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Ozlem Suer: My Istanbul

Özlem Süer, internationally known for her feminine womenswear and romantic wedding line, tells Vanessa H. Larson about her native city

City Guide
Vanessa H. Larson,

Where do you live?
In Istanbul, in Nişantaşı.

Why do you live there?
I love Nişantaşı. A sense of luxury is at the forefront of my collection; it conveys the feeling of special moments. For that reason, Nişantaşı is most suitable. We are located in a historic villa and I think of it like an installation: the space, the neighbourhood, the city. These are the background to my collection, which lives on the stage that is Istanbul.

What are your favourite places in the city?
My favourite is the Bosphorus ferries. Going to the islands on a ferry, with tea and simit, throwing simit to the seagulls, is very nice. I also like the Grand Bazaar. I like the jewellers’ secret workshops; I gather materials there.

Where do you take visiting friends?
To 360 , which is one of my favourite places. I also love the cafes in the side streets of Nişantaşı and Ara Kafe in Beyoğlu.

What’s your favourite place to walk?
Sunday is my favourite day in Istanbul because no one goes out until noon and it feels as if the city belongs to me. There are no people out on the streets, just cats. I love to walk in hidden places like Çukurcuma and along the shore of the Bosphorus.

Who from Istanbul do you admire most?
The architect Sinan, who was born in 1480, is the person I most admire. I see his work as a great treasure, a magnificent presence. He was very prolific but if only he had created even more! Fikret Muallâ is one of the first artists I knew of as a child and I have followed him for my whole life.

What can’t you live without?
My husband, my family and my team, who are my second family. And, of course, my art and designs, which are even more precious for me as a means of self-expression than speaking.



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