Burç Akyol, 32, was born in Dreux, France to Turkish parents. He was raised in a household headed by strong women: his mother, two sisters and aunt. They had a lasting impact on Akyol, who as a male outsider to this realm of oriental women observed and interpreted gestures, dress codes and ways of speaking so as to gain passage into their world. “I would wear black because they always did and apply kohl on my eyes to say “I want to be with you”,” says the designer.
His father, a tailor, subcontracted for Parisian couture houses and worked from home, where Akyol’s bedroom was also the atelier. Akyol watched his father and learnt how to craft garments and sew, educating himself in the rigorous artisanal work of tailoring.
Moving to Paris in 2005 to study fashion at l’Institut Français de la Mode, Akyol worked multiple side jobs and sold his paintings to pay for his studies. Leaving school in 2006, he gained experience at Christian Dior under John Galliano, Balenciaga under Nicolas Ghesquière and at Emanuel Ungaro with Esteban Cortazar. In 2014, he was named head of collections at Cortazar’s namesake brand.
In 2019, Akyol decided to launch his own label and debuted a genderless artisanal collection celebrating feminine seduction in both women and men, creating a wardrobe for “sexy tragédien-nes” as the designer explains. His pieces are always very revealing and austere at the same time, whispering hot and cold, just like the women he grew up with.
Burç Akyol’s work is not seasonal; his collections are styled COLL 01 PART 01, 02, etc. This is because he is building a language close to Haute Couture, which takes time. When he designs, he taps into his obsessions for Cariatides, dramatic glamour and his love for black tuxedo-tailoring which Akyol says is “the perfect uniform”.
He also references female leadership and his multicultural heritage in a constant dialogue between his urban European upbringing and his Oriental roots: a mixture that he finds is best visible around the Mediterranean’s volcanic coasts, where Akyol spends his summers on the island of Pantelleria.
In harmony with his love for craftsmanship, each piece is either hand-finished or entirely hand-made at his studio in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Akyol values his wearer above all and is in constant search to offer them both maintenance and seduction: he says he is “distant-flirting” with his customers.
His collections have been featured internationally with high profile personalities wearing his pieces starting with Cardi B and Zendaya for the British Vogue and the launch of his collection first collection was covered by Vogue Talents for Vogue Italy. With his latest addition to COLL 01, Akyol staged his first physical show in Paris on March 21st for Fall Winter 2022.