Gaye Çevikel | Businesswoman
Dynamic Turkish businesswoman Gaye Çevikel introduced contemporary design to her native country, fostered the nation’s design market and founded the first Turkish-based international luxury design company, GAIA&GINO. She established GAIA&GINO (a combination of her nickname, Gaia, and the name of her golden retriever, Gino) in 2004. GAIA&GINO infuses handcrafts with contemporary sensibility by asking design luminaries such as Karim Rashid, Arik Levy, Andree Putman, Jaime Hayon, Constantin Boym, Christian Ghion, Harry Allen, Sebastian Bergne, Defne Koz Nendo, David Adjaye, Yves Behar, Noe Duchaufour Lawrence, Annette Hinterwirth, Brad Ascalon, Pearson Lloyd, Juergen Mayer and Scholten & Baijings, to design innovative, witty and story telling products which typify the brand’s identity. She acts as the creative director of GAIA&GINO and deeply involved in the design direction and management , product development and strategic marketing of the brand.
In 1996 Çevikel founded Decorum in Istanbul, the first store in Turkey to offer contemporary design. More than just a store, Deoorum also played an educational role, fostering the development of a contemporary design consciousness in the Turkish market. In support of this mission, she contributed a column on contemporary design to Sabah, one of Turkey’s major newspapers, from 2003 to 2006. Gaye Çevikel closed Decorum in 2006 to devote herself to her new brand’s growth in the world market and to continue its educational mission with GAIA&GINO In 2005 Çevikel sponsored industrial design students at the California College of Arts, under the direction of the prolific designer Yves Béhar, to develop products for a new line of “Gino the Dog” canine products.
Gaye Çevikel also acted as a consultant to Turkish Clothing Manufacturer’s Assembly to encourage the establishment of Turkish fashion brands and wrote a book called “Who Is Your Brand?” between 2003 and 2005.
In 2009, Çevikel has been named as one of the 33 people, together with the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who will change the 21st century with their creativity, by Wallpaper* magazine and Courvoisier. She is also appointed by Louis Vuitton to act as a “Friends of the House “ at a social project to educate the illiterate women in Turkey in 2010.
Gaye Çevikel also acted as the business development consultant to Swarovski Lighting between 2012-2013, when she also started managing the creative direction of the Czech company, Verreum for its re-branding and design direction. Together with her team at GAIA&GINO, she directed the design and strategic marketing of Verreum which resulted in 5 successful table top collections with designer collaborations. She carried out that duty for 2 years between 2012 and 2014.
Gaye Çevikel holds bachelor’s degrees in English Literature (Hacettepe University, Ankara) and Political Science (North Carolina State University, USA) and a master’s degree in International Relations (London School of Economics, UK & Middle East Technical University, Ankara). She worked at the World Bank for 2,5 years before founding her company, Decorum in 1995. She has taken extensive education courses at Harvard Business School in brand management (2002) and Design Management Institute (2003) on design management. She is frequently invited to speak at the international design conferences and regarded as one of the visionaries in the luxury design market.