The unity of East and West is the main source of inspiration for Bünyamin Aydın, who defines borders as “challenge”. Bünyamin says “Being born in Germany and moving to Turkey in the early 2000s adds another layer to the East-West story for me.” and he sees the theme of duality as a narrative about his brand and himself. For Bünyamin, the spirit of Les Benjamins, shaped on the motto of “East Now”, means “It is somehow the meeting of the East with the West. Acceptance of a new vision.” A life where boundaries disappear, the limitless imagination that this life brings… Nothing is a coincidence for Les Benjamins. Every word of Bünyamin becomes more meaningful as it shows that we can move forward when we embrace our roots. The creation process from Istanbul to Dubai and the new working method not only move it forward one hour; we are sure that it will take you to new horizons. We can’t wait what is next.

This issue, in which we find ourselves in the middle of Pera, with the effect of the motto “The Birth of Modern Istanbul”; intersects with the story of your first store. You opened your first store in Serdar-ı Ekrem, what was your reason for choosing the Pera region? 

Serdar-i Ekrem and Pera spoke to me the most as I wanted to be in the streets. The deep history and creative spirit are what drove me there for the first time. I still love this area the most in Istanbul. 

How do you internalize the emotional transition on both sides of Haliç?

I live both together. Duality. I feel this contrast between East and West in every moment of my life.

When you center people in your brand story, everything just evolves organically.

What does eastern culture mean to Les Benjamins?

For me, the East represents my heritage, Turkish roots, and Eastern civilizations. The east has been a focal point of inspiration for the West for so many years. I want my own heritage to be the center of my inspiration that is showcased to the west. I constantly feel that we have been embarrassed to show our own heritage and this is where my drive of creativity comes from.

How did you create an order where borders disappeared for yourself, your creation process and your brand?

I always believe that we are all human and that we are all equals. People is what inspires me and building a wider community is what is the exciting part. When you center people in your brand story everything just evolves organically.

Can you tell us about your new collection?

My spring/summer 22 collection is inspired by daydreaming about a mystical garden. I was actually in lockdown last year in Istanbul and I was looking at destinations I could fly to. Last year my creative mind was poisoned by all the negativity and uncertainty that’s why I chose the Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh as a center of inspiration. The garden really gives you the feeling of a psychedelic escape, which was much needed back then. Jacques Majorelle was my key inspiration for this season both of him being a painter and his construction of the Majorelle garden. The research and inspiration just got deeper and deeper, which lead to this collection.

What does producing mean to you?

To live.

With Les Benjamins, clothes are not accessories but a spirit of togetherness, a perspective… How did this spirit come and where does it evolve?

I don’t see it as a roadmap. For me, it’s being me. If you support someone they will support you. It’s the basic understanding of building a community.

How does it feel to see your designs on someone else with their style and interpretation?

It’s great to see people add their own takes on top of my designs. This is why Les Benjamins exists.

In Conversation with Duygu Bengi