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Exclusive interview: Ipekyol

The Ipekyol group manages three chic brands and has a dedicated following in Turkey and further afield. Company director Uğur Ayaydın tells Tuba Gezer Arlı about the secrets of the company’s success

Tuba Gezer Arli portrait
Tuba Gezer Arlı ,

The Ipekyol brand and its sister labels Machka and Twist are essential to discover on your trip to Turkey. Wardrobe staples worn with pride by those in the know, they offer catwalk-inspired and affordable clothing created from high-quality materials. İpekyol is a name that’s currently best-known in Turkey but it won’t be long until it’s familiar with international fashion fans too. Started as a family business in Turkey by Yalçın Ayaydın in 1986, in 2008 the company joined forces with Italian textile giant Miroglio in order to reach a larger audience outside its home country.

Uğur Ayaydın, a member of the Ayaydın Miroglio board of directors, explains that, to the Ipekyol group’s style-conscious customers, timing is everything. ‘Our customers are very aware of what they really want. They prefer to wear fashion within the season, they don’t wait for the sale to start to renew their wardrobe. Above all, their most important wishes are comfort, quality and clothes that make them happy.’

The group’s brands, Ipekyol, Machka and Twist, are gaining popularity in Turkey and internationally. ‘We reach more people each day with more stores,’ Ayaydın explains. ‘For the next five years our plan is to make shopping more convenient. We know that our audience can be anywhere, from our stores to online and mobile, so we develop a better usability online but remain omni-channel by developing our physical stores as well.’

This multifaceted approach is not confined to the group’s retail platforms. The clothing presented by its three brands appeals to a multitude of women. Ipekyol, the first brand, was created to offer clothing that takes modern women elegantly from day into evening. ‘We positioned Ipekyol as the first brand that pops into their mind for their 24/7 fashion needs,’ Ayaydın continues. ‘The different lines within Ipekyol help them express their personal style, from day to night.’

In 1997 the Ayaydın group embarked on a drive to win a younger audience. This lead to the launch of Twist, an urban brand with a free spirit, one with a totally new approach to fashion in Turkey. Machka, the country’s first-ever prêt-à-porter brand, was launched in 2004. Renowned fashion designer Ece Ege from designer duo Dice Kayek prepared the feminine, stylish collection. Delicate fabrics and the designer’s personal style made Machka a prestigious player within the luxury segment. These brands sit proudly alongside Ipekyol.

The Ayaydın Miroglio group now has around 193 stores and employs more than 1,500 people. Since the brand’s inception, the fashion retail landscape has experienced marked changes, with more brands competing for customers’ attention than ever before. ‘This is actually a good thing for us,’ Ayaydın says. ‘We distinguish ourselves by connecting with our customers direct. By giving them what they really need in terms of fashion, we create brand loyalty. It is important for us to know about the customer experience. We really value our strong relationship with our audience.’

The growth of the group’s brands is not limited to Turkey. ‘There’s a rise in the amount of international customers we welcome each year. We try to create special offers for our foreign clientele in our shops in Turkey,’ Ayaydın explains. ‘Furthermore, we are opening new stores abroad and launched eu.ipekyol.com, an online shopping site to service our customers in Europe.’ The websites have been created with the attention to detail that the brand prides itself on. ‘We wanted to give the exact level of quality our customers were used to in our stores. Our websites had to be very user-friendly and quick to navigate,’ says Ayaydın.

He recognises the importance of further developing the brands online. ‘Young and old are online for a great part of the day. It’s never possible to be ahead of technological development, every day some new app or service is added, but we are aware that our brands need to have an online presence. We are determined to grow on the net as well.’

Founder Yalçın Ayaydın’s mission was to create the best-loved fashion brand in Turkey. He would be proud of Ayaydın Miroglio’s top-performing Turkish womenswear brands today. To strengthen the bond with their customers further, development of the user experience both online and offline is key and the company invests in customer relationship management to achieve this. ‘We value our audience and want to give them the best service possible,’ says Ayaydın. ‘Ipekyol, Machka and Twist were created to be the best brands for women's fashion in Turkey and globally. To achieve this mission the Ayaydın company worked hard and still continues to do so.’



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