He became an adopted Mancunian after moving to Manchester from his native Turkey 15 years ago.
After learning English and following her dream of launching her own fashion label, Zeynep Kartal has dressed some of the world’s biggest stars from her showroom on King Street.
She dressed in A-listers including Lady Gaga and Liz Hurley, singers Cheryl, Kylie Minogue and Paloma Faith, Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts, and TV personalities including Britain’s Got Talent judges Amanda Holden, Emily Atack, Emma Willis, Tess Daly, former Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh and late Love Island host Caroline Flack.
A number Coronation Street and Hollyoaks Girls model her clothes at events including the Manchester Fashion Festival as well as on the red carpet at the British National Television Awards and Soap Awards.
Zeynep, 48, who has 17-year-old twin sons Emre and Berke, made Manchester her home after her husband’s job forced her family to move here.
Her talent in fashion was revealed as a teenager when she made clothes for herself and her friends.
With her husband’s encouragement, she started her own label and later showcased her designs at London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.
“My husband said ‘start your own label'”, she recalls.
“He pushed me.
“I remember my son was only seven or eight years old and they were shooting backstage.”
During the pandemic, Zeynep, known for her stunning custom-made dresses, has undergone the switch from haute couture to casual casual wear, so her new ready-to-wear couture collection will launch in February.
“During the pandemic, I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and I started designing for myself – T-shirts, sports shoes and jeans,” he said.
She also launched the Rose and Caramel skincare collaboration last March.
This will be followed by continuous collection for the fall and winter of 2021, inspired by Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan who has taken the lead in reversing the effects of environmental pollution with the Zero-Trash Movement in the country, which has become even more important during the pandemic.
In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Zeynep and his son wanted to do something positive to help so the three of them switched hands to make masks.
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They make masks for key workers and volunteers at the Manchester City Council and Urban Outreach in Bolton, making food packages for needy families and doing other important work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019 Zeynep opened a second base opposite Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, but he is proud to fly the flag for Manchester.
“I really like Manchester, this is my hometown,” he said.
“Manchester are friendly, have good people, they are class and they have a real British style.”
After being inspired by Princess Diana’s style, Zeynep said that the person he dreams of working with is Kate Middleton.
“He’s very classy, very real and I really like him,” he said.
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