The Challenges Faced by Independent Fashion Designers

Dilara Findikoglu's Decision to Skip London Fashion WeekIn a surprising turn of events, renowned fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu has not only decid...

Dilara Findikoglu's Decision to Skip London Fashion Week

In a surprising turn of events, renowned fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu has not only decided to skip the upcoming London Fashion Week, but she has also revealed plans to shut down her label permanently. The decision was not made lightly, as Findikoglu expressed her emotional turmoil over the matter. She confessed, "I couldn't work for a week. I was paralyzed by the fear that my peers and industry insiders would perceive me as weak. But I stand for fearlessness, and staying true to myself and my brand is of utmost importance."

The Reality of Independent Fashion Labels

The current landscape for independent high-end fashion labels is grim, with self-funded designers facing intense competition. According to the Savigny Luxury Index, conglomerates like LVMH and Kering dominate the luxury fashion market, with LVMH holding a staggering 45.4% market share. Findikoglu struggles to keep up with the financial demands, revealing that she is still paying off the costs of her Autumn-Winter 2023 catwalk show.

Findikoglu's situation is not unique. Many emerging designers face mounting debt from organizing fashion shows that eat away at their resources until the next show. This vicious cycle has become a common reality for these talented designers striving to make their mark.

A New Trend: Independent Designers Opting Out

A wave of prominent young designers has recently chosen to remove themselves from the official fashion week schedule. Notable names like Steven Stokey-Daley, Nensi Dojaka, and Michael Halpern, who won prestigious awards, have intentionally distanced themselves from the industry's traditional routes. Findikoglu follows suit, indicating a growing dissatisfaction with the current system.

Findikoglu's designs have been embraced by A-list celebrities, including Margot Robbie, Cardi B, and Kylie Jenner. Despite this success, she reveals a crucial element missing in her career – money. Speaking about her inability to proceed with the London Fashion Week show, Findikoglu candidly stated, "I didn't have enough budget. That's it. I can't keep investing my own money in this endeavor."

Scaling Up Without Losing Artistic Integrity

The question haunting Findikoglu and other independent designers is how to scale up their brands without compromising their artistic vision. Findikoglu acknowledges the need for an infusion of capital by partnering with an investor, a business partner, or a larger fashion house capable of propelling her career to the next level.

This desire for growth is not without its challenges. Findikoglu wants to expand into a lifestyle brand, exploring avenues such as furniture and interior design. She envisions providing her audience with a complete experience immersed in her unique world.

The Need for Greater Support

Findikoglu believes that it is crucial for the fashion industry to provide more financial assistance to budding designers. She voices her concern that only a select few designers receive support while many struggle due to the lack of investment opportunities. Findikoglu suggests that initiatives like NEWGEN should be more accessible to all designers on the London Fashion Week schedule.

The path of an independent fashion designer is far from predictable, and their journeys are often fraught with financial uncertainty. As Findikoglu continues her creative pursuits, she aims to strike a balance between innovative designs and market viability, all while preserving the integrity of her brand.

This story is part of Style's ongoing project, The September Issues: A thought-provoking hub for conversations about fashion's impact on people and the planet.

04 Oca 2024 - 14:19 - Lifestyle

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