I remember the first day I met Metin Gürsoy clearly. His energy, ideas, and most importantly the enthusiasm he holds for what he does had a big effect on me. For the time when we had the chance to work together, or when I was closely following his work, all I can say is that if there is a “creative world,” I owe a part of my excitement about it to him. I would love for you to meet this confident and committed man who is always a step ahead of contemporary norms.
Your name has become a brand in the fashion, arts, design and communication fields. Can you tell us about this process? How did it start, where is it heading towards?
If I was going to be a consultant to shape brands, or play a decisive role in their initiation, I wanted to see if I could turn my name into a brand first. This wasn’t a coincidence. I did it consciously and systematically. I founded my company under my own name. From the neighborhood where my office was going to be located at, to the color choice of my logo design, to the profiles and appearances of people working with me were all parts of the dream package. The designer of my logo, Yetkin Başarır, suggested that we use a distinctive shade of red to match the company’s energetic identity. To accommodate the plans I had to work in an international scale, I asked for a way to get rid of the punctuations in my name, and received the amazing logo we have today. I had started working more and more with luxury brands, which led me to choose Nişantaşı as my base.
Later, my luck worked in my favor and the most desired international brands became my clients such as Apple, Absolut, Kenzo, Davidoff and Hermes. We did Apple’s first iPod launch here simultaneous to the rest of the world. For Absolut, we organized incredible events 10 years in a row and were praised for our hospitality. Later when Hermes became a part of my life, we mastered the way to keep this calm luxury alive and make a selective audience happy. The Brand Identity education I received in Sweden helped us combine PR with Marketing strategies, establishing the company to become the first one in Turkey to use the term “Fashion PR.” My goal in the beginning was for my name to pop up as the first person to introduce Fashion PR to Turkey once it was Googled. As a matter of fact, I achieved this goal in 3 years time. Once my sister who has an amazing managerial and strategic mind joined us, the company grew and became an ad agency.
Was there a figure who inspired you in your incline to fashion?
From an early age, I’ve been the type of person who loves dressing up and breaking rules. I went through a phase when my mother would anxiously patch and stitch up my jeans. At the time, there was only one fashion figure I followed: Vivienne Westwood. I read all the books about her; how she raised her son, how she applied punk to fashion. Everything. I believe that she was the muse for McQueen, Galliano, everyone.
As for before I formed my company, I worked with Arzu Kaprol. I was the Marketing Director of this new fashion brand that was rapidly growing it’s audience in Europe. Arzu is also the friend who got me to love fashion and understand that it is as serious of a business as the stock exchange.
“Once creativity meets taste, you embark on a seamless journey. Also, the problems to solve become your own creation.”
Fashion, creative direction, PR and marketing… We believe you have a lot to say about these terms. What is the first advice you give to your clients?
We move relatively faster with the foreign brands we work with. We do all their media consultancies, PR, social media management, event management, press relations and corporate events for the foreign brands that have a vision in marketing strategies. For example, we have been working continuously with the luxury brand that continues to gain the most value, Hermes, for 6 years now. For them, we organize all marketing activities in Turkey, including showcases and adverts. But we can’t stay put and we get to sign our name off in international projects as well. A crazy idea that I had was received so well by Hermes International that it was applied all around the world. I had thought of “Talking Shoes,” an animation in which shoes would talk. From China, Taiwan, France, to America, this animation was applied.
Turkish bosses have goals but no dreams. They are impatient and like to rush to conclusions. This kind of world does not exist anymore. The brands that win are the ones that take the right steps in a patient manner. Thus, the first advice I give to the brands that come to me is “patience.” It doesn’t even take that long anymore. If you wish to become a globally renowned brand and have 10 million Turkish liras in your first year, if the right steps are taken you could become a brand that even Victoria Beckham is interested in. Just leave the job to the experts, stay patient and don’t get involved. The best example for this could be Loft. The great relationship we have with it’s Turkish boss is based on mutual trust, which allowed us to rebrand and give it a cooler image. This will be followed by changing the image of sales spots and salespeople, and the introduction of innovative products. We will achieve this goal in about 2 years.
Considering the rapid growth of the industry, how do it’s rules effect your creativity?
If we are talking about Communication and PR industries, the rules don’t affect us due to our negative stance on cliches. We are not members of a professional group or association. We don’t send out material to competitions to win awards. The ones who will evaluate our work are the ones who follow our client’s ads and get excited or the ones who join us in one of our events and get goose bumps and have fun. If we’re talking about the rules of the industry in terms of a sales-centric approach that Turkish bosses practice, we also don’t get affected by those. We first find the craziest, nicest and the most elegant idea. Then we adjust it accordingly.
Is your priority being creative or fixed on the result?
Once creativity meets taste, you embark on a seamless journey. Also, the problems to solve become your own creation. Did we ever have a problem about enlarging an image before?
We know that you like to combine different brands and ideas. What is the most iconic collaboration in the history of fashion for you?
Jane Birkin and Hermes getting together to create the most alluring fetish object on the planet. I can’t think of a better collaboration than that one. The secret behind it success is Hermes’s calm and subtle punk attitude that weds with Jane Birkin’s indifferent and natural style. Even when she said “We created this Birkin bag and its great, but it’s so heavy that my arm tendons are damaged.” the demand for the bag grew ten times. From the collaborations in recent times, I find the collaboration between H&M and David Beckham to be successful. They experience a sales boom with every new collection.
A fashion icon you admire?
My friends and circle always expect me to give a more sophisticated name as an answer to this question. This is actually a nice thing. I believe I’m considered important. The expectations from me are always so high. But I believe that a man of the people, David Beckham, is the most important fashion icon of the era. Although I spent my years studying theories and political science, I know there are real life facts. And let’s not forget that we now are trapped in an aesthetic world governed by “Kardashian” rules. Under these circumstances, David Beckham (and his wife) lead the fashion world really well. And they do this with joy, with a great businessman attitude. They do it as it should be done. What more could you ask for?
Which magazine is undoubtedly the best with its covers?
There was a long period when I lived and worked in Paris. These times after I graduated from university are the times when my aesthetic world was shaped. There was The Face magazine. I collected all the issues. The period when Katie Grand was their fashion editor, I also had the chance to meet her. It was a period when fashion shoots were done under fluorescent lights, when Kate Moss had freshly shot for Calvin Klein One fragrance, and a time when Diesel Style Lab was created. And I loved the covers of The Face. Right now the covers of Love magazine excite me the most. I like covers that are natural, not shot in a distorted way, but in a way that you can sense the product and the being as a whole; covers that not only exude emotions, but also welcome you with a little wink.
A must have song on your playlist?
Can’t pick one; I listen to artists that don’t bore me and can listen to continuously over and over again. As I am a frequent flyer, I find myself waking up to Justin Timberlake or Madonna on the plane. I am not sophisticated on this subject either!
Photography by Fora Norman