Les Benjamins is not a classic street-style brand, but an original value that embraces this culture. And its chief designer, Lamia, is not a classic designer, but a courageous one who dares to adapt the nuances of tailoring to the street style at every step. We have been following her work with the brand with excitement since its first day and we have witnessed the rise of this current vision that she has contributed. We can’t wait to hear about Lamia’s transformation from the first day of her fashion journey to the present.

What pushed you towards fashion?
I never felt pushed towards fashion, as I was always surrounded by it throughout my childhood up into my adult years. My earliest memories of fashion would be when my mom would design our wardrobes for weddings and family events; I remember the pure excitement of being dressed by her in the most stylish clothing like I would to my dolls.

How did your story begin with Les Benjamins?
I discovered Les Benjamins around 6 years ago when I had bought my first t-shirt from the brand and have since been in love with it.

How you are approaching both the street style and luxury with Les Benjamins?
My style in approaching both distinctive styles is to do so with an open mind. Also, I try to find the perfect combination of the two, which helps complement each other instead of overpowering one or the other, an ideal balance between the two, very libra-like if you ask me.

In a world that everything and everyone consumes fast, where do you find your inspiration to create constantly?
Consumerism and fast-fashion have been an ongoing topic in the fashion industry and definitely an issue we all fed into. This notion of producing a lot and fast to reinforce the concept of consumerism can be problematic to brands like ours- where quality is valued over quantity and originality over banality. But we find that keeping true to our values and beliefs which have helped build the Les Benjamins to its repute today has definitely helped us survive the fast-fashion epidemic. So drawing inspiration from every-day life and beautiful cultures and creating something entirely new from it has continuously supported us stand out from the pile of copy-cats and trend chasers.

Being true to yourself and your vision even if it is not trendy or popular is what is ‘truly authentic’ for me.

Les Benjamins Women’s collections gain momentum every season, what is your strategy on this?
We have a clear strategy for Les Benjamins’ woman to empower her in the region, and to cater to all distinct styles and ages. This would have been hard to do and almost impossible 10 years ago. Still, now, with the public engaging more in fashion and experimenting with their stylistic approach, I believe it’s possible for Les Benjamins’ womenswear to reach that standard- if it hadn’t yet.

Could you tell us about your creative process?
I work closely with our creative director Bünyamin and his vision each season, which is drawn from muses like music, culture, art, history, and, as I mentioned previously every-day life. Afterward, I do lots and lots of research, so the designs suit our overall concept and to help tie everything together.

What is the trend you will never go for?
Anything mainstream, really. I have always found myself naturally attracted to the ‘neglected’ or ‘undiscovered’ trends.

Your definition for “being timeless”?
Having a piece in your closet that you see your kids wanting to wear in the future and most of the time its a classical piece.

Is there a special way you use to keep up with the fast tempo in fashion?
I can’t keep up, there is something popping every week I just focus on what I have on my plate.

Being “unattainable” is very popular in fashion these days. How is your strategy concerning your brand?
Les Benjamins is a brand that caters to its people, and we do not believe in making things ‘unattainable’ for the sake of getting more hype and coverage on our brand. We do have a few exclusive pieces that are only available in our flagship store in Istanbul, and we do so to show our appreciation to the community who has helped build Les Benjamins to its respective position today.

Fashion is a place where many creatives and provocateur thinkers gathered, where do you stand as a designer in this crowd?
Les Benjamins is the combination of both, it is a creative brand that provokes the fundamental stereotyping of eastern cultures by showing the world the actual East now, in highlighting the beauty of under-appreciated cultures and minority groups.

What is truly authentic for you?
Being true to yourself and your vision even if it is not trendy or popular is what is ‘truly authentic’ for me.

How would you describe the youth of İstanbul?
Authentic, well mannered, proud and innovative.

How do you spend an ordinary day?
It can be difficult at times, but we manage it well. At work, we are very professional, and if you did not know that we were married, you would assume we are just colleagues, and that is to avoid any bias and to nurture a just space in the workplace. Sometimes, work would continue at home, but it does not affect our personal life because we are both passionate about our work, and we love what we do. On an ordinary day, we would wake up and have breakfast together, head to work (to our respective offices), attend any meetings we have, head back home and meet with friends and family over dinner at our place.

What is next for Les Benjamins?
I can’t say too much but you will be seeing the brand venturing into women’s footwear and experimenting with a new range of bags and purses.

Bits & Pieces

Your muse?
Currently, the title of my muse goes to the one and only, Lauryn Hill.

A book?
A forever favorite is the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

An essential piece from your wardrobe?
I am very into basic pieces that can match any occasion and have multiple ways of styling. So a wardrobe essential has to be a blazer.

If you had only one pair of shoes…
My Jordan 1 Retro Top 3. No question.

What’s the lock screen on your phone?
A picture of my two babies, Jon and Ted. They are the cutest poodles the world has ever seen, I promise!

What’s the word you use the most?
Imagine! I always start my sentences with it whether I am speaking in Arabic or English.

Photography by Mert Terliksiz

Styling by Burak Sanuk