Updated: Sep 2, 2020
A new website is born
Chique Dancewear with whome I am a proud collaborator, launched its website www.chiquedancewear.com on Saturday 22 August after months of hard work. During the ongoing pandemic, going online is a good idea. I also did it!
For the first time I can choose between going to Istanbul or buy online what I like and what I think my audience likes. Our prices for our customers are the same. The story about how Barcelona Tango Showroom meets Chique Dancewear… The owner of Chique Dancewear is Evrim Kivancer. Evrim and I met the first time in Istanbul aproximately 5 years ago. I was in Istanbul for social dancing, discovering the milongas of Istanbul and getting aquainted with the city. When I asked about tangoclothes someone suggested I should take the boat across the Bosphorus to the Asian side, where I would easily find Evrim´s atelier. Shopping in a foreign city is, in my opinion, an excellent way to get to know a place, through its creatives and its artesans. That´s how we met. I remember I bought a black tailored skirt that fitted so nicely and it was a new experience for me to find that perfect fit. Sometime after that I told Evrim I wanted a tangoshop in Barcelona with selected items and Evrim encouraged me to start to resell her clothes. Since then I have visited Istanbul regularly to meet Evrim, to go to the Chique Dancewear atelier, to dance, to take private classes for my teacher Ali Alper Özdemir, Tango Noa, to have chit-chat dinners before milonga at the cozy “Solera Winebar” where Evrim is a regular and last but not least to inhale the unique Istanbul atmosphere. For someone who has a weak spot for timetravelling and cats, Istanbul is a dream city. If you want to do a tango travel to Istanbul in the future, I might be able to help you with that. At this point I think my soul has developed a strong dependency not only for tango but for Istanbul as well. Strolling around in "Cihangir" on its cobbled steep streets, your eyes meet cosmopolitan features as well as wooden wagons with long handels and big wheels drawn by what looks like peasants from the past. In my fantasy the place is not governed by humans, but the true governors of Istanbul are an overwhelming number of respected, wellfed straycats, sleepy straydogs and noicy seagulls. The wild life of Istanbul is watching over me and the animals are not easily impressed, or not impressed at all. Therefore you totally relax, because anyway in the slowly blinking eye of a beautiful cat we are not much. Conveniently enough the Turkish language is impossible, so one gets along without effort with just a few words and English. Many of my Turkish friends speak good English. The cats came originally from the ships, some of the more adventurous cats decided to leave the boatlife and that exhausting rathunting to become an Istanbul cat instead. This would explain the variety of the type of cats you can see. Maybe there are some Viking cats too, today leading a luxury life in Istanbul, taking undisturbed siestas on an exclusive coffeetable at a fine hotel while people go in circles not to disturb. This air of luxury and comfort is reflected in the clothes of Chique. They are characterized by uniting style with comfort and the tailored details make miracles on bodies of all types. The story of Chique Dancewear as told by the founder and owner Evrim Kivancer... “Me and my elder sister were grown up with mom-made clothes. We were rather itty-bitty girls, so it came from a necessity as well as my mother being a super-talented professional tailor. It was such a common practice during my childhood to alter, modify and tailor any clothes from skirts, dresses to shirts and even swim wear, that I have not realized how lucky we were until my twenties, when I started to pay for my own clothes at some point!
In the meantime, my journey into tango and milonga had started a long while ago, as a young university student with a load of enthusiasm for music and dancing. In a short while, I literally became addicted to tango and it started to become a part of my life. But how could anyone know that the deeply rooted maternal talent would shape my future towards a dream-business based on a life-long passion?
By the time I reached my thirties, life had already tossed me from the bridge between Europe and Asia to the Mediterranean and finally up to the west coast of Latin America. While working at international cruises for almost five years, I met and made friends with people from all corners of the world and got a huge knowledge of various cultures, traditions and values. Thanks to my experience in international service industry, in the course of time I became familiar to responding to different needs, demands and desires of people with different backgrounds, histories and practices.
After returning back to my hometown - dazzling İstanbul - I revisited my long-time passion, tango, and realized that I did not have any decent tango clothes to dance at the milongas. I had to beg my “good old mom” to make a couple of dresses and skirts for me. She reluctantly accepted, but I had to give her a promise that this would be a “one time service”, because my mom was retired and wanted to have a full rest. I explained to her what I need for the comfort of my dress: stretchiness, the place of the slit and length... In a week we prepared two dresses, two skirts and a top. At the milonga with my new dresses, I was surrounded by many tangueras asking the same question: “Wow Evrim, where did you get this incredible dress?” I confessed to them, that actually the dresses were created together with my mom. They fell in love with the story. Instantly, I found myself dreaming about designing chic tango dresses. At that point, I took the leap to turn my passion into a full-time job, by bringing “Tango” together with “Fashion Design”.
Started from scratch in 2013, Chique now has its own design and sewing atelier supported by an amazing team, creating special collections for classes and milongas as well as special performance costumes for tango professionals.
In almost seven years, while travelling around the globe to participate at spectacular tango festivals, workshops and events, I have spontaneously built an intimate network within the tango world based on our common interest. My enthusiasm to this world enables me to invest all my personal potential in grasping the particular needs of each customer and to endeavor to find the optimal solutions for every one of them. All this work has ultimately made me their life saver on the dance floor, of which I am gratefully proud and happy to be a part.”