by Mira Postolache
The designer of the brand st NIAN, Nihan Buruk, was born in Istanbul in 1983. She studied “Fashion and Textile Design” at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Yeditepe University in Istanbul. During her university studies, she was elected “Miss Pantene” in 2001 and “Miss Turkey” in 2002. After graduating in Fashion and Textile Design in 2007, she created her own fashion brand st NIAN; with a vision focused on various social, cultural and ecological aspects. Her values and origins are reflected in her designs.
Nihan Buruk stands out for her sensitivity towards social responsibility projects. During her career as a designer, she has created various fashion collections focusing on current issues such as the right to water and the abolition of violence against women. A vision, but also actions.
The importance of materials is a pillar in the creation of the collections. st NIAN agrees to want to convey through its creations the lifestyle of women and men.
In 2021, st NIAN opened two boutiques in Paris and since then she is blending social responsibility projects with fashion. We connected with fashion designer Nihan Buruk for an exclusive interview x Vanity Teen:
Hello Nihan, welcome to Vanity Teen, being a Turkish born designer based in Paris, share with us a few highlights about your journey and when was your first approach to fashion?
I have always wanted to be a fashion designer since I was a small girl growing up in Istanbul. I started modeling so I could pay for my fashion school studies and started working right after I got my diploma.
We love your vision regarding a few social + cultural issues like the abolition of violence against women. How aware are you of the fact that you are considered to be one of a few designers touching this aspect?
I’m quite surprised we are not more women touching it , not just designers concerned about this subject. Everyone can express their awareness about their profession ın their field. As a fashion designer I have been asking many questions about life and its aspects in every collection for 15 years. I think we all deserve a better life, at the same time a better planet.
Tell us more about your inspiration sources for the Fall-Winter 23/24 collection showcased in Paris. Walk us through your design process a little bit. Are there any pieces that are your favorite from this collection?
My inspiration for the last collection is coming from the sentences about women from Denis Diderot: ‘’When someone wants to write about women, one must dip one’s pen in the rainbow and shake dust oh the butterfly’s wings on the one’s line.’’
These sentences that Diderot wrote about women inspired me during the preparation of the collection. In these novels, Diderot presented women as being as naïve and fragile as butterflies. As the manifesto of this collection ,I wanted to emphasize the effects and traces left by women on the environment and society, reminiscent of the butterfly dust with which he dried his feathers.
On the other hand, I created situational ironic dresses, fabrics and patterns that become the concrete expression of such irony. My favorite piece is the final one, an embroidered corset and chiffon bodysuit, embroidered skirt.
The best things are usually created when people follow their own vision rather than just pursuing success or money for its own sake. How challenging is the business part for you as a creative based in Paris?
It took me a while to understand who the Parisiennes are as any foreigner in any business will tell you. There are rules and regulations in the business part of fashion in France that are not so clear , some of these rules are not even written down. Once that was understood I was able to continue my path and find my way.
How would you define the term “long-lasting” in fashion? How do you face sustainable challenges in such a complex industry?
I strongly believe that it is more intelligent to buy quality goods that last longer one or two pieces a year than buying four or five that will eventually end up being cast away. The game is not to over price these quality items so a larger number of the public can be able to purchase and enjoy long lasting fashion at a low cost
How do you explore the needs of innovation and revolutionary changes when it comes to creating a new collection. What makes you satisfied?
Combining the abstract with the artistic concrete is my starting point. The excitement of building that world , imagining myself in it, and inviting people to watch my fashion show to this promising planet is my motivation to start.
We know that your garments are inspired by the youth’s freedom of expression and such things are clearly seen in your garments. How can you create such strong garments in a positive way?
Again as I have stated above its all in the positive thinking and choosing the fabric that will carry these vibrations. Positive thinking is a very strong element that can override negative feelings , I strongly believe this.
How has your educational background had an impact on your career?
My school has shaped me technically but I had a strong vision before entering school. My education helped me formulate this vision in my designs.
Is traveling regularly also an important aspect of your creative process?
Yes. I love to watch people and discover new countries and cities. The airport is my playground!
Name us a few creatives you would like to collaborate with.
I really want to collaborate with CHANEL to prepare a men’s collection.
What was the last place that really fascinated you?
Istanbul because of how the people came together to help each other after the horrible earthquake in Turkey.
A letter to your future self. What would you write?
Produce and share whatever!
PHOTOS & CREATIVE DIRECTION: PAM @pacomewho
PRODUCTION: TUNA YILMAZ @tunayilmaz
HAIR STYLE: ALEX LAGARDÈRE @alexlagardere
MAKE UP: HIND SOUSAN @hindfrenchmakeup
LIGHTS: ADRIEN PENPENIC @adrien.penpenic
SET ASSISTANT: EMMA LE FORESTIER @emma_leforestier
MODELS: CONSTANCE MAROT @constancemarot AT PREMIUM MODELS @premium_models & PAOLO GREBIC @grebicpaolo AT SELECT MODEL MANAGEMENT @selectmodelparis