Else Lingerie has released their Spring/Summer 2016 collection and it is turning us all into romantics. Else is designed and hand-crafted in Ela Onur’s own private atelier in Istanbul, Turkey, using only the highest quality materials and practices. The line was called sexy lingerie you can actually wear by Elle and we agree – gotta love designers who are putting out pieces that are comfortable and practical, while not sacrificing an ounce of sexy.
The history and magic of Istanbul must be seeping in the windows while Ela Onur and her team are hard at work, because beautiful seems too weak an adjective. These pieces pay homage to vintage lingerie with carefully chosen lace, perfectly placed plunges, and classic silhouettes. The whole collection make us feel like we are walking around in a vintage French film, subtitles please.
LF: This sort of thing, crafting lingerie, it’s in your blood. You grew around this in a way, near the artists and designers who worked for your family’s lingerie accessory business. Tell us about that.
EO: I believe I always had it in me but I was able to realize that quite late, after college I guess. When I was a kid I used to sneak around my mom’s lingerie, and used to steal and wear them just because I like the laces and feeling of it. Luckily enough, my family business was involved in the lingerie industry although we were not producing lingerie.
LF: Do you think this at all shaped your business or aesthetic?
EO: I learned a lot in the family business where we are manufacturing accessories for the lingerie industry, like elastics etc. I worked in production and other sides of the business for over 2 years, which gained me the most of the techniques and fundamentals. My family had no influence, but their support to get into a new business.
LF: How have you made this your own “thing”?
EO: It is not right to call it “my thing” as everybody around me is a serious part of it. Starting my family, I could not do it without their support. My husband was and still is a great supporter of my business. Today, whoever is around ELSE Lingerie is a part of our story. We created this all together, like a big family.
Starting was expectedly the hardest part as I did not have an atelier and a good team to work with. I used to ask people to rent out their production places to make our own collection and samples. Looking back, it was quite funny but also very stressful days. The first investment that I made was to rent an atelier space and put my own equipment in so that we can start building things in house. Since then, we design and manufacture every piece in house. I think this is one of the things that differentiate us from other brands that we compete with.
LF: Can you tell us about the process from conception to creation?
EO: Creating the concept starts mainly in my head where I make a serious of mental notes from my life, travels, which I love a lot, culture and combine it with the industry trends. I believe lingerie should also run not very far from the fashion trends.
LF: What is your favorite part of Else Lingerie?
EO: Difficult question, but I think the idea of giving a sort of life to the rolls of beautiful but lifeless laces and fabrics, and creating a beautiful, fundamental shape out of it, which is an essential need for every woman out there.
LF:What is most important to you in creating a new piece or a new collection?
EO: Matching the right design together with the proper fit and shape would be the most important and maybe most challenging part of the job. I always believe that fit and design needs to be complemented very carefully together. Adapting your shapes to the evolving and changing women is one of the crucial aspects of our business because our forms and bodies are changing. Today, women are not like how they used to be 10 years ago. Our bodies are changing; our likes and dislikes are changing. We need to take all of these into consideration when developing our collection.
LF:How FAST do you live?
EO: I live pretty fast these days as we are preparing for our shows in Paris. My typical work day ends pretty late as well because of the time difference between New York and Istanbul. try to take fast paced walks in the morning on the beautiful coast of Bosphorus followed a nice latte. Day time is pretty fast paced, where I try to limit my time on my computer and try to stay on my feet. Weekends are pretty filled up work these days but I’ll balance it after the Paris show (hopefully!). I try to spend as much time as possible with my dog over the weekends.