Bora Aksu, the Turkish born, London-based fashion designer is a regular fixture at London Fashion Week. His eclectic womenswear has been gracing the runways here since February 2003.
“London Fashion Week is best known for launching new and exciting talents,” says Bora. “London is fortunate to have incredibly powerful fashion colleges, which also play an important part in this. In my case, Central Saint Martin’s helped shape me and find the perfect balance in my design philosophy.”
Bora’s designs fuse traditional elements with the new to create a whimsical beauty. For his S/S 2018 collection, the self-confessed romantic takes inspiration from the 19th Century Turkish painter, Mihri Müşfik Hanım. This extraordinary woman, a true Bohemian, is said to have given up a privileged life to pursue her passion for art.
Meanwhile the Bora Aksu brand is surging ahead. In addition to the 13-flagship stores spread across the Asia Pacific region, another two– one in Singapore’s Marina Bay, the other in Korea – will open in early 2018. To keep an eye on his expanding business, Bora now flits between East London and Hong Kong’s Harbour district, where he has offices and a design studio in both places.
“Hong Kong has such a lively fast speed style on the surface, but if you go underneath it’s possible to discover a serenity and calmness. I do love it when I’m there but I also miss London, which is my home.”
Looking further ahead, Bora is putting the finishing touches on a new capsule collection for children, simply named; ‘Bora Aksu Kids’. A selection of pieces from the ready-to-wear collection will be produced in mini sizes, launching in Bora Aksu stores next year.
It’s a wonder the busy designer has the energy for anything else but he will always find time to paint. “I find painting is the best way to recharge my batteries in a ‘non-fashion’ way.” Not one to sit and watch the oil paint dry, you are more likely to find Bora at the following hotspots:
The Cafe at Sotheby’s 34-35 New Bond Street
In the busy entrance lobby of this famous auction house this discreet cafe is perhaps hidden from eyes and not a very obvious choice for Mayfair. The space is small but stylish. Decorated with iconic black and white photographs it really is an amazing place to come and relax in a calming environment.
Charbonnel et Walker, One The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street
I have always had a sweet tooth and Charbonnel et Walker fulfil all those chocolate cravings. Even when I’m not really in the mood for chocolate, I’ll still go there and treat myself to something from the wonderful display of confectionary in the window.
Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street
Whenever I am in the Bond Street area I like to wander down to the Royal Arcade. With its beautiful architecture and quirky shops, it feels like you are stepping back in time, straight onto the pages of a Charles Dickens novel.
Wild Things flowers, 47 Davies Street
Flowers have always been an amazing source of inspiration to me. For my S/S 2017 runway show, we covered the entire backdrop with real ivy from Wild Things. Another season, all the models wore fresh flower crowns made to order by this beautiful florists. Wild Things always has such incredible displays, which often spill out onto the pavement.
Erskine Hall & Coe, 15 Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street
Ceramics always fascinate me and Erskine Hall & Coe is the perfect spot to drop in and see the latest in contemporary design. It specialises in contemporary and 20th Century ceramics work and often showcases up- and-coming British artists.