Turkish but New York based branding consultant and creative director, Ipek Irgit loved traveling the world in search of sun and fun. One day she whipped up a swim suit that all of her friends coveted and begged her to make more of! This may sound like a fairy tale, but it is the real the story behind swimwear label, Kiini. The L-atitude team also fell for the Kiini bikini's modern lines, artisanal crochet trim and charming story. Read and shop the newest must-have for swim!
What made you launch Kiini?
The main inspiration for making this swimwear came from my travels to different beaches around the world (I am a beach junkie). Many people showed interest to the first samples. I pretty much became an accidental swimwear designer, which is great! (Previously, I have worked as a branding consultant / stylist / producer so it all came together in this project) I hope that this new occupation will allow me to discover more beaches.
The names of my first 3 Kiini styles are Tasmin, Lolo and ChaCha. They are the names of the daughters of some close friends. The parents are from different parts of the world but the kids are born in New York City and these little New Yorkers fascinate me everyday. Like them, the Kiini idea was cultivated in the different parts of the world but it actually manifested in NY.
BE KIINI is a short text you will see on the tags.
It says Kiini's are believed to unleash superpowers such as supreme positivity. I
f you want to be happy, just wear your Kiini and dive into the blue waters and open yourself to some sunshine and you'll be fine. At least it is the ultimate happiness for me. You can leave the Kiini behind and dive in the water all naked too, that?s totally fine as well!
Describe Kiini in 3 words.
I love sunshine.
You work with so many different artisans in Turkey to create your collections- Can you describe your creative process?
I work with different artisans in Turkey, China and maybe soon in Guatemala. I must say the creative process is not very linear and like every creative field requires collaborations. It is full of compromises. Its a practice of letting go which is pretty hard for a perfectionist like me. However, I do love to see what can come out of the hands and minds and artisans. It is also very fascinating to me that, for example a crochet maker in Turkey can start something and someone in China or Brazil can take it from where it was and finish it.
What are some of your favorite Kiini looks that are available on L-atitude?
Well obviously Kiini's can be just worn alone but I also love it when they are peaking through a see through or deep v neck caftan or a simple white cotton lace dress...
The Chacha Kiini would look great under Nude is Rude, Black Sophie Moroccon Long Caftan with some gold jewelry like Nicholas Liu Huggy Earrings.
Its evident that you have a passion for travel. What are some of your favorite cities to visit?
I love Rio del Janeiro. The city vibrates with sexy, fun and free spirited energy.
Istanbul because it is home and I am grateful for my heritage.
Venice for making me feel like I am in a movie set...
And NYC for being my home for the last 12 years, keeping me on my toes and for the people that inspire me everyday. Deep inside, I would love to be on a quiet beach with white sand and turquoise waters, surrounded by good friends and family, wherever it may be.
Describe your closet? What are some of your most treasured items?
My closet is a mixture of deals from sample sales, some things I got for free from old jobs, ethnic pieces from travels and some splurge items bought during retail therapy sessions. I also have a bunch of interesting costumes. I love dressing up for Halloween.
My shoes are mostly flats or heels not exceeding 3 inches. I learned from experience that no shoe is worth suffering. Also the idea of not being able to run in case I need to, makes me feel really vulnerable and I don't like that. I detest high heel/platform shoes and really question the sanity of girls wearing them and trying to walk especially on the cobblestones of Meatpacking District.
What are you wardrobe must have?s for when you travel?
Comfy leather sandals, good quality sunglasses, I love my Oliver Peoples that I bought last year. Dresses or jumpsuits that can take you from day to night. I always over pack at a last minute and end up wearing only half of the stuff I carry.
Photo Amanda Pratt
What are your summer holiday plans?
Going to Turkey at the end of June for the wedding of two close friends. One will be in Istanbul and another one will be in Izmir, where my family has a summer house. From there I am going to Paris to attend a pop up show at Palais Royal organized by the lovely Alexandra Senes, Editor in Chief of French Harpers Bazaar. As usual I have the fantasy of going to Burning Man at the end of the summer.
What are the items you are most coveting from L-atitude?
Lele Sadoughi Blue Flame Lotus and Scarab Necklace!
Globetrotter Stats | Ipek Irgit
Souk or Department Store? Souk
DIY or Concierge Service? DIY
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing? Buy something
Camping or 5-Star Hotel? A small boutique hotel..If I can avoid the bugs, I can handle camping too. I love sleeping outdoors on a boat.
Drive or be Driven? Drive or ride
Room service or Street Food? I think room service is boring and sad. I don't even ever order food to my apartment. I rather cook, go to a restaurant or eat street food.
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag? Carry- on if possible
To shop the collection from Kiini, please click here.
Read more about Ipek's globetrotting here.