London-based Erdem is an independent house of fashion for men and women. Founded in 2005 by fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu, it has carved a niche within the industry with an intriguing interplay of strength and beauty.
British fashion designer Erdem Moralıoğlu was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and grew up between Montreal and Birmingham, England. A graduate of Marianopolis College, Moralıoğlu undertook Bachelors in fashion from Ryerson University in Toronto and then worked as an intern for Vivienne Westwood. Aspiring to undertake fashion education in Britain, Erdem applied for Masters at the Royal College of Art in 2000 following which he applied for, and won, a Chevening scholarship from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. On completion of the course, he worked as a design assistant with Diane von Furstenberg for a short time and then applied for a design competition, ‘Fashion Fringe’, which he won; the prize included a studio space in the East End where he designed a capsule collection, bought by Harrods and pretty soon, launched his own label, Erdem.
There was no looking back. Erdem won the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in 2010 which provided him with financial assistance to live his dreams, that of opening a store in Mayfair, an e-retail store and producing four collections a year. His design aesthetic is evocative and dramatic, atmospheric and intensely romantic. Per Vogue, “Erdem is one of the British designers who have changed the perception of the British fashion industry in recent years. London Fashion Week – once thought of as home to a bunch of wildly creative visionaries who, through a combination of wilfulness, naivety and lack of any business strategy, would inevitably crash and burn – is now scrutinised not only for an enviable array of talent and imagination but also as the home of some flourishing twenty-first-century fashion brands.” So, is it a wonder then that his clientele includes Anne Hathaway, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley?
In 2017, he collaborated with H&M for his first ever men’s collection with none other than director Baz Luhrmann creating visuals for the campaign. The following year, Moralıoğlu designed costumes for twenty-four ballet dancers performing in Christopher Wheeldon’s Corybantic Games at the Royal Opera House in London. Per Vanity Fair, “His dresses are feminine studies in contrast, with mixed textiles and bold embellishments, and while he does both high (Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols) and low (H&M), his heart, he says, lies in fine craftsmanship.”
In 2021, Erdem expanded to designing menswear with a collection of thirty-six looks including wide-leg corduroy pants, oversized two-piece suits, knits, and of course, floral tees and shorts. “Menswear is something I have always wanted to do and that I’ve thought about doing for a long time,” Moralioglu told GQ. “It was amazing to be able to explore menswear in my language and thrilling to see the Erdem man brought to life.” He continues: “I have always been interested in the conversation and exchange between male and female expression. As our womenswear collections have expanded, I’ve loved how male members of my team wear pieces in different ways. The boundaries between womenswear and menswear are ever more fluid and exciting. I have imagined my mercurial protagonist having a younger brother; he is wearing her clothes in his own way.”
“The house of Erdem is cultured and erudite, underpinned by a belief in the power and skill of craftsmanship. Mind and hand work together to bring imagination to life with precision, artistry and the compelling dexterity of the handmade. Respect for traditional skills is combined with an excitement for innovation, in technique and application.”
In 2014, Erdem Moralıoğlu was named the British Fashion Council’s Women’s Wear Designer of the Year. In 2017, he won International Canadian Designer of the Year at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards. He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2020 Birthday Honours for services to fashion.
Menswear and womenswear