‘What are you doing?’ I used to tell my mom like, ‘Don’t worry! I’ll never wear mascara!’ But it all happens…100 YouTube tutorials later you emerge in full face [Laughs].
I always admired makeup. I’d watch my grandma doing her makeup, and she’d always be put together. She would tell me that photos are forever, you can’t take it lightly, and you have to perfect it. Little things like that really stuck with me. Without my mother’s permission, I dyed my hair platinum blonde as a teenager. Having white hair changes your life, regardless of gender identity. It is a really crazy experience. You learn about so many different sides of people and how they perceive you—it’s crazy. It was motivation, I guess, and it was the first instance of feeling like I can’t hide myself.
I was really obsessed with Final Fantasy at the time, especially the Final Fantasy villains. If you really look at a Final Fantasy villain and analyze it, it’s a female head on a male body. I felt connected to the possibility of being really pretty, even if my body didn’t match up—there was a chance for the head portion to be on-point and consistent with how I view myself. After that, I started really diving into makeup as identity. Beauty can be a big deal for all girls, but beauty for a trans girl could be life-or-death. There’s moments when you could be placed in danger for not passing as a woman convincingly enough. One time I was walking with my friend and a guy was trying to holler at me, then he took out a knife. Makeup is much more serious to trans women. Even cis girls can relate—they get attacked and bullied in schools, growing up, because they’re not pretty enough.
I really feel bad for a lot of trans people and trans women who don’t have the experience [with makeup] before they come into themselves and have to learn to do their makeup in no time. They’re 35, they have kids, and they need to transition then—that’s the bravest thing ever. That’s not to say that I think people transitioning later in life necessarily need to wear makeup to be who they are. I just identified with it. The way I did it was just like how every girl picks up makeup skills—where your mom is like, ‘You can only put on lipgloss.’ You need time to practice, so it looks good. I used to just have these Zen three-hour makeup sessions. Of course, during the day I just wear tinted moisturizer, concealer, and maybe mascara. Sometimes I’ll do a wing, but just a little bit on the outer edge. But at night…at night is when I’d really take my time. I’d do my makeup from 7pm to 10pm and go out at midnight.