Isko product development manager Baris Ozden is a driving force behind the mill's responsible innovation.
Describing Isko as being “like a family,” Baris Ozden is proud to be an integral member of a pioneering enterprise that has helped denim and blue jeans become must-have staples in wardrobes and households around the globe.
Rising through the ranks over 20 years with the world’s largest producer of denim, the development manager oversees the 14 engineers and 10 technicians who comprise the product development team tasked with following and interpreting market trends in order to create Isko’s main and capsule collections. Beyond product development duties, Ozden and his team play a critical role in providing technical support to sales and marketing, translating Isko’s innovations and long-term vision for customers.
With a new generation of influencers rising up via the millennials and Gen Z who are “getting inspired by denim,” Ozden expects future industry stars will further innovate on denim’s enduring adaptability. “It can transform itself according to marketing needs and to the changing consumer landscape,” he said. Whether it’s an envelope-pushing, fashion-forward perspective or hewing to the tried-and-true heritage point of view, the denim products to come will be shaped by young minds and the evolving world around them.
Above all, however, Ozden wants to see the denim landscape make even greater strides in sustainability and build on Isko’s record as the only mill to have achieved both EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Ecolabel for Isko Earth Fit, its lowest impact denim collection.
“At Isko, to produce has always meant to take care: take care of the environment, of the people and, last but not least, of the improvement and evolution in our own sector,” Ozden said. “This approach, all oriented around responsible innovation, has allowed Isko to react both swiftly and effectively to the changes needed and to be able to meet even the most stringent criteria.”
What is your first denim memory?
“I remember when my father bought me my first double denim outfit: a 5-pocket jean and jacket.”
What is your favorite pair of jeans?
“It is hard to choose one as there are so many of them. I have really loved wearing my first Turbotech jeans in selvedge. This fabric was super innovative as it was designed to accelerate the ageing process and give the vintage look at turbo speed. These days I mostly wear stretch denims. Stretch selvedge and Isko Blue Skin (our four-way stretch article) are my favorites.”