Where I'm @
Fashion Design

Conceptual Footwear Designer

Deniz Terli
Fri 15 Sep
Function Deniz Footwear, Designer, Owner
Year 2007
Major Fashion Design

What is your occupation now?

I am a footwear designer: I make one of a kind conceptual pieces and I have just launched my first ready to wear line, which is more commercial and meant for everyday life. Next to that I also work freelance as a designer.

What expertise did you gain at WdKA?

To give voice to and articulate my creative intuition. Before WdKA I created too, but without really knowing what I was doing and why I was doing it. Once in art school I had to dive deep within myself and discover what it was that triggered me and why I was designing what I was designing. I was forced to explain and conceptualize what I was doing intuitively and that was extremely valuable. It gave me a lot of insight in myself, my practice and profession. The power of experimenting was also an important lesson. I’ve learned so much from just trying different stuff out, most of which was absolute shit, but some of it was absolute magic.


What is the future of your profession in your opinion?

In a world where everybody is saturated when it comes to fashion, it’s difficult to predict where things are going. In general I think there will be a shift in consciousness, a shift in the way we (mass-) produce and use our recourses and a shift in the way we buy. I don’t think the urge for new fashion will disappear, as clothing and accessories are a form of self-expression, but I think the way we approach fashion will change. It will become more sustainable, because it has to be. I think we will be seeing a lot more small and independent labels that design more consciously, and that the big high street brands will lose some ground.

I am very aware of the way my own designs are being made. They are handmade by grownups (i.e. no little kiddie hands), in good factories and in small quantities.

You never leave your house without…?

A good mood and red lipstick. Red lipstick is very impactful, it can change your mood and appearance in seconds. It’s like female empowerment.

Keep going and don’t give up

Any words of advice to future students?

Cherish your time in art school and take full advantage of what it has to offer. It is an experimental playground filled with new experiences and childlike freedom. Sometimes it can feel like the hardest thing ever, especially because your art is personal (many tears have been shed in my time). But once you are out in the real world you’ll realize how amazing your time in art school is. I loved it!

Also: keep going and don’t give up. Follow and chase your dreams and passions, even when it feels impossible. Start by taking one step and the next one will present itself. Be okay with being uncomfortable and scared, because that’s a part of growing and reaching new heights. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself!

Name your favorite recent project.

Currently I’m working on a project called “I Love Velcro”. It’s about redefining the use and function of Velcro. It’s got me very excited and inspired and I am now researching and experimenting with the material. It is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to share it!