As co-founder of the Think Fashion and Modest Fashion Weeks, Franka Soeria is one of the game changers on the fashion scene due to her raising awareness about modest fashion. Her vision is to make the industry live on forever by creating a sustainable business, and encouraging good collaboration that’s carried out with high ethical standards. By Ozgur Gozler Photographed by Umit Taylan
Franka Soeria is the co-founder of Think Fashion (Modest Fashion Weeks, Modest Catwalk, Council of Modest Fashion) as well as the co-founder of Markamarie… As a girl growing up in an artsy family, it’s easy to say she has artistic talent running in her blood. She started creating music at the age of only 5, and later writing at the age of 9, but found her true passion in fashion. With her partner Ozlem Sahin, she became one of the game changers on the modest fashion scene by organizing Modest Fashion Weeks in Istanbul, London, Jakarta, and Dubai. She is also the co-founder of Alahijab.com, the only global social media platform dedicated to modest fashion, one which gathers all modest fashion enthusiasts from around the globe.
Under her own brand Markamarie, she empowers young designers, tailors with disabilities, and international refugees through fashion. Markamarie also has a division called Markamarie Creative, in which events and projects such as the Asian Blogger Academy and Modest Fashion Academy are organized with the collaboration of the Indonesian Government. Despite her heavy workload and all the to-do-lists piled up on her table, her 4-year-old son and her husband, whom she refers to as God’s gift to her, are her priorities. Read on and learn more about Franka’s story-worthy journey…
Since we know that you started creating music at the age of 5 and writing at the age of 9, it’s apparent that you were quite creative in a number of ways artistically. What was it like growing up with such talent?
I was born into a very artsy family