Her story really begins on the streets lined with cobblestones in Bursa, where Bilgin was born and grew up. When she was very little she began sewing outfits for her dolls and loved dressing them in different clothes, as did many of her friends. What set Bilgin apart from her friends when it came to this hobby, though, was that she never stopped loving to sew.
During Bilgin's high school years, the open market near her home only served to develop her passion for design. The items of clothing she created from the fabrics she bought as she made her way home between the various fabric sellers was the reason for her greatest joy. She was young, and she dreamed of one day becoming a real fashion designer. But as she explains it, her own father wound up being the greatest barrier to these dreams. “Even though our family may have appeared modern, it was actually quite conservative,” she says. So much so that some of the fabric Bilgin bought from the open market wound up being thrown into the wood stove by her father and burned. The real problem, as her father saw it, was that his daughter was making direct contact with the male merchants selling the fabric. This all unfolded 25 years ago in Bursa. But still, Bilgin did not give up and ended up sitting for and successfully passing the exam that would gain her entry into the textiles department of Aegean University. She was extremely happy, but her joy was short-lived as her family refused to send her off to study. She was one of five sisters, and her father did not look warmly on any of his daughters leaving for places he considered too far afield.
And so Bilgin's dream of studying to become a fashion designer was put on the back burner, and instead she had to satisfy her desires through the sewing she did on her own at home. In order to help console their daughter, this wealthy Bursa family decided to buy Bilgin her own car, though at the same time they forbade her from meeting up with friends who were going to university and getting an education, in the hope that she wouldn't be too influenced by them.
Throughout all of this, though, Bilgin never abandoned her dreams, though she was forced to take something of a break from them. And actually, as she says, knowing what she wanted was what helped her the most in making it to where she is today.
Interestingly, it was marriage that finally reunited Bilgin with her dreams. Her family pushed her to marry, and eventually she could no longer say no; when she did get married, it brought her, through the support of her husband, all the way to the fashion design department of Mimar Sinan University. And so a life spent on the road between Bursa and İstanbul began for Sevinç. Her greatest joy was now going to school to try and realize her dream of becoming a fashion designer, and even when she was pregnant she kept going, never far from the school's corridors. As it turns out, the day after she completed her thesis and graduated, she became a mother for the first time. She then opened up a small shop in Bursa, where she sold her pieces. The women of Bursa began coming to visit, and her work became more and more popular as it slowly became clear that she was meant to sell her work somewhere larger than Bursa. Bilgin's shop in Bursa even became a spot where people not only came to get their outfits tailored, but to relieve stress. Even her sisters Elif and Deniz often come by to relax and feel refreshed.
For Bilgin, the latest stop on her journey towards fashion success is Nişantaşı. For the past four years, she has been creating outfits for SB Haute Couture in this chic İstanbul district. Most of her customers are people who place great importance on both handiwork and simplicity. As for Bilgin, she asserts that both she and her style are different from other designers who populate Nişantaşı, and she points to the fact that famous fashion designer Cemil Ipekçi has told her, “You are finally in the place you should be,” as a sign that she was the fashion designer that many have been waiting for.
Interestingly, Bilgin has many headscarved customers, explaining, “I know very well what they are looking for, as I had many covered customers in Bursa.” She notes that many of the current companies turning out clothing for headscarved women are ruining the essence of the desired look, saying, “The essential element for elegance is chicness.” Alongside her team, Bilgin is now working on modern outfits, wedding gowns and eveningwear inspired by Ottoman motifs. In keeping with this theme, she often offers her customers in her shop Ottoman sherbet, a tradition from that era. firstname.lastname@example.org