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Les Benjamins AW16
Les Benjamins AW16Photography Martina Ferrara

Punk and classicism collide at Les Benjamins AW16

Entitled ‘Ottoman Punk’, the brand’s Milan debut saw a tattooed street cast joined by Sufi whirling dervishes

Right now, there’s a larger conversation in fashion about the crossover between cultures and a desire to promote togetherness and community through the things we wear. Since its inception in 2011, Istanbul-based Les Benjamins – headed up by Bunyamin Aydin who dropped out of university to found the brand – has worked around this idea, creating a mash-up of cultures with arresting digital prints and a name that reflects this philosophy: every language, nation or religion has its own version of the name Benjamin.

For his Milan debut show, Aydin had extended his graphic jerseys into a “leisure wardrobe” shown on a tattooed street cast joined by Sufi whirling dervishes dancing in a quest for the source of perfection. Ottoman iconography was used across hoodies and kaftan-inspired silhouettes in a collision with sumptuous tapestry prints and faces from art and pop culture, like Salvador Dali with a Mohawk. Inspired by social movements throughout history, Aydin’s point of departure is desire to unite the East and the West – something that’s very much needed right now.