The chief rebel: Melis Sawerschel

Growing up in Istanbul, living between Zurich and Paris, Melis has found her roots in being unapologetically herself, while her style has become a way of self-expression.

Melis is a materials engineer with a master's in business. She worked at Swiss banks for years — until her passion for fashion took over. What started out as a weekend fling by selling her own clothes in a local bazaar in Zurich has turned to a kickass brand that brings style, sustainability and rebellion together.

"She Is Rebel is here to take the world by storm." 

She Is Rebel, women's fashion, Founder Melis Sawerschel

 Melis

Why did you create She Is Rebel?

I am driven by doing things not in the traditional way, which made me known as a rebel from an early age. I've always loved to dress in a bold yet subtle way which allows both my style and my character to stand out. I created She Is Rebel to convey this smart confidence through clothes.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your clothes?

Being an engineer helps me approach fashion design as a problem-solver — from finding the best fabrics and makers to creating flattering proportions and bold details. Each piece makes a statement. They are not look at me pieces, but attention-grabbing that says "I know who I am, I can take the world by storm".

"If you get your power from within, not from what others think or expect from you, you are a rebel. Style is a way of showing your rebellion."

Fashion design moodboard of fashion brand for women She Is Rebel

 Melis's mood-board

What is the role of clothes in rebellion?

Rebellion for me is a state of mind, not a statement of opposition. Clothes are not the source of empowerment, they are the reflection of our inner power. She Is Rebel is about dressing not to prove ourselves, but to show who we are.

Who is She Is Rebel woman?

She Is Rebel woman can't be profiled by demographics. She stands out with her character, attitude and style. She is smart and bold. Her style is feminine and fuss-free. Her mind is not on the next season or trends, instead on her next goal in life.

"Women from all over the world, pushing the boundaries, getting things done, making their own rules are the muses of She Is Rebel." 

 She Is Rebel, women's fashion, made in Turkey, Istanbul

 Istanbul

Where are your products made?

In Turkey. Born and raised in Istanbul, I like to bring the best of Turkish craftsmanship to women's wardrobes while highlighting the culture, its heritage and know-how in textile. We work directly with family-run Turkish ateliers and source high quality eco-friendly materials locally. Our clothes are designed to be as beautiful as lasting. Because we make everything in limited amounts, every She Is Rebel piece is unique.

"We make our own rules by creating fashion made of sustainable practices and a better future with education donations for girls."

What is the approach of She Is Rebel to sustainability?

Sustainability is still a niche, made of many hashtags. Sustainability is mostly stereotyped as minimalist lifestyle or slow fashion. There are also limited styles options made truly sustainably. We incorporate sustainability into all our activities from thread to shipping. Sustainable dressing becomes a natural choice without sacrificing style and price, or imposing certain lifestyles. Our community is too rebel to be told what lifestyle to follow.

If you had to sum She Is Rebel up in one word, what would it be?

Woman-power.