born in nicosia, cyprus in 1970.
Chalayan is an internationally regarded fashion designer
who is renowned for his innovative use of materials,
meticulous pattern cutting and progressive attitude to new
he was educated both in cyprus and england,
at london’s strict highgate boarding school.
in 1993 he graduated from london’s central st martins college
of art and design.
he caused a sensation with his graduate
collection – decomposed silk dresses he had buried and exhumed.
since then he has produced more than 20 collections and
twice been crowned british designer of the year (1999, 2000).
chalayan is inspired by architectural theories, science
he has been involved in numerous international exhibitions,
including ‘radical fashion’ at the V&A victoria & albert museum
in london (1997), ‘fashion’ at the kyoto costume institute
in japan (1999), ‘airmail clothing’ at the musée de la mode
palais du louvre in paris (1999), the istanbul biennial (2001) …
I don’t look at anything religiously.
I like to be inspired by other sources, by seeing other visual things,
by things that don’t necessarily relate to my world so much.
°he famously produced a collection
which included chairs and tables that became garments:
what advice would you give to the young ?
I would advise young designers to get experience before
they approach their own thing.
you don’t have to have your own label to succeed.
you could have a part in an interesting group.
the important thing in the design world is to be always thinking
of something that isn’t already done.
design rather than looking at design constantly.
you have to expose yourself to other worlds to keep your
mind more active.