Turkish luxury streetwear label Les Benjamins has secured an undisclosed investment from Esas Holding, a private equity firm in Turkey, which has offices in Istanbul and London.
The investment is led by entrepreneur Fethi Sabanci Kamişli, founder and managing partner of Esas Ventures, and is supported by other family members Ali Sabancı, Kazım Köseoğlu, Can Köseoğlu and Kerem Sabancı Kamışli.
The move into fashion marks a first for Esas with Les Benjamins chosen due to both companies “shared values” and Turkish heritage.
Bunyamin Aydin, founder and creative director, Les Benjamins, said in a statement: “Les Benjamins is more than just an investment in fashion-textiles, we are also making a difference in the world as a Turkish brand with a lifestyle and experience offering. We remain committed to our premise - ‘real clothes created for real people’ and showcase our designs across the world. We also take great pride in our collaborations and have worked with some of the most revered global brands.
“I am delighted to receive funding from Fethi Sabancı Kamışlı and his family, who I believe will add value to our brand with his vision and to earn their trust with our brand and our work. I am confident that he and his family will build on the brand value of Les Benjamins and expedite our growth in the international arena with current and future investments.”
Esas Holding moves into fashion with investment in Turkish label Les Benjamins
With this investment, Fethi Sabancı Kamişli will serve on the board of Les Benjamins, with the aiming of helping the brand to grow internationally.
Fethi Sabancı Kamişli, added: “We are very pleased to enter the fashion industry with our investment in Les Benjamins, a successful representative of our country.
“I believe that we will bring a different kind of momentum to Les Benjamins with the investments and network strength of the Esas Family Office across five continents and with the vision of our shareholders. Becoming a part of this success story with our stake in Les Benjamins, which combines new generation street fashion culture with its own vision, makes me very proud.”
Les Benjamins added that the investment would also be used to help the brand continue to push forward with its aesthetic philosophy that transforms its deep-rooted cultural influences and rituals into its luxury streetwear collections that have been worn by the likes of Jay-Z and Rita Ora.
Alongside this, the company also added that it will continue to collaborate with recognisable international brands on “exciting capsules”.
The contemporary Turkish label was founded in 2011 by Bünyamin Aydın, who was the first Turkish fashion designer to take part in Paris Men's Fashion Week in 2019, and the first Turkish designer among a shortlist of 12 names that Nike collaborates with. He also won the 2018 Fashion Designer by Esquire Middle East’s Man At His Best Awards and has collaborated with brands such as BMW, Beşiktaş, Hennessy, Apple and Alpha Industries.
The brand currently has two stores in China, with plans to expand and add more retail locations, especially in the US. Les Benjamins is also stocked in Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdale's in the Middle East.
Image: courtesy of Les Benjamins - Bunyamin Aydin and Fethi Sabancı Kamişli