Ayşen Zamanpur

CEO, Silk & Cashmere

This is the first brand that combines cashmere and silk. There were cashmere and silk garments on offer before, but they came together in a meaningful way for the first time here. This was an innovation. We have been given many awards nationally, and I am proud that this is a true success story. The concept has always been touch. We encourage people to touch the cashmere, even if they're not going to buy. People are welcome to touch and have a try. Turkey has become a case study in many books on branding, and we would be very happy if young entrepreneurs take us as an example to make something out of nothing. Turkey doesn't have a large source of raw materials, except for historical and touristic sights. The country has a young population and is a hot product. Everyone in Turkey wants the country to be successful. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well here and I believe in it strongly. There is nothing missing here. Once you have an education, you can start a business and do anything. I believe the entrepreneurial spirit increases social welfare, as having numerous companies and brands is better than having just a few massive companies. SMEs are highly significant, and that is why I make speeches at conferences and universities in order to motivate young people to do something for themselves and for the country.

Vahap Küçük

Chairman, LC Waikiki

We have a very large collection. For each season we have a selection of goods from the current collection according to the clothing culture of the market. We find suitable styles and products and send them to other countries. Sometimes, we can build collections that are suitable to the attributes of a particular country, but this is very rare. To give you an example, the clothing style for a season may not be the same in Antalya and Istanbul because the climate is different. We send a suitable collection to Antalya, which we choose from the collection we have. We use the same system in different countries. Turkey has a very critical place in terms of its geographical location. It has something in common with the EU, the US, and other countries; there is nothing political in terms of the economy. Also, it has the largest population in Europe after Germany and most of the population is below 25 years old. Its economy is growing much faster than European countries and there are many new investment areas.

Turgut Toplusoy

Founder, Roman

I have attended every exhibition and watched and helped the designers. Even though I have no education in fashion, I have always had an aesthetic taste in clothing. I use those talents to direct the designers according to my taste. I have always been five or 10 steps ahead of the competition. We are also creative with our fabrics. We do not produce our own fabric, but we work together with the factories to produce special materials. We try to personalize our materials, especially the colors and fabrics. We do not sell to third parties. We source our materials from Turkey, France, and Italy, and get the silk from China, as we find it to have the best price and quality. We are trying to produce the same kind of fabric in Turkey that they do in France and Italy. Even though we do not have the same brand quality, we are trying to develop it here and make it even better. Everybody is trying to differentiate themselves, and so are we—especially with our fabrics and styles. In the textile industry in Turkey, you always need to renew yourself with new collections and styles. Every month you start from zero. That is why if you don't have the right people at the top to direct the company, it will not be successful. I believe that our company will help Turkey grow as much as the government wants to and through international expansion we will grow with the Turkish economy in the future.