BEHIND THE CREATOR: SENER BESIM

  • Jewellery
  • Fashion
  • Accessories

The epitome of luxury in eyewear and jewellery, Sener’s commissioned pieces have been worn by the likes of Cate Blanchett and Tilda Swinton and stocked by prestigious boutiques Colette and L'eclaireur. His very first showing ended with Dover Street Market owner Adrian Joffe and his wife, designer Rei Kawakubo buying the entire collection on the spot, to be sold exclusively at their coveted space. 

In what most would perceive to be the most challenging year in retail, Sener opened his first flagship boutique to showcase his exquisite eyewear and contemporary jewellery. As many pivot towards e-commerce, Sener feels comfortable opening a bricks and mortar store in the current climate. "Building a brand and acquiring customers isn’t easy online; it’s a noisy platform. Retail has no choice but to find its purpose and clarity and there's humility in operating in a depressed economy."

Sener is clear in his direction, saying “My world is a futuristic modern world with use of minimalist architecture which focuses on product, innovation, engineering & technology. Everything is clean, sharp and aspiring to perfectionism.”   

The store itself is a glass and concrete wonderland designed by Don McQualter of Studio McQualter and faces Benson Walk and Benson Lane in the heart of 80 Collins, which appealed to Sener as the obvious location for his first global flagship. “The quality of the 80 Collins project, the tenant mix and positioning make it an incredible destination. The address is iconic and is part of Melbourne’s rich history; it has always been the destination for luxury,” says Sener.

Sener pays homage to his Turkish Albanian heritage, incorporating elements from architecture to culture and language. His earliest inspirations came from mosques that he would visit with his father as a child. 

“I didn’t set out to establish an eyewear line, exactly. But I had this idea of ‘framing space’ and of harnessing the power of Ottoman aesthetics in general,” says Sener. “The Ottomans achieved the highest level of architecture in their lands. This element of space is reflected in the collection, whereby the curvature and cylindrical shapes almost float on the face, with a hint of geometry of arabesque design.” 

Sener recalls that he didn’t always feel a sense of inclusion around his ethnicity. “I always felt like an outsider - I was a minority within a minority - which drove feelings of disconnect and not belonging. My brand is a process and a celebration of my ethnicity, culture and immigration,” says Sener.  

“My aim is for minorities to not feel alone, to be inspired by their own evolution and to encourage people to tell their stories,” says Sener. 

Sener Besim’s Melbourne flagship store is now open at 80 Collins from Tuesday - Saturday between 11am - 5pm. Appointments can be made via Sener’s website.