Istanbul Up & Coming: Diablo, the devil that soon everyone will know

Aspiring 18 year old Turkish fashion designer Dilan Gerede Erkaya, who lives between Bali and Istanbul, sat down recently with Bloome’s Editorial Assistant and Istanbul correspondent Tessa Mack to talk about his brand Diablo and it’s upcoming capsule collection of high fashion jumpsuits.

Disclamer: The images used within this article are not exclusive to BLOOME and were all provided By Dilan Gerede Erkaya through the brand's social media.  

When we sat down to begin our conversation, Dilan was in Turkey to visit his family and make arrangements for the production and launch of his collection. As we began to talk, Dilan explained that the complex embroidery that is the brand’s aesthetic was primarily inspired by his cultural background and specifically the calligraphic art of the Bektashi Order, a mystical Sufi movement established in 1501 and found mostly across Anatolia and the Balkans. For this particular collection, he has applied his brand’s aesthetic to dragons, legendary creatures of Japanese mythology and folklore, resulting in the designs embroidered on the clothing.  

The Diablo lifestyle is curated for people who “follow fashion and know what they are wearing,” Dilan explains, insisting on the importance of wearing the clothes with the confidence that is central to the brand’s identity. Admittedly, his designs are not suited for everyone. 

Dilan reveals that, even though he has always had a strong interest in fashion and an artistic soul - his parents are well-known photographers and his grandmother is a Turkish cult film director - the desire to create his own collection only came after his two other passions, surfing and skateboarding, were taken away from him due to a severe foot injury. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I have always been involved with art and I knew that I wanted my art to be on people. So with the time I had on my hands, and my previous experience with sewing and tailoring clothes, I decided I wanted to start creating garments. The uniqueness of the work of designers such as Hussein Chalayan and fashion runways such as the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2017 show in Japan really inspired me to pursue and explore what fashion meant to me.”


We can feel how his personal style has influenced the collection's pieces - their design is a mix of  skateboard fashion and haute couture. The practicality and simplicity of the jumpsuit give it the street style feel, while the quality of the materials - such as alternative leather, premium silk and cotton - are all about high fashion.

As Dilan’s first full collection, it is certainly his biggest achievement in the fashion industry so far.  But it is clearly just a beginning with much more to come. Starting in Fall 2018, Dilan will be pursuing a higher education at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne in Paris, France. “I want to have all the skills I need in order to be able to achieve my goal of pursuing fashion design as a career and not just as a hobby,” he explains.

The process of designing a line of clothing is long and complex and many difficulties can be encountered. When asked about the problems he has faced and how he has overcome them so far, Dilan says “I originally started making the clothes in Bali but it was complicated and the fit didn’t come out as I wanted and there was the language barrier too. So, I decided to switch production to Turkey, which was much easier as I know how it works here. When problems come up you have to be able to face them correctly. I think you can’t be insecure and in these kinds of situations it’s my confidence that allows me to stay true to what I want and helps me to push through.”

For now, Diablo will have a popup store in Istanbul for a day in order to promote the brand (probably in June), but Dilan says he is continuing to produce pieces in the hopes of showcasing a whole collection by the end of the summer.  

You can keep up with the evolution of the brand and Dilan’s creative process on Instagram @34diablo and @dilangeredeerkaya.

Written by Tessa Mack

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