Creativity and innovation are two words that have been bandied about a lot in recent years. Innovation, which was previously only used in the context of manufacturing facilities, and creativity, which we are used to using in the context of art and fashion, have now become synonymous. In fact, creativity is a component of innovation; however, it is common to skip creativity and instead imitate it when attempting to be innovative. same. In fact, creativity is a part of innovation, but unfortunately, it is common to skip creativity and generally imitate it while trying to be innovative.
This imitation has progressed to the point where we have yet another new case of it. The Emre Ertürk Evil Eye Bead themed icon portfolio from my 2017-18 set has been my go-to since 1996. The right image depicts hardcovers for sale in a massive Istanbul department store right now (September 2022!).
As the saying goes:
“If you are imitated, not admired, you have succeeded.”
Creativity and innovation are becoming increasingly valued throughout the world. Generation Z’s preference for what is independent, libertarian, and not brand-dependent, as well as for what is authentic, has manifested itself in all sectors. Consequently, a number of workshops and seminars had to be organized. Workshops on creativity and innovation have been incorporated into academic curricula, and not just in the fashion industry. You can’t chalk this up to chance. The primary reason for this is that originality is becoming increasingly valued as time goes on, and when creativity and innovation do not go hand in hand, nothing that comes out of it can erase mediocrity.
For many years, our country has been one of the world’s major contract manufacturers, but it has yet to establish a global brand. Only a few of our brands are referred to as “universal brands.” I’d like to give an applause to all of these companies. In fact, Turkey possesses all of the resources required to develop international brands. But creativity and innovation, which go hand in hand, are lacking.
Vakko Esmod Academy Trainings
We say education is the beginning of everything. It is true. Vakko, one of Turkey’s most established brands, established Vakko Esmod Academy in Turkey to raise new generations who will create the fashion industry of tomorrow. Vakko Esmod Academy, formed under the leadership of Cem Hakko and the Cigdem Mete’s team, is one of the first in our country in the field of fashion and design.
Founded in Paris in 1841, Esmod (Ecole supérieure des arts et des techniques de la mode) today operates in various countries around the world. As part of this visionary initiative of Vakko, I, as a first in Turkey in the field of creativity and innovation, have been working with Vakko within the framework of TRAINING diploma and certificate programs.
The first one is ‘Creativity, Bag and Accessories Brand Creation with Emre Erturk’ program. Another of mine is Vakko Esmod’s diploma program: Creativity and Innovation, a first in Turkey.
This diploma program is ideal for those who are new to design and branding. Because we are flying our creativity with new consciousness on wings. Of course, none of this is to say, “Let’s just do what’s in our hearts right now” and get on with it. Turning inward and awakening our authenticity is the first step toward being innovative. It’s natural for a designer or artist to be inspired by other people’s work. Combining one’s inspiration with the originality that comes from within is the perfect combination of innovation and creativity.
Most of us have clothes in our closets that have a detail on them that we remember. An embroidery, a metal accessory, or even a slogan. This detail is even effective enough to make us fall in love with the product and be unwilling to throw it away.
Original designs bring these details to life. To create unique designs, you must reflect your inner DNA. In other words, it is your personal expression of your inner journey, from colors to symbols. (By the way don’t forget to check, IS THERE A SEASON OF COLORS my blog post about colors)
Why Creativity and Innovation Matters?
Let me give an example from myself. In 1996, in my 20s, I interpreted the evil eye bead, one of the most favorite pieces of our culture from Central Asia, with eyelashes and reflected it on my canvases. Then came horseshoes, another Turkish cultural motif. These two concepts, which I created from our favorite authentic elements, were later imitated by many designers and are still being imitated. So much so that an Italian brand appears everywhere with its products decorated with long eyelash eye motifs. (It has become very fashionable in our country too!). I’ve always believed that horseshoes bring good luck. I made my horseshoe concept designs with the wish that they bring luck to those who use them. I used this horseshoe in my Emre NewYork logo.
In my diploma program, in addition to classical classroom lectures, we also do various field studies that spark creativity. I ask my students to draw their favorite colors on mood boards, combining them with themes such as success, love and money. With these boards, our journey of creativity and innovation begins.
Tips for Creativity and Innovation
A student of design who doesn’t broaden his or her artistic horizons by exploring libraries, galleries, and museums is unlikely to come up with original ideas. Regarding this aspect, Turkey is a paradise. It is not an exaggeration to say that this fusion of cultures is unparalleled anywhere else on Earth. Doing research and being unique aren’t just for designers. A practice that should be followed at all times, in other words, a way of life. During one of our fieldwork sessions at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, I asked my students, ‘Imagine I’m throwing a fancy party here; what kind of outfit would you wear?’ Actually, my goal was to get them to imagine how they would design something that would fit the concept.
During a creative excursion to Istanbul Modern with my students, we came across a very nice example of innovation and creativity.
The painting of a woman’s face is not done on canvas. Face figures were created on canvas using a collage patchwork technique and fabrics.
Aside from my intensive design and art studies, I am also proud of the positive feedback I have received from my dear students about my Vakko Esmod classes.
I hope that in our beautiful country, which is a cultural mosaic, creativity and innovation go hand in hand, and that when combined with the beautiful energy of the young generation, it will give our country the voice it deserves as a global brand all over the world.