Paris-based Algerian-Turkish-French mastermind Dünya carefully blends fabrics from a variety of cultures and regions to highlight her self-described anti-conformist nature. Refusing to adhere to any label, ISISDÜNYA’s pieces interrogate the meanings of diaspora, centering her own experiences in a country dedicated to policing the bodies of Muslim women and their choices of dress.
The label’s latest collection features entirely upcycled pieces, including unique bucket hats, hijabs, and reinvented twists on classic forms. ISISDÜNYA’s stunning pattern clashes and fluid cuts highlight a much needed intervention in cross-cultural dialogue and reclaiming lost memories. We caught up with Dünya and talked her inspirations, background, and cunning vision in creating ISISDÜNYA.
By Ethan Dincer
When we had to change workshops 1 year ago, we quickly realized that the fabrics accumulated since our first collection “BURJ HAMMUD”, created in Beirut in 2018, began to take up too much space and we decided to do something to make room in our workshop.
I have always inherited beautiful coats–very 90s–from my aunts and my younger cousins, and I think that having grown up in a modest family, to have style and look younger, our only solution was second-hand. The desire to be unique and not to resemble anyone, a form of anti-conformism, has always been present from my youngest age, from 13 years old, it was surely the beginning of the meditation of the ISISDÜNYA project.
My mother is of Algerian origin and my father is Turkish, I was born and raised in Paris and its suburbs, I traveled in Algeria during all my school holidays until I was 10 years old, then more nothing until I decided to go back when I was 22. I think that with ISISDÜNYA, I tried reconnecting with my memories of Algiers, my origins, and my cultures. I have always been interested in how clothing can be a social uplift.
I have always adored wearing traditional clothes, Kabyle dresses, Japanese kimonos, caftans, Asian outfits found in thrift stores. In short, everything that allowed me to travel and forget Paris, the gray city. I’ve lived in the center of Paris for a long time and I always felt heavy and heavy looks when I had my most beautiful djellaba. Why was this fabric so noble with us and here [in Paris] it’s used to discriminate against us?
I created ISISDÜNYA because, for me, the traditional fabric had to resume its letters of nobility. I started my first collections composed of kilim, organza from Beirut, wool woven from Syria, or even Algerian embroidery to prove to others that we could be proud of our origins by proudly displaying them.
ISISDÜNYA needed to slow down for stability and it was during the COVID period that I was able to take the time to find out what we really wanted for the brand. I think mentalities in all fields, and fashion in particular, have changed a lot since the lockdown, and I think that’s a good thing. We took time to put together the upcycling collection at that time [during COVID lockdowns] for example, and we would never have had this time in the world before.
ISISDÜNYA is a brand that wants to celebrate the multiple cultures of this world, so it is aimed at everyone, of all ages, origins, faiths, and religions! ISISDÜNYA wants to talk about self-acceptance and self-care.
More on the brand’s Instagram right here! and shop the collections on their website.