Born out of the cultural and historic richness of Istanbul comes a fashion line mirroring both the political unrest and creative renaissance simultaneously taking place in this individual city. Where Europe meets the Middle East, and movement meets stringent opposition, one t-shirt line is meeting them all with a sense of humor.
Les Benjamins began as a side project of young Turkish entrepreneur and visionary Benjamin Aydin. Now on its fifth season, the label has become a fashion force, with two distinct collections: Black and Les is More.
Les Benjamin’s t-shirt line, Les is More, responds to the Turkish situation with irreverence. Through the humorously controversial tees, the line may or may not be making a statement about the delicate and thrilling state of modern Istanbul— the exact message is left for the wearer to interpret. The only thing of which to be certain is that the Dalai Lama looks cool in sunglasses.
Les is More toys with pictures of people such as Queen Elizabeth, James Dean and Rihanna, and makes seven small alterations to create a different, yet still unmistakable image. After the addition of a face mask or a pair of sunglasses, the classic images have taken on the signature look of Les is More, and are printed onto it’s exquisitely well-made tees.
With images of Audrey Hepburn dressed as Catwoman and Lady Diana taking a drag, Les is More turns icons into rebels not just to be silly, but to inspire the masses of strong, forward thinking individuals wearing the brand’s clothes.
Les Benjamins pays homage to Les Jeunes Turcs, the Turkish nationalist reform party in the early 20th century, which fought for reformation of the absolute Ottoman Empire. Radicals with an artistic temperament, their leaders led a rebellion against the absolute rule of Sultan Abdulhamid II in the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. Reminiscent of the progressive thinkers of last century, Les Benjamins is worn by young intellectuals and freedom fighters globally.
With its funny and widely recognized images, Les is More is, for Les Benjamins, an ambassador of Turkish culture. By creating pieces that reflect both the country’s social unrest and its exploding creativity, Les is More isn’t a silly T-shirt line. It’s a representation of the progressive, empowered Istanbul.