Deniz Marsan & Basak Dizer Tatlitug: Our Friendship is a Great Luck

Fashion stylist Basak Dizer Tatlitug, the wife of Turkish actor Kivanc Tatlitug and her business partner Deniz Marsan were interviewed by Samdan Plus. Read the original Interview in Turkish here.

We did a cheerful and colorful photoshoot with famous partners Basak Di̇zer Tatlitug and Deni̇z Marsan for the start of the spring-summer season. The partners both wore the new season’s clothes and explained their new projects.

Interview: Gulcin Isler Fırat 

Photos: Serhat Hayri

Video: Betul Yazicioglu

Makeup: Bobbi Brown Nisantasi

Styling: Nazli Gunay-Layza Akdilek (Room)

Thank you to JW Marriott Istanbul for the venue.

The energy and dynamics of some friendships are so beautiful that you feel it at first glance. I am talking about the innovative, colorful and dynamic partners Basak Dizer Tatlitug and Deniz Marsan who have been successful in styling and fashion and who we all know very well. We also learn that what has kept these partners who are actually quite different from each other in character together in business for so many years, is their similar perspective, their excitement and the brave and practical way they live in the world. We met with the two beautiful partners to talk about the new season and about their new projects at the JW Marriott Istanbul in Karakoy, which stands out with its magnificent atmosphere.

Before I put the men’s and women’s trends of the spring-summer fashion world on the table, I would like to hear from you about the innovations in Room.

Deniz Marşan: We are now ‘back to basics’ in Room, namely back to the point where we started. Room is a showroom, a platform where brings Turkish fashion brands and designers together with actresses/actors, series and celebrities. Our most prominent feature, our difference as the showroom is that we are also a styling agency. In addition to the person’s clothing, we do styling work from hair to makeup, basically from A to Z.

Basak Dizer Tatlitug: In our agency, which was established in 2009, we’ve been breaking new ground for a long time in the fashion industry by collaborating very well with corporate brands and designers. We also provide series styling, fashion production and organization in our showroom in Nisantasi with our young, dynamic styling team. In the new season, we will restructure the Room + Rumors store and restaurant with a different project with the same name.

Deniz M: Our team is preparing a digital magazine that we will publish. Another of our projects – a business where we carry styling services to an online platform- will be launched soon. We will make the announcement soon and start the process.

Başak DT: In other words, we aim to present the styling service that we have been offering for TV series, celebrities, movies, commercials and red carpet to greater groups by making it accessible for every budget. This excites us very much.

How beautiful! Apparently, you are ready for the new season with innovations.

Başak DT: We have yet another new project. We have accepted styling consultancy for a new series co-produced by Ay Yapım and Netflix. We’re very excited about this project, whose cast includes names such as Ozge Ozpirincci, Birkan Sokullu, Burak Yamanturk, Elifcan Ongurlar.

Deniz M: That’s not all. (Laughter) We also started styling the new series, in which Miray Daner and Boran Kuzum will share the lead.

You always blaze a trail, you are still pursuing to do it.

Basak DT: We have always been open to innovations. We always have enjoyed trying new things. When we started working, I mean until Ask-i Memnu, there was not even a styling concept in the series. When Room 2 was established in 2013 it was Turkey’s second fashion showroom. Nowadays, almost every series has a special style consultant and there are nearly 20 fashion showrooms in Istanbul.

Deniz M: One of the most important factors that brought us to this day is that we can identify deficiencies and act with an innovative spirit. Our world is changing, success comes from adaptation. Institutions that can understand the new conditions and trends, and provide consumers with the experiences they need can be successful.

What are the highlights of spring summer fashion?

Deniz M: In the new season, we see collections and designs that are far from minority and boring colors. Colorful leathers, large polka dots, bra and bralettes used in day and night combinations, corsets and big bags are prominent pieces. We will see the use of corset and bra integrated in many combinations and views. Lace will be seen in many products this season. I can say that the collections of Stella McCartney, Dior and Chanel are my favorites in the new season.

What are the essentials of this season which should be bought?

Deniz M: Some of the biggest trends of this season: big bags, bronze and metallic leather jackets, lace tops, pieces with large polka dots, corset and bralette looks are the things that must be in wardrobes.

What is going on in men’s fashion world, Miss Basak?There was a serious change in men’s fashion for 2020. Because for 10 years there was the skinny fit, tight fitting trend. That’s being replaced by abundant, oversized, pleated pieces. We will not see skinny fit jeans anymore. On the contrary, there will be a lot of high waisted, a little pleated, pipe-leg pants and carrot-shaped pants that we call jogger pants. The pants are overly relaxed. Suits are also relaxed in terms of designs and can be combined with sneakers and t-shirts. The navy-blue suit and blue shirt duo are being replaced by the beige suit. We will see double-breasted, oversized jackets, coats, and the trendiest piece is long leather coats. We call this the Matrix trend. We will also frequently see team tracksuits— towels, silk, velvet fabrics. Cowboy boots and cap hats are rising trends. Loafers and loafers-style socks and knit shoes are also in fashion this year. We can say that British style will prevail.

