“We say so much, when we do interviews, please hear us, please see us, and please accept us. They just see the show and they clap clap clap, but they don’t get the message, and we say it thousands of times, every time we do this we say it, they don’t understand the message, for that I want to say: see us, hear us, accept us.”
Those words cemented a friendship, it was backstage at Fashion Scout in early 2019, I’d seen DB Berdan show in the past but this was the first time I’d interviewed them. It was after a powerful show where a stunning collection had wowed the crowd, but more than that they had sent a message of who they were as a brand, it was an emotional response to recent events that had seen LGBTQA+ rights once again attacked in the world.
Fashion is great but without personality it’s just fabric, it is mere thread walking about, but more than that fashion has a power few embrace, it has the power to inform, to educate, to lift awareness and challenge the status quo. Time and again Deniz & Beg have challenged the status quo, the diversity of their runways, the gender fluidity, the belief that the world is full of different people, that we should celebrate that.
Sometimes as fashion folk we bandy these words about without thinking about their meaning, their relevance or their resonance, but as I watched a video of the most recent show my flatmate sat with me rapt that here was a runway that looked like people around us, not the high fashion underweight, lacking in diversity fare that is so often served up at fashion weeks.
I suppose I better talk about the clothes so here goes, they are awesome, you should own some, I do, what greater proof is there than that I hand over my own cash to buy them, though one of those items now lives in Dorset as a gift to my flatmates mum who is from Turkey as are Deniz & Beg.
One final story, some labels talk about values, others live them, DB Berdan LIVE them. The first time my partner met the duo was at a demo outside a hotel, the designers were there standing up for others, right there on the lawn holding placards high, for them creating a fairer world takes participation.
If you were looking to make better fashion choices, you wouldn’t go far wrong with the label.
Photos – Runway & backstage by Maja Smiejkowska