For Turkey, the Vakko fashion house represents history and modernity in the same breath. As Turkey modernized following the creation of Atatürk’s republic in 1923, Vakko would be in the vanguard of the country’s evolving relationship with the West and with urbanization, with aesthetics and luxury. Vitali Hakko established the family’s first small shop, a milliners called Şen Şapka, in 1934. When it became Vakko, a conflation of the founder’s given and surnames, it began to produce scarves in Turkish silk, cotton, and wool at its own printing house, creating the first printed Turkish textiles, extending the business into ready-to-wear, and creating what would become a symbol of the brand’s dedication to quality and refinement. The first fashion boutique opened in Beyoğlu in 1962, for the first time offering customers fixed prices, formalized seasonal sales, returns, and refunds.
Today, the company’s forward-looking business practices and sophisticated tastes have made it an empire: in addition to its 15 flagships, Vakko owns 35 fashion and two chocolate boutiques, and over 100 other outlets, wedding and household stores, and concept shops. It is a family dynasty with its hands in everything from bridal gear, fragrances, and shoes to chocolates, household items, and high-end events spaces. It inaugurated the country’s first concept store, selling the most avant-garde names in the industry in addition to its own multiplying merchandise.
With showrooms in Istanbul and Paris, Arzu Kaprol is a venerable Turkish fashion designer whose collections generally take clues from architecture and well-received across the world.
One of her stores in Istanbul is situated in the city’s Galata district - a common ground for art galleries and specialized shops - inside a recently renovated historical building recognized as Kamondo Inn.
Spread over 70 square meters, the store is designed by Autoban, who conserved the original brick arc structure of the space and has complimented it by building the rest of the store around it.
V2K designers is a multi-label contemporary fashion emporium, providing the latest in fashion from the likes of Alexander Wang, Rick Owens, Erdem and Hussein Chalayan, and it is a subsidiary of Vakko - Turkey’s most established luxury fashion house.
Located in the city’s main shopping street in Nişantaşı, the angular entrance visually offsets the retail space from the timeworn façade of the residential building rising above before opening into a lit path that runs up to the mezzanine floor, enabling a large window space for theatrical displays. The grid-like wall of light bulbs at the entrance provides a powerful banner for slogans, which can easily be modified by changing the slots of the bulbs.
Highlighting the contemporary designer collections in stock, the store’s interiors are kept innovative, unfussy and all-white to put the focus on the displays. The lighting system hidden behind the display units also put the limelight on the store’s inventory, while central columns covered in dark wood panelling break the monochrome scheme and add warmth to the entire space.
When Macro Center went for a redesign of their Kuruçeşme branch, where the supermarket chain was pilot testing their new gourmet-shopping concept, supermarket design was a new category in the Autoban project archive. Yet with careful planning and creativity combined with attention to detail, the studio came up with an inviting concept that blurs the line between a farm fresh marketplace and grocery retail.
Komşufırın is a bakery chain with a slogan: “Tradition of the next generation”. Taking it as a guideline and enhancing the idea of updating the traditional bakery experience for the new generation, Autoban came up with a contemporary and functional design scheme that would become a standard model for all branches.
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