Erdem Moralioglu was born in Montreal, Canada to a Turkish father and an English mother and grew up between Montreal and Birmingham, England. Erdem moved to London in 2000 to study fashion at the Royal College of Art.Upon receiving his master’s degree in 2003, he proceeded to go onto closing the 2003 RCA show with his graduate collection He then moved back to London to launch his own label in 2005, ERDEM.
Erdem Moralioglu is the multiple award winning founder of eponymous fashion label Erdem. Well known for his experimental textiles and intricate craftsmanship, Erdem has a coterie of high profile clients, such as Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Alexa Chung and Arizona Muse.
Fashion was an early infatuation for the designer, who admitted to having doodled fashion designs into the margins of his maths books. He joked: “I was never going to be a huge hit on the soccer field,” in an interview with Vogue. After graduating from Ryeson University, Toronto, where he enrolled in 1995, Moralioglu began his career interning at Vivienne Westwood’s London office on archive duty before receiving the Cherening Scholarship from the British Council to afford further education at the Royal College of Art. Upon graduating, Moralioglu was selected as the final collection of the RCA’s highly anticipated graduate showcase. This lead to the designer travelling to New York to intern with Diane von Furstenburg in 2004.
The following year saw the launch of Erdem, making a debut at London Fashion Week’s Fashion Fringe. This was a real turning point for Moralioglu, winning prize money at the event. The following years included a collaboration with Mackintosh, receiving the Swarovski and British Fashion Council’s fashion enterprise award, and having his spring/summer 2009-spring/summer 2010 collections supported by the BFC’s Fashion Forward fund. This recognition encouraged Claudia Schiffer and Barney’s creative director Julie Gilhart, who had recently made the New York store Erdem’s largest international stockist, to wear Erdem dresses to the Met Ball in 2006.
2009 was pivotal for Moralioglu: the year saw collaborations with luggage brand Globe Trotter, sunglasses with Cutler and Gross, limited edition designs for Smythson as well as being nominated for both the BFC’s collection of the year award and the Swiss textile award. Further success came with his success at the Elle Fashion Awards, winning the fashion future prize. The following year, Moralioglu went on to win the inaugural British Fashion Council and Vogue designer fashion fund prize for the second time, walking away with £200,000, the largest sum on record given to a UK based designer.
Moralioglu created a capsule collection sold exclusively at Net-A-Porter in June 2011. “This collection for Net-A-Porter is exclusive, it’s playful and relaxed,” Erdem told VOGUE.COM. The offerings included a selection of floral prints on seven pieces including shirts, trousers and dresses. In 2012, the designer collaborated with Topshop on a T-shirt to celebrate the brand’s 10 year anniversary sponsoring the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN scheme.
Not interested in following trends as such, Erdem concentrates only on making women look beautiful. “I never think about what’s sexy,” he told Australian Vogue. “I don’t agonise over whether her bum will look big in something. I focus on the silhouettes and the proportions and hope that takes care of everything.”