So, what did you add to your wardrobe from the new season?

Basak DT: Saint Laurent boots, Burberry waist bag, Ralph Lauren leather pants.

Deniz M: Jadon Max Dr. I bought Martens boots, Attico white crop top and Mistress Rock pink waist bag.

What are the fixtures of your wardrobe?

Basak DT: I love the masculine image, so I mostly have blazer jackets in my closet. Also, my legs are very thin, so I think tights look good on me, that’s why I have tights in my closet. I can say the combination I prefer the most is tight or skinny jean, boyfriend jacket, sneaker or short-heeled boot. I love high-heels, but I prefer them only if I have a meeting or if I’m going to dinner. My job is in the field; I go to the store, to the set, to the office for fitting process.

Deniz M: Colorful sweaters and sweatshirts, patterned trousers, sequins, sequined and ethnic patterned jackets are the most common things in my closet. Also, DM swimwear, bikini and kimonos that I made myself. I can’t wear thin heels, so all the shoes in my closet are either thick heels or sneakers.

What are the things you say I never wear?

Basak DT: I never wear fur or leopard patterns. And I can never put red nail polish on (laughs)

Deniz M: I never wear fur. And I don’t like to wear jet black. Whatever I wear, I definitely add a piece and detail from my own style.

How do you define your style?

Basak DT: My style is pop. I am interested in masculine, geometric, asymmetrical, hard, clear, straight cut designs. Mostly black and white. Whatever the trend is, I use it by adapting it to my own style. My zone is not the latest in fashion, it is what is trending. Fashion changes every 6 months; trends identify preferences for 5-10 years.

Deniz M: Bohemian, colorful and glam. I can summarize my style in these three words. I like to use different fabric types and patterns together.

Which brands of shoes and bags are on your radar?

Basak DT: I like Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen shoes and bags, Proenza Schouler bags. I love the angular, geometric designs and backpacks.

Deniz M: I wear Buffalo London the most during the day and night. Doc Martins shoes are indispensable for me. I prefer Vans sneakers, and for high-heels Fendi and Miu Miu. I don’t use bag a lot, I usually wear the same backpack; Eastpack and Proenza Schouler. I use the waist bag by Mistress Rock.

What do you pay attention to while shopping?

Basak DT: I shop very rationally. Also, I cannot shop for myself a lot because I dress many people for work, and we see many clothes in the showroom. When I go abroad, I shop because there are both special and original pieces, as well as flash and trend pieces. I never shop online. Topshop in London is my indispensable shopping stop. There are great pieces by young designers on the lower floor of the store. I do not buy clothes in vain, at home, I don’t have clothes that still have labels on, I am not a shopaholic.

Deniz M: I do not shop unless necessary; I am highly against unnecessary consumption and unconscious shopping. I buy things that I find are different, that I cannot find easily, and things that I will use for a long time.

What kind of friend are you?

Deniz M: Our relationship is a great one; we are both very good friends and very good partners. We balance each other very much.

Basak DT: Yes, we first became two very good friends, then we both thought about making plans to work together. We are both exciting, brave, practical people. When we say, “Let’s do it,” we do. It happens from the energy that we both give each other.

Deniz M: I mean, we are always together even outside of work, we even rented a cottage in Bodrum for two years. We will be together with our mothers and families.

Basak DT: We are together in summer and winter (laughter).

Well, are there no difficulties to be a partner, both of you are different characters from each other as far as I can see … Don’t you have any differences of opinion?

Deniz M: We have different characters, but our perspective on life, the way we live the world, and our ideologies are the same. Our most important personality traits that bring us together are that we are excited, brave and practical. For example, we say, “Let’s open a store” and we take action immediately. Gratefully, everything we have done has been successful.

Basak DT: I admire Deniz’s character. She has traits that I do not have, and this completes me. We complete each other. We have no differences of opinion. If we ever do, we solve them immediately. It is also very important that we don’t do the same job. For example, if I dress women in the series, Deniz dresses men. We don’t interfere with each other’s business.

Deniz M: I think the same way, and for example, Basak is so calm that she keeps calm even if an apocalypse breaks out. I admire these aspects of her, and we balance each other as I can never be like that.

How do you divide the work?

Basak DT: For example, while there was Room & Rumors, Deniz was working in the store, and I was in the showroom. Now Deniz is working with the brands. I hold meetings and negotiations with brand managers.

Deniz M: Yes. I do the event, production and shooting parts.

Have you had a moment of saying “if only” while cooperating?

Basak DT: I wish we had access to financial support when we set out as Room & Rumors. Then the two of us, would not have had to do everything and we would not have had to take on partnerships. We did not have issues with our partners; however, when there are different people leading, there is a risk that different ideas dominate and at times, this impacts the creativity.

Deniz M: That is why we operate within a two partner business right now. We are two partners, no third one.

