On Representation: Ali Ekmekci, the Designer Exploring the Language of the Media

On Representation: Ali Ekmekci, the Designer Exploring the Language of the Media

As part of the ‘Representation Issue’, XXY wants to give this generation of young creatives a voice to speak for themselves about their work. Today we meet with Ali Ekmekci; an up-and-coming designer currently based in London. Ekmekci’s work questions the role of the media in 2017’s increasingly globalised culture, challenging capitalism and the notion of what really is ‘real’.

What does the word ‘representation’ mean to you?

How most people are influenced by a certain identity.  

What informs your work the most?

My existing wardrobe of Parisian pieces, collected visual experiences, the band Salem, and my love of the future.

When you create, do you have an end goal/vision in mind beyond the creation itself?

As a fashion designer, the end goal is consolidating ideas through a collection. However, I start in one place and end somewhere completely different through collaboration and experimentation.

Image by Najia Li Saad

How important is representation in fashion?

We have the power to help people become a part of society through injecting inclusive examples into the media landscape.

What is most important to you generally in fashion?

To be an active and healing part of society.

What do you think your industry could be doing to be more representative?

The industry isn’t an imaginary person that we should be expecting from. We have to create the representations we feel are missing through image-making and setting a positive example.

Image by Ellie Connor-Phillips

Is there a particular issue you feel strongly about highlighting or better representing?

I think queer Middle Eastern men still need better representation of their fearless identities. I also want to set a positive example and empower LGBTQ+ individuals who may be experiencing more adversity due to learning difficulties or situations such as homelessness.  

Do you have any tips for younger emerging creatives who find it hard to sync their activism with their careers?

Unless you are dead, you can have an intention to and set about to make a change every day.


You can find Ali Ekmekci’s website here.

Interviewed by Ellie-Connor Phillips

Fashion Assistant

Visuals by Najia Li Saad and Ellie Connor-Phillips


Image by Ellie Connor-PhillipsImage by Najia Li Saad