"I was born and raised in Turkey. I was surrounded by people working in the textile industry, at mills, and with suppliers. It's everywhere there. It definitely influenced me. I studied fashion, and worked for a few years in Istanbul. Then I moved to London for graduate school. During my studies, I also worked at Alexander McQueen...after graduation, I worked for Zara. Then I moved here and worked for Joe Fresh, and finally Calvin Klein for over three years. I was working on woven products—I started off as a woven tops designer, where I met [my business partner] Hoa—she was my buyer. Then I moved to being in charge of all woven products. After that, I worked for Eli Tahari, and right after that we launched . That was October 2017.
When it comes to beauty, I don't really buy products I don't need. I have one perfume, one face cleanser. I like to keep things really tight—find the right products and make the most of them. When I was a kid, I kind of copied what my mom did, and my aunt as well. I wear red lipstick a lot now—that was a habit of my aunt. Growing up, I used to go to a salon every weekend and get my nails done, get my hair done. It's more affordable [in Turkey] and it's kind of part of the culture. Women there get their nails done maybe twice a week—they don't walk around with chipped nails.
To get ready before I go out, I'll take a shower. I have naturally wavy hair that's very fine, so I use and . It almost seals my hair without making it really heavy. Hair is definitely the trickiest part of my routine—I have to make sure I use gentle products. I use a little to lock in the moisture, and then air dry so my hair will form waves naturally. I try not to use heat much so it stays healthy, but occasionally to define my waves I use a one-inch curler. helps to tame flyaways. After the shower, I use on my face. My moisturizer is the —it plumps the skin and leaves a cooling effect. I let my skin fully absorb the moisturizer before I apply makeup.
I have very dry skin on my body. If I need a moisturizer, I have one from & Other Stories, or I'll just put on whatever oil I have, maybe almond oil, baby oil, whatever. I do have this soap I've been using since childhood—it's a Turkish bath soap I bring from Turkey every time I go. It's hard to describe the smell because it's so traditional for me. It's just a white soap bar—it smells very clean. It's called . You can find it anywere in Turkey, but it's also available online. I also use bitter almond buttery hand cream, which I import from Turkey as well. My grandmother used it.
I use the , and then I apply some light foundation by MAC, the . It's pretty sheer, and also has a moisturizing effect and satin finish. I don't use blush, but I use a finishing powder that's one or two shades darker than my skin, like a bronzer—. It's matte, but it has a radiant finish. Almost daily, I wear skinny black eyeliner. I use , which is gel-based and smudge-free, and you can use whatever brush you like. For eyebrows, I use . It's essentially a powder in a pencil form, and it's easy to apply. When I go out, I almost always wear It's just bright, clean, and modern. It's that pop of color I need to finish my otherwise tonal makeup with. For perfume, I use .
I like going out in Brooklyn-it's usually dinner and cocktails with friends, and my husband. I like Win Son, that's one of my favorite places to eat. I also like El Almacen, which is Argentinean, and Okonomi, which is Japanese. Or for oysters and cocktails I love Maison Premiere and Hotel Delmonaco, both in Williamsburg. I love dancing, but I hate night clubs. I occasionally will go to electronic music events that pop up in Brooklyn—there's more space, less lines, and you get a chance to listen to emerging artists.
At the end of the night, I clean my face with , and take off my eye makeup with . Then, I use the same Dr. Jart moisturizer as in the morning. Before I go to bed I've been trying to eat a probiotic yogurt-it makes me feel healthy, and not heavy. Probiotics are supposed to be good for you. I can't really tell the difference. [Laughs]."
—as told to ITG
Sezin Calikoglu photographed by Tom Newton on April 3, 2018.