When fashion month ended, it was clear that the industry had become ripe with new talent and is full of exciting new collections — but there’s one new designer who doesn’t call one of the “big four” fashion cities home. Her name is Zeynep Arçay, and she is the founder of her namesake line, which is making a big splash in the U.S. from 5,000 miles away — in Istanbul.
Stylish celebs such as Kendall Jenner, Allison Williams, Jessica Biel, and Chrissy Teigen have all been spotted wearing the Turkish brand in recent months. But we predict this is just the beginning of what will surely be a long line of celebrity obsessions with Zeynep Arçay, which is making its U.S. debut through a trunk show on Moda Operandi (available now through April 24 only).
Arçay has procured partnerships with some of the best factories and tanneries in Italy, France, and Turkey, with which she has created luxurious collections using only the finest quality leather, silk, and fur. Arçay uses paper-thin leather, a material at the forefront of her collections, to create incredibly lightweight, strong-yet-feminine-style dresses, skirts, and jumpsuits in colors such as baby blue, red, and black.
The leather is extremely malleable, which makes it easy for Arçay to create new silhouettes, and it has a lovely feather-light feel when worn. The collection includes trench coats, tailored jacket-and-skirt sets, as well as stylish workwear separates, such as structured blouses and wide-leg trousers. Note: The collection won’t be easy on your purse strings. Individual pieces in the collection have a luxury price point ranging from $1,000 to $4,000, and the furs cost $7,000 to $11,000.
Although Zeynep Arçay is new to the U.S. retail circuit, with Forward by Elyse Walker being the first e-commerce retailer to sell the collection in the U.S. (starting July 15), the brand received its first big break from Beymen, the leading Turkish fashion retailer, which stocked Arçay’s first collection alongside top luxury brands such as Saint Laurent, The Row, and Valentino.
You might be surprised to find out that Arçay’s background is not in fashion, but rather in the business and tech industry for the past 20 years before launching her eponymous brand in 2013. What prompted the sudden switch in careers? A blessing in disguise.
Unfortunately, Arçay’s mother had fallen gravely ill and instilled in her a will to go after her true passion in life: to be a fashion designer. This was the emotional push she needed to make her dreams a reality.
We can’t wait to see what Arçay has in store for the future. For now, click ahead to see Jenner, Biel, Williams, and Teigen in the brand that will surely create the breakout designer among celebs this year.