Meet Unusual - Transformation, Reformation, Euphoria
Architect turned designer Ecem Öksüz is the creative force behind Turkish label Unusual. Based in Istanbul, Turkey, she spent seven years in the architectural industry before embarking on a new venture that fully expresses her creativity, inspiration and innovation. The label aims to inspire women to feel exclusive by embracing the “unusual” within themselves, while the brand embraces an “unusual” point of view.
What's your name?
I am Ecem Öksüz.
Where are you from?
I am from Istanbul, Turkey.
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
Actually, It does not, the thing I design will be designed, whether it is to be produced commercially or not. I will always push my limits even if I produce something that will only stay on paper as a sketch or a render. I value it as much as a final product.
Do you prefer to follow or subvert trends?
I always keep an eye on what is going on as an architect and designer, because in the end we are all changing and looking for something new. However I don't like to take everything as it is, and if I do, I transform it and play with it. For example, if the trend is fluffy textures and organic shapes, I like to go for fluffy and geometric.
Are you a romantic person?
In personal relationships I am not, rather I am a daydreamer who is enthusiastic about 'being alive'.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
Since I have an architectural background I cannot ignore functionality. Sometimes I get carried away by the shape but I still work to make it functional. However, I must say that since I approach bags as sculptural objects, I cannot claim they are your regular tote bag to take grocery shopping. But they are perfectly functional to go out and feel exquisite.
Are your designs connected with or inspired by your heritage?
I have quite a diverse heritage - growing up in a metropolitan area like Istanbul, I always had one eye on the past and one eye on the future. My city is so historical and so modern at the same time. I am very inspired by that history - for example, some of the bags have Turkish woven fabrics in them. I love these layers and juxtaposing new and old.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
I would love to go to Denmark please! I am in love with Scandinavia, it is design heaven. We bought tickets couple of times but we were so busy we could not go.
What is your favorite film?
Mr. Nobody, it is unexpected and breaking the rules.
What's your favorite month or season?
I am a winter person, unlike many Turkish people. I love the sound of silence when it snows.
What is your spirit animal?
I was told it is butterfly! Apparently, butterfly is a symbol of transformation, reformation, and euphoria.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
My sewing machine.
Check out Unusual's new collections here