The long-awaited opening of the Istanbul outpost took place in May last year. ‘Galeries Lafayette had plans to open a store in Turkey for a very long time,’ says Simge Telman, general manager of Galeries Lafayette Turkey, which launched in partnership with Demsa Group. ‘Our group wanted to be involved in this project because we have an affinity with international luxury brands and the luxury segment in Turkey. We are also a company with an international DNA.’ Demsa Group worked closely with Galeries Lafayette through the whole process. The company is known to be a pioneer, and has brought many internationally renowned designers and brands to Turkey for the first time. ‘We are happy to have such a successful and exciting partnership with Galeries Lafayette,’ continues Telman.
Demsa Group is an ideal partner for Galeries Lafayette. It owns more than 120 retail units across Turkey, housing more than 30 international luxury brands. ‘We have customers of all ages and from all walks of life. With Galeries Lafayette we are aiming to reach an even wider audience,’ explains Telman. ‘Galeries Lafayette is a department store where anyone should be able to find something that they like and need.’
The store has another, more personal meaning for Telman. ‘The opening of Galeries Lafayette in Istanbul has been a very special occasion to me … I spent four years of my childhood in Paris and Galeries Lafayette was situated close to my father’s office. So it was a frequent shopping stop for our family. Bringing this store to Istanbul revived so many precious memories.’
The iconic dome of the flagship store on boulevard Haussmann in Paris has been reimagined in a breathtaking, mirror-lined version, which creates a contemporary and vivid atmosphere. Since its opening, the 9,500-square-metre store in Istanbul has offered a unique shopping experience. At 600 square metres, the cosmetics department is the largest in Turkey, showcasing brands including Tom Ford, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Urban Decay and many more. A service that is as dynamic as the ambiance of the store is Get Ready in 30 Minutes, as Telman explains: ‘Our customers will benefit from free make-up and a touch-up of their hair and/or nail polish in half an hour. If you have a meeting or a meal that you need to attend after shopping, you can be ready to go in only 30 minutes!’ For gentleman a similar service is available within the men’s department.
With a separate personal shopping area, a personal-care service and more than 100 brands new to Turkey, Galeries Lafayette Istanbul has given a boost to the affordable luxury segment in Turkey. The Paris Street area houses French labels and is like a guide to Parisian chic. The evening and formalwear section offers many elegant yet affordable designs from new brands. Also look out for the Galeries Lafayette private-label collections for clothing, lingerie and loungewear, which have all proved popular already. ‘The affordable in-house labels were received very well,’ says Telman. ‘Our local and foreign customers have all loved the idea of reaching the private-label brands in Turkey, too. We are proud to have such a diverse brand mix.’ Working with so many brands and getting inspired by different designers’ looks, Telman does not make a distinction in style when it comes to her own business and private wardrobe. ‘I have different style codes that I apply. I can say that I reflect my feelings in my look of the day. My mood in the morning really determines the way I’m dressed that day.’
Emaar Square has created charming living spaces within a spacious and luxurious shopping centre where Galeries Lafayette is a prominent feature. The atmosphere proves to be appealing to visitors from all over the world. ‘Galeries Lafayette France has the highest revenue among multibrand stores internationally. We made it possible for the international Lafayette customer to visit this popular store during their stay in Istanbul as well,’ states Telman. ‘Opening Galeries Lafayette in Istanbul has been a big step in reaching our international clientele. To keep our valued customers excited we will perform different in-store projects during the autumn/winter season. We’ll soon share more on our surprise events and creative collaborations.’