Erdem Moralioglu

By
Photography David Bailey

Published August 16, 2016

HAIR PRODUCTS: KIEHL’S, INCLUDING SILK GROOM SERUM. HAIR: TYLER JOHNSTON FOR KIEHL’S/ONE REPRESENTS. GROOMER: ANDREW GALLIMORE FOR NARS/CLM. MAKEUP: ZOE TAYLOR FOR DARPHIN/JED ROOT. STUDIO MANAGER: MARK PATTENDEN. PHOTO ASSISTANTS: FENTON BAILEY, MALAK KABBANI. MAKEUP ASSISTANT: LILY GREGORY.

Founder and creative director of Erdem, London.

HAYLEY PHELAN: Do you think runway shows are still relevant?

ERDEM MORALIOGLU: Those ten fleeting minutes before a show, when each girl is in their first look and you can see your idea, your proposal for the season existing as a whole—that is still so important. As a designer, we’re all striving for that moment, to show your body of work in a way that moves people—to get a reaction, even if it’s negative. We live in a funny time where we’re exposed to everything, so being able to get a reaction is so important.

PHELAN: How have runway shows changed since you founded your label 11 years ago?

MORALIOGLU: When I started, you had to wait at least 24 hours before you could see images or read a review of your own work. It’s mind-boggling now, when you think about Instagram: That first look is out there before the show even ends. What’s interesting now is that when you walk out at the end of the show, you just see a sea of phones. You don’t see any faces. Everyone wants that finale shot. It’s an odd thing.

PHELAN: You built your business in the golden age of e-commerce, yet you still decided to open a brick-and-mortar store. Why?

MORALIOGLU: It was about creating a world where the collection could live and you could present your ideas as a whole. I think stores will always be important—it’s invaluable to have that place where someone can try something on and understand what that designer is about as soon as they walk in the door.

PHELAN: How do you think retail stores will evolve in the future?

MORALIOGLU: I think they’ll become deeply personal spaces. For us, we determined right away that you weren’t going to see any cash registers. We wanted it to feel like someone’s home. We filled it with books and art that I’m interested in, and we thought about everything from the smell to the feeling of the floor.  It feels very human and personal in this age where there’s a lack of that. Maybe one day we’ll be body-scanning people, and the dress will be 3-D-printed on them, but I could also see there being a backlash to what is going on now, a hunger for humanness.

For more from our “The State of Fashion” portfolio, click here.