Words Christina Faaborg
Powerful colours and composed elements characterise the woman and the artist Evren Tekinoktay. She has run an underwear store, received the Danish arts foundation’s three-year art scholarship and designed stage outfits for Prince.
If you think the last name sounds familiar, you may recognise it from the high-end underwear store of the same name in Copenhagen. The store recently closed in the spring of 2013, but Evren the artist is still going strong. The underwear store, ‘Tekinoktay Finest Lingerie’, was not just a store but also an artistic universe of feminine scents, colours, and Tekinoktay posters that you could step into and in which you happened to be able to buy fantastic underwear.
Evren had the idea for the store during a visit to Berlin where she encountered the underwear store ‘Blush’ – which in the same manner was an entire microcosm in itself. It was the overall impression that appealed to Evren and the way to operate a shop. “Above all, it was the fantasy about creating a space in which I could control everything while the lingerie was just an alibi”, says Evren.
And then she opened the store in Silkegade, central Copenhagen, with a space that allowed her to combine her own feminine and aesthetic artistic universe. The underwear was picked on the basis of what matched her taste, and the store featured a range of various styles but mainly more exclusive styles from Paris and Berlin. Although the underwear store was a part of Evren’s daily life life, she does not miss it.
“I took the decision to close it down at the right time. To me, it was fantastic to make that store and create my own space, which other people could step into. And, moreover, since I was a child, I’ve had a fetish for the sound of cash registers. During the final period, however, I was far away from the store mentally and was getting tired of all the daily work a shop continuously generates – so I had to move on, without it”, says Evren. Initially it was interesting and challenging for Evren to run the store, as it was part of a personal project. And although a storeowner and an artist live in two different worlds, she still managed to find a way to combine the two.
“My approach was the same. Regardless of what you do, it’s all about making it worth your while – insist on doing your best and insist on taking your work seriously. In this case, it was a good combination because I could merge my art with the store. I could be an extrovert with the shop, and at the same time introverted and withdrawn when working in my studio”. Generally, Evren is a very focused, while also a very dreamy and poetic person, who has some twisted as well as thought-provoking views on life. “The beauty of life is to spite the madness; that you know it all ends and still get out of bed in the morning and make an effort with your life”. (…)