One of the new brands that has caught my eye recently is Art and Roam. İlkin Çopuroğlu uses faulty fabrics from factories to create her designs. We had the chance to interview İlkin about her brand.
First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m İlkin Çopuroğlu, I’m a 23-year-old student studying business at Sabancı University. I love drawing and dancing. I served as a receiver in my university’s flag football team. I also helped with PR for the techno events organized by “Revolt Kollektiv” which my classmates had started.
Were you always interested in fashion design?
Yes, since my childhood, I have wanted to study fashion. However, when it was time to choose a degree for university, I studied something else due to pressure from my parents. I had even called up my mom and cried in my sophomore year saying “I don’t want study this feild.” After I graduated, I decided to work in the field of fashion. I started my fashion design education in a private training center and in about a year, I will be able to present myself as a fashion designer.
Where did the idea for “Art and Roam” come from?
I was always interested in fashion, but my interest in art developed in our art lessons at school (my favorite lessons) when I saw that I was a talented artist. With a goal to bring my two passions together, I created “Art and Roam.” It was a very spontaneous decision for me, one evening I sat myself down and thought about the things I really wanted to do and came up with this idea. I immediately opened an Instagram page and designed my first piece within that month.
A majority of your current designs are crop tops. What are some qualities that you believe all your pieces to carry?
I like that they are unique. There is only one of each design, which makes it special for the owner and can’t be seen on anyone else. In this day, we see a lot of similar clothing, and I’m not happy about it. It’s important that they are Upcycle, meaning they use discarded material, turning it into something with equal or more value than the original. And of course, I want them to be fashionable and comfortable.
I know you love art. How did your passion for drawing start? Do you plan on expanding Art and Roam products to also feature your art?
Yes, I definitely do. I have the idea to open a store in 1.5-2 years and I want to decorate the walls of my store with paintings made by new talents studying at various universities. My aim is for them to make their name known and to help them create a source of income in some way. I want to also exhibit my own paintings there. While I was taking art classes, my teacher always said don’t be an artist, you will be broke :). In general, art is not highly valued in our country and this is something I want it to change. At least I think that maybe I can raise some awareness this way. It is among my dreams of preparing a collection suitable for paintings.
My interest in drawing started when I was in the second year of the university: I wanted to take a class similar to fashion design since I wanted to study it in the future and improve my drawing skills, so I took drawing. I developed my interest much more than expected and we even did a small exhibition at school.
We know that your designs are made from fabrics sewn “faulty” in textile factories. Was it easy to take such a step and why was it important to you?
My father and brother have textile factories, so I was familiar with the issue. Every month, a truckload of torn, oversewn and improperly sewn was not used and thrown out. I thought about how could I use and recycle them, and I came up with this idea.
If your friends described you in three words, what would they say?
I immediately called my best friend and got the answers. She described me as fun, honest and indulgent.
What did you do during quarantine?
I still had school during quarantine, so I spent my time studying and drawing. I was facetiming my friends every day. I tried to improve myself as much as I could.
What can we expect from Art and Roam in the near or distant future?
I intend to continue online until my fashion design education is over. After completing my education, I am thinking of opening my own store. I also want to increase my product range. I plan to make both Upcycle casual wear and evening dresses in my shop, because haute couture is a field where you can use your creativity and design different things and I have a lot of interest in it.