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The entrepreneurial journey: Esin Akan

I worked in Milan, Paris and Istanbul; studied fashion design and accessories design; and moved to London to get further experience.

By Stuart Crainer 04 October 2013

I studied in Istanbul. Then I worked for three years in the fashion industry. I worked in Milan, Paris and Istanbul; studied fashion design and accessories design; and moved to London to get further experience.

This article is provided by the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.


Esin Akan 482x271

It had always been in my mind that I wanted to design a bag that would fit my lifestyle. There is a need for a designer handbag for working women. It stayed in my mind for years, more than five years.


There are millions of women working every day, leaving home at 7am and returning often late in the evening. They need a bag that can carry laptops, a gym pack, notebooks and everything in an organised manner. It needs to be practical plus stylish.


The average price is around £450 and the range starts from £250 and goes up to £1,000.


We interviewed and surveyed hundreds of working women about what they want, what brands they prefer, why they prefer them, what really is not good about them, how we can make a better product than any other option in  the market. It was a fascinating experience.


I knew about the product, I knew about fashion, but I had no idea about finance, how to value my company, or what sort of ambition I needed to convince an investor to invest in my business or how much my designs would be valued.


We have developed the whole collection in the last six months. We found suppliers and our  first client, a luxury department store in Turkey. Now we basically need finance to be able to invest in the right thing to make it work and grow fast.


The most rewarding thing is to see your product, something that was in your mind and then on paper, becoming real. That gives you a feeling of huge, limitless further creativity. There is nothing to beat it.


www.esinakan.com


Esin has an MBA from London Business School.

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