Creative artist builds fashion line between East, West
Zemra Acarlı, born to a Turkish family of immigrants in Germany, says she has always dreamed of a label bringing together her Western upbringing with her Turkish background.A creative Turkish-German artist who handcrafts accessories in the Ottoman Style has turned into a successful entrepreneur who now owns a fashion line that bridges East and West.
Zemra Acarlı, born to a Turkish family of immigrants in Germany, says she has always dreamed of a label bringing together her Western upbringing with her Turkish background.
She began by designing scarves – a piece of clothing often relating to tradition in the East, and mostly worn as an accessory in the West. Her passion has proven profitable for Acarlı, whose business has also opened job opportunities for the women, most of whom had previously never earned a salary, who stitch and sow for her ZemZem Atelier.
The atelier works with 65 Turkish housewives, producing unique products like scarves, knitwear and shoes.
“I took the venture to a new beginning with ZemZem Atelier. The ZemZem Atelier Accessories Collection uses creativity, flair and local handcraft skills to build a bridge between the East and the West,” Acarlı said.
Today, her business sells thousands of hand-made products a year to many European countries, particularly to Switzerland and Germany, by shipping her orders with DHL Express, which has operations in more than 220 countries and regions across the world.
"We don't buy products and resell them. I buy good fabrics, yarn and wools from various suppliers in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, making sure that the quality is great. I work with small traditional manufacturers in Turkey who all respect, understand and appreciate my philosophy,” Acarlı stated.