Basak DT: We said let us do our best work, no need to grow. It was not easy managing the bar and the business, our energy was very dispersed at that time.

Deniz M: If we enter into such a deal again, the investor will become a partner and that partner would not be involved in day to day operation with us. Our soul is completely different. What brings us to this day is our professionalism, that does not break apart from our amateur spirit.

Are you thinking of doing something abroad?

Basak DT: Of course, we think about it. We can open a showroom abroad, for example in the USA. During our Room & Rumors time, we had an offer from London about making the same concept there.

Deniz M: Yes, we can make that store and space concept again, Room & Rumors, either in London or somewhere abroad.

Mrs. Deniz, your Direct Message brand was sold well in America. How’s it going?

Deniz M: Yes, my Direct Message beachwear brand is sold in America, on Amazon. It is going really well. It is also sold in several places in Miami. The places where I want to sell the products of my Mayo brand, are where it’s hot in all four seasons, and these are generally in America. There is also an innovation that excites me about my brand.

What innovation?

Deniz M: This is the first time I have entered the hair products business. I prepared the Styling Cream series consisting of three products; There are two styling products and one product for hair growth. It will be released in June. I’m about to deal with a large chain store. I did this because of the need, because I couldn’t style my hair the way I wanted.

What do you think about sustainable fashion?

Deniz M: I am very much against excessive consumption. If you have three black pants, you shouldn’t purchase a fourth one. I think two things; since we have been doing this business for 15 years, we have been operating a sustainable business. We have friends who will continue this, if we were to withdraw from Room. In order to be sustainable in clothing, old parts need to be renewed. We can also go to the clothes rental event.

Basak DT: Excessive use of natural resources, young man power, in the name of ‘fashion’ started to bring bad return to our world and to us. We are very crowded and consume very fast. I started by not shopping for clothes constantly. I always loved searching for second hand stores abroad and using vintage products in my combinations. I use a lot of second-hand old leather jackets, trench coats, jeans and accessories, especially in series and cinema movies and I also purchase for myself. At the showroom, we have initiatives such as re-selling old season products at garage-sales, at affordable prices or delivering them to those in need.

What are the milestones of your life?

Basak DT: While I was studying at Marmara University Faculty of Communication, in my senior year, I also attended lessons at Mimar Sinan University run by design teachers. My drawing was good, and I realized that I wanted to progress in the field of fashion. When my teachers said “Basak, you should improve this”, I went to Italian Culture and learned Italian and then went to Florence and then to Milan. After my university, I studied fashion at Central St. Martins (School of Art and Design) in London. I started working at Vakko. I worked 3.5 years as the assistant of Cengiz Us, the chief designer of the men’s department. Then I started working as the chief designer at Bilstore. My next turning point is the Aşk-ı Memnu series. Because I moved from design to styling; I left the design job in 2008. Another turning point is to grow our business with Deniz and opening Room showroom together.

Your life is planned and organized

Basak DT: Yes, I am a project person, planner, programmer and disciplined. Difficulties don’t make me give up, they encourage me. I always take steps in my life, I proceed by thinking twice. I’m a soldier Aries (laughs).

And you got married, is it not a turning point in your life?

Basak DT: How can it not be?! Of course, it is a big turning point. I got married in 2016 and I can say I added the most beautiful milestone to my life.

How is the marriage going?

Başak DT: Our marriage is going very well. We also work with Kivanc in commercials, TV shows and movies. It is also extremely fun. Kivanc is very pleased with me dressing him in his daily life and at work. I sometimes even say, “Look, you can work with someone else if you want, aren’t you bored?” “Are you crazy? I found the best name in men’s fashion in Turkey, who else can I work with?” he says. Very sweet! (Laughs) Of course, I have been writing men’s fashion articles in newspapers for 10 years. By the way, Kivanc mostly makes his combinations himself in daily life, he has good taste, but he shops with me. I also shop for him, pick it up it and bring it home.

What are your milestones, Mrs. Deniz?

Deniz M: Meeting with Başak at Bilsar Tekstil, then establishing our business called 2Shoppers, then our rise in styling in Ay Yapım and Aşk-ı Memnu. It was a milestone for me to create the Direct Message brand 5 years ago. Now I have a new turning point in 2020, which creates hair styling products. There is no turning point in my private life because I work very hard (laughs). I am at the point in time when I have worked the most in my life.

Let’s talk a little bit about form, nutrition. Sorry, you are both fine, you are challenging time. How are you doing this?

Basak DT: My list is as follows: eating two meals a day; not eating late at night; not being fond of dessert; very active life; yoga; long-paced walks; gym; healthy nutrition; nutritional supplements and an abundance of dance.

Deniz M: I do not pay much attention to my diet. I do not like meat. I eat everything except that. I love dessert, I eat every day, but I do sports in return. I am constantly on the move. I do kite surfing in the summer and snowboarding in the winter, whenever I find the opportunity. I do box two to three times a week.

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