Bagdat Street, one of the most iconic spots of Istanbul; is also shown among the symbols of the Anatolian side. Blending fashion, art and music with the atmosphere of the city; Bagdat Street or otherwise known as Cadde is a place that makes its regulars feel at home by providing a little escape from the chaos of the city. Les Benjamins, which has many nuances in its DNA from street culture to art, technology to music; carries the luxury streetwear culture that grows from the streets of Istanbul and dominates the entire world, to the icon of the city, Bagdat Street. Coding the Cadde store as a cultural and living space, Les Benjamins feeds off the unique and free nature of the street. For this reason, the brand focuses on young creators, who are the real owners of the street since the day it was first opened. 

Being one of the spots where Les Benjamins’ nature, nourished by the multi-culture and free spirit of the street, blends with Istanbul in the best way, Cadde allows its residents to connect with the place personally. Now it’s time to experience Cadde with the regulars of the street, Selin Şekerci, Özge Gürel, Serkan Çayoğlu and Ala Tokel; turn up the music, let the sun shine on you and delve deep into the story of Les Benjamins, stretching from Majorelle Gardens to Bagdat Street. 

SELİN ŞEKERCİ

“Being on Bagdat Street makes me feel at home. This place has always been the most familiar place to me for 15 years. Istanbul can be chaotic but you never feel that with Bagdat Street. It brings me peace to see familiar faces and know the locals here. The only thing I can’t give up on Bagdat Street is being a regular. There can be no greater luxury than being close to social life, the sea and nature.”

What does being on Bagdat Street mean to you?  

It’s like my home…I’m from Izmir and this place has always been the most familiar place to me for 15 years. 

What sets Cadde apart from the rest of the city?  

Even though it is crowded, you can never feel the chaos of Istanbul on Bagdat Street. 

What makes you feel good here?  

It is the only place where we can distance ourselves from the accustomed shopping mall culture. Seeing familiar faces, knowing the locals. Can there be such a luxury as having a good place to eat and a good place to drink coffee on every corner?  

What does being on Bagdat Street add to your daily routine?  

First and foremost, the street has excellent places to walk, you don’t always depend on people to socialize. In the worst-case scenario, plug in your headphones, walk as long as you can and in the next turn, there is the sea.  

What is the one thing you can’t give up on Cadde?  

* Being a regular. 

SERKAN ÇAYOĞLU

“Bagdat Street is like a small city but it is more spacious compared to other parts and lessens the feeling of being hounded by the big city. I’m someone who likes to see the sky when I look up, Cadde allows me to do so. Being on Bagdat Street means spaciousness and comfort to me.” 

What does being on Bagdat Street mean to you? 

Bagdat Street is like a small city. I can get almost everything done without leaving here, so it is more comfortable. 

What sets Cadde apart from the rest of the city?  

The fact that it is not among the tall buildings makes it more spacious than the other parts of the city and lessens the feeling of being hounded by the big city. 

What makes you feel good here?  

I’m someone who likes to see the sky when I look up, Cadde allows me to do so. 

What does being on Bagdat Street add to your daily routine? 

I spend most of my time at home, but when I want to go out and socialize, I have a great time in many parts of Cadde. 

What is the one thing you can’t give up on Cadde?  

Good food. 

ÖZGE GÜREL

“Being on Bagdat Street makes me feel like I’ve traveled to a city. It’s like the feeling of freedom from traveling far away… I guess what separates this place from other parts of the city is the rhythmic chaos. And I love it. So many people, so many stories, they are in perfect harmony. And you are in this harmony as soon as you take a step. What I cannot give up here is the feeling of being on the street.” 

What does being on Bagdat Street mean to you? 

It makes me feel like I have traveled to another city… Especially the afternoon walks, having a drink in the garden of a pub is like the feeling of freedom that comes from traveling to faraway places.  

What sets Cadde apart from the rest of the city?  

Rhythmic chaos, I guess. And I love it. So many people, so many stories, they are in perfect harmony. And you are in this harmony as soon as you take a step. 

What makes you feel good here?  

Walking comfortably in the city is something we miss in this shopping mall culture. 

What does being on Bagdat Street add to your daily routine? 

Walking, taking a break and then continuing. Bagdat Street is our savior whenever we can’t make plans during the day. I think the feeling of having the luxury to say “Let’s go to Cadde and walk…” is great. 

What is the one thing you can’t give up on the Cadde? 

Being literally on the street. 

ALA TOKEL

“Bagdat Street makes me feel safe, like at home. Being anywhere other than here gives the feeling of being outside. Its calmness, friendliness and energy distinguish this place from other parts of the city. I feel like I know everyone while walking on Bagdat Street. Here, nothing changes unless necessary, but at the same time it keeps up with the change.”

What does being on Bagdat Street mean to you? 

Safe, at home.  

What sets Cadde apart from the rest of the city?  

For me, its calmness, sincerity, energy…  

What makes you feel good here?  

I feel like I know everybody. Even the local vendors selling beads are the same since I was born. The roasted chickpeas in Şaşkınbakkal, the butcher in Suadiye…nothing changes unless absolutely necessary. But at the same time, it keeps up with the change.  

What does being on Bagdat Street add to your daily routine? 

Being anywhere other than here gives the feeling of being outside. I founded my first business on Bagdat Street, my office is also here. I will never abandon this place. There is Kazım Kulan bazaar here, you just walk around even if you don’t get anything. You drink coffee on Noter street and watch people passing by. There are always places you know to shop. Remzi bookstore is one of the oldest. I can spend hours and hours. There are very few days when I don’t do these activities. 

What is the one thing you can’t give up on Cadde?  

My first Studio, my home base. Its place for me will never change.

Creative Direction by Duygu Bengi
Fashion Director Burak Sanuk
Photography by Zeynep Özkanca
Videography by Korcan Söylemez
Styled by Murat Kıvık
Editor: Dilan Günaçtı
MUA: Zeynep Dombaycıoğlu
Hair: Mutlu Ahmet Sinan
Production: BI Creative
Head of Production: Beril Odabaşı
Production Assistant: Birce Dengizmen