INTERVIEW TO with CAGNUR “KEY-C” KARUSERCI (By Luigi A. Bertorelli, Italian International Fashion Expert)
A petite figure, large dark eyes, a fresh and natural pretty face. Could be the portrait of a college student. In fact she looks like any other 22 y.o. girl but she boasts a very respectable curriculum. Degree with honor at the most prestigious Italian Fashion Designer High School, conferences at prominent business associations, articles for newspapers, editor of her own magazine.
Çağnur “Key-C” Karuserci has forged ahead in few years activity as designer. Tens of brides proudly wore a distinctive wedding gown designed by Çağnur “Key-C” Karuserci in Turkey of course, but in Italy too and in many other countries in Europe and overseas. Tens of boutiques proudly exhibit wedding gowns designed by Çağnur “Key-C” Karuserci in their windows arousing the admiration of the people walking by. This is the Çağnur “Key-C” Karuserci I have been charged to interview. She receives me in her office at the head quarter of DreamOn Bridals in Gaziantep.
It is a small office and Çağnur is hidden behind a desk packed of press-clippings, designs, pencils, crayons, magazines, sketches, color cards, scraps of fabric, drawings, catalogues, felt-tip and drawing pens and many other mysterious and unidentified objects. In the rear, on the library, a pile of certificates, including the university degree in jurisprudence of the Çağnur’s father Abdullah. Tens of plates, sport trophies, awards and university degrees of the brothers Ozgűr and Onur (both vice-presidents of DreamOn Bridals Ltd.). Most of the innumerable certificates, plates and awards belong to Serpil Karuserci, mother and mentor of Çağnur. An impressive disordered mix-up of symbols of affection of a very close family, efficiency and professionalism. “No time to put in order” sighs Çağnur catching the surprise in my eyes. I am sure she is sincere!
Here we are” I say while placing my block notes on my knees. How would you like me to call you?
My name is Çağnur a nice Turkish forename that is unfortunately not pronounceable for most of non Turkish people. My school mates and my friends abroad found and took an easy way to call me: “Key-C”. You can call me that.
OK. I will go for Key-C. You mentioned your friends abroad; do you refer to your attending the prestigious Marangoni High Fashion School in London and Milan?
Not really. I started to go abroad following my mother visiting fashion fairs since I was a small child. Dubai, Paris, Milan, Cairo, Essen, London, Damascus, Düsseldorf and so on.
Many people indicate you as a rising star of the fashion designing
I do not think I am or I will be a star. This is something that better fits to actresses or singers. I am a professional whose work is appreciated by many people of good taste.
Is your success due to your studying at Marangoni High Fashion School?
The Italian Marangoni school is just the end of a long journey
I have plenty of time. Tell me.
I was raised on milk and bridal gowns. Back in 1974 my father and mother put their savings together and opened a small atelier-shop of bridal gowns in Gaziantep. This shop still exists, though the products sold are different. My mother Serpil has a fantastic, unique sense for fashion. Her hands are magic. Her bridal gowns had had an immediate and incredible success and most of the Gaziantep VIP relied on Serpil for their wedding. And still do.
So, Serpil has been your first teacher?
Absolutely. Probably just as important as how hard you work in life is the family you were born into. Family is something few people have any control over, and it is something that not only shapes a person’s childhood but his career as well. When I finished the high school I understood that I could follow my mother Serpil steps though I was convinced that it would have been a heavy challenge to reach and match the goals she achieved. I could not forget that in my childhood my mom used to say: “whatever way you are going to undertake, never forget that you have to be the best”. That is the reason why I decided to attend the Italian Marangoni High Fashion School.
I see the name Serpil on diplomas, plates and honor awards behind you
My mother Serpil had the strength and the capability of transforming a small shop into a authentic industry. This capacity was recognized for the umpteenth time just few months ago when Serpil Karuserci was awarded the prestigious prize: best entrepreneur woman of 2011. An appreciation for almost thirty-seven years of excellence in the bridal gowns field.
Something to be proud of!
And I am proud. So are my father and my brothers. We are about to open a new showroom and distribution point in Gaziantep. It will be the largest in Turkey (about 3.000 m2 in a seven floor building). Another dream that Serpil has been able to make coming true.
Now is the turn of Key-C to present herself in the limelight. You graduated in Milan (Italy) at Marangoni High Fashion School. And you graduated with “honors”, the highest recognition.
Three years of intensive work first in London and then in Italy but an exciting professional experience too. I knew it would have taken hard work on my part to be the best. If you want to be the best, then you are going to have to do more than others. That is what I did. Since then I started to design for DreamOn trying hard to innovate while maintaining the spirit, the concept and the characteristics of the high fashion tailor-made bridal gowns
Innovate while maintaining. That will be the spirit of the new collections?
Indeed. I am concentrated now on the design of the new two collections “DreamON Premium” and “DreamOn Selection” that will be presented simultaneously at the IF Fashion Wedding Fair (Izmir February 2012) and in our newly opened showrooms in Ankara, Izmir and Gaziantep.
Meanwhile you had the idea and found the time to edit DreamOn Magazine. It is strange how the initiative intersect each other
It is not strange. During a meeting with my family to set a budget for advertising our products I thought we were about to invest a lot of money showing the picture of some of our gowns without having the possibility to actually express our ideas, feelings and why not, dreams. So we said to ourselves that we need a tool to do so. The answer was there in front of us: our own magazine. Here it is.
The word “dream” came out many time during this interview, not to mention the trade-mark of your Company: DreamOn. We all have a dream
Can you tell me your dream or at least one of your dreams?
To stay closer to the girls that wish to wear a gown design by “Key-C”. I dream to be able to spend regularly, few days every month in our own shops in Gaziantep, Ankara and Izmir to attend personally the future brides; design and fit their bridal gown so that it will be unique and unforgettable as the most important memorable of the happiest day of their life. Such gowns will have a “golden label” signed by Çağnur “Key-C” Karuserci.