Banu Bora Mumcu, Soraya Bakhtiar and Rezzan Benardete

HIGH SHINE: Istanbul-based label In the Mood for Love is turning its attention to the London market.

The two-year-old brand, best known for its exuberant sequined creations sold at contemporary price points, quickly built a presence across key European retailers including Printemps in Paris, Tsum in Moscow and La Rinascente in Italy and now sees an opportunity to continue its growth trajectory in the U.K. market.

To introduce itself to the market, the label has tapped the London-based influencer Soraya Bakhtiar. Bakhtiar, who said she was drawn to the maximalist nature of the brand, brought together a group of fellow influencers and London-based designers to celebrate the label, hosting a dinner at Blakes Hotel, which came complete with sequined place mats and pink sparkly scrunchies used as napkin rings.

Guests included handbag designers Tara Ghazanfar and Gunes Mutlu; personal shopper and influencer Bettina Looney; jeweler Anissa Kermiche and author Katherine Ormerod, who all came dressed in sparkly creations and trendy padded headbands to match.

Bettina Looney and Soraya Bakhtiar

Bettina Looney and Soraya Bakhtiar  Courtesy Photo

The event was followed by a trunk show at the Connaught hotel.

“We wanted to work with a girl who’s just like us, Middle Eastern but also a big traveler and with an international outlook, so that customers can see a clear fit,” said designer Banu Bora Mumcu, who runs the brand alongside Rezzan Benardete, who is also an interior designer and overlooks the brand’s operations.

Mumcu added she was inspired by the Sixties movie “In the Mood for Love” when setting up the label and the idea was to put a modern-day spin on boudoir dressing, hence the sequined pajamas, which are some of the label’s biggest sellers.

The collections have since grown to include sequined jumpsuits and evening dresses, outerwear pieces and glamorous velvet robes — all sold at contemporary price points.

Leila Kashanipour and Tara Ghazanafar

Leila Kashanipour and Tara Ghazanfar  Courtesy Photo

Prices range between 250 pounds for a shirt to 500 pounds for an evening jumpsuit or dress.

“We wanted to offer affordable luxury, for women to be able to wear these sequined pieces in a more casual way too,” said Mumcu, adding that the brand invested in its own manufacturing facility in Istanbul from the get-go in order to have better control of quality and pricing, as well as have the flexibility to test new styles and turn around collections at their own time.

The brand also carries a small collection of accessories to complement its ready-to-wear ranges and this season it’s focusing on trendy hair pieces, including crystal hair clips, padded head bands, as well as sequined pouches.

In the Mood for Love is one of a host of young labels emerging from Turkey and achieving international recognition, by having a strong product offer, competitive price points and easy access to the country’s manufacturing capabilities. Accessories label Misela Istanbul, which also operates with its own manufacturing facility, has just opened its first international store on London’s Mount Street; jeweler Tohum caused a retail storm last summer with its shell necklaces and earrings, while handbag label Mehry Mu has been growing its retail presence with the likes of Le Bon Marché, Browns and Net-a-porter and is readying its first store opening in Istanbul’s new airport.

Maria Kastani and Gunes Mutlu

Maria Kastani and Gunes Mutlu  Courtesy Photo

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