NVU with Cem Cinar the designer behind the new brand Rouge Margaux


Rouge Margaux ss18  styled by Imruh Asha, hair/mua by Kathinka Gernant, model Willy @ Paparazzi / IMG

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Last month I was in Amsterdam for the opening of Menage’s new Menswear Boutique and the launch of Diane Pernet Paris. At the same time Cem Cinar, the designer behind the brand Rouge Margaux, had an installation for his first collection. I interviewed Cem a few days ago:

DP: What was it like growing up?

CC: Laid back and cool !

My childhood friends and I all lived minutes away from each other and our part of town was spacious, green and safe.

Biking, hiking, climbing, running… We had plenty of room to be happy and adventurous kids. And as we’re speaking of the Netherlands, I naturally spent lots of time on my bike going around town 😉


DP: How big is your family? How many sisters do you have?

CM: Mom, dad & 6 sisters.

DP: Did you always like to give your opinion to others how to dress?

CC: If it happened it happened. I was not necessarily fixated on styling the people around me. I loved how everyone had their own language and showed their personality with that.

DP: Do you remember the first piece of clothing or an accessory that made you dream?

CC: I do ! Year 1997, double pocket cargo trousers. All the adults around me were flaunting them.

One day I remember seeing one of my teachers in elementary school wearing those and me wanting the same ones… I wonder if that trend started out that year or if it was a revival ?

DP: What was your journey from high school to now, highlights? What made you want to follow a career in fashion?

CC: I discovered the concept and existence of fashion designers through a documentary on Giorgio Armani’s work back in ’98. I fell in love with the speed of things, movement of the clothes and his life in general. The idea of working with clothing 24/7 kind of obsessed me. Shortly after that my dad gifted me my first Vogue. I was hooked. I set my goal to live in Paris some years after that, following a high school excursion. My teachers were really supportive, so they gave me lots of space to direct most of my course works and papers, especially in the last years, towards fashion & arts.

My high school had this small museum for their students to expose their works, in one of the buildings. I remember exposing some funky draped dresses and designs on the walls some weeks before graduation. I sometimes look back at those pictures. It’s funny to see how my perception on fashion has evolved since then. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was so much fun !

During my last year of high school I also did a foundation year in Visual Arts at ARTEZ, Arnhem.

This was the beginning of the real deal, at least that’s how it felt for me. Painting, sculpting, drawing, draping, molding, breaking, building… I dived into a much more complex creative process, with complete freedom and sometimes even a sense of anarchy. We worked on creating our personal perception of what ‘art’ and ‘fashion’ should be. All our conventional ideas got torn into pieces. I was hungry to express my views and emotions, and even more to just be free and experiment with the different outlets of visual arts. A few months prior to graduating, I applied to Fashion design at Esmod in Paris where I got accepted. I had already paid a visit to the school before applying. I made the move to Paris and officially started my studies. I happily graduated in 2012 and went straight on to work for Y/PROJECT.

DP: What are you trying to say with your collection?

CC: Time to celebrate and accept our differences. If all my sisters and friends walk into a store and browse through a Rouge Margaux rack, I’d love for every one of them to get hooked on a piece that puts their best assets forward.

DP: Why the name Rouge Margaux?

CC: The brand has been launched a year ago and is owned by a French-Swiss business man. His daughter’s name is Margaux & red is an important colour within their family’s story.


DP: What part does nature have to do with your inspirations?

CC: I consider nature as our planet’s permanent art installation, but in a much freer sense. It’s symmetrical, as it can be asymmetrical at times. We can never get full control on it, nature will exist there where it has to.

The colours, smells and shapes together create perfect compositions. These visual triggers give me headspace and allow me to think freely. That’s when I get to relax and constantly feel inspired.

DP: What does red signify to you?

CC: Red is a balance between life and death. As much as it can be lust & passion, or anger & hatred. It’s like a ying-yang thing to me, but just a bit different.


DP: Who have had the most influence on you in your life and why?

CC: My group of close friends. Everyone is from a different part of the world. I am lucky to have grown up in such a multicultural environment where every house I’d go to would teach me something new on their cultures, cuisine, history, habits… They and their families come from Yugoslavia, Eritrea,Curacao, Iran, Indonesia, Italy and more… When I pause and think about it, I’m really amazed by how all the different roads led to Arnhem 😉

DP: What are your plans for September and about showing your collection? I will be showing the ss18 main collection in showrooms during both NYFW & PFW. I just shot the latest lookbook in Amsterdam and we’re super excited to launch the images soon. I’ll always incorporate some Dutch elements in my work. Keeping a connection with home feels good.

DP: Here are some Proust questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness

CC: Living in the moment

DP: What is your greatest fear

CC: Living with fear

DP: What is your favorite trait

CC: Loyalty

DP: What is the trait that you don’t like about yourself?

CC: I can sometimes stress people out by planning ahead too much of everything.

DP: Which living person do you admire

CC: The pope’s pretty cool. He’s much more forward than his predecessors. As even things at the Vatican are evolving, that’s really interesting to follow.

DP: What is your greatest extravagance

CC: Uber. There’ll always be reasons to call a Uber.

DP: What is your current state of mind

CC: Take me to the beach.

DP: What do you consider the most overrated virtue

CC: Obedience

DP: On what occasion do you lie

CC: When I have to exchange products at a store.

DP: Which living person do you most despise

CC: I don’t want to despise humans.

DP: What is the quality you like most in a woman?

CC: Her sharp mind.

 DP: When and where are you the happiest

CC: Meditating on top of a temple in Cambodia.

DP: What do you consider your greatest achievement

CC: Having pursued my dream to study in Paris.

DP: If you were to come back as an animal what would it be

CC: A lion

DP: Where would you like to live

CC: Siem Reap in Cambodia, right nearby the Angkor Wat temples.

DP: What is your most treasured possession

CC: My Nobuyoshi Araki photo book.

DP: Who are your favorite writers

CC: Shakespeare, Roald Dahl, Gerbrand Bakker, Dante

DP: Who are your favorite musicians

CC: Abra has been producing very cool tunes. Solange is on repeat. Nina Kraviz is my absolute electro dream. Marilyn Manson and Korn here and there. Nina Simone and Erykah Badu are the ones that calm me down. Overall I’m pretty open and eclectic with music.

DP: Who is your hero in fiction

CC: Lara Croft

DP: Which historical figure do you most identify with

CC: Paris of Troy

DP: Who are your heroes in real life

CC: People that work and do research in the medical world. In fashion we are good with calling attention for important causes, but at the end of the day we don’t cure diseases or save lives on a daily basis. I look up to people that have the guts to take on such responsibilities, their work for humanity is of big importance.

DP: What do you most dislike in people

CC: Stubbornness


DP: How would you like to die

CC: Peaceful

DP: What is your motto?

CC: Take it easy




Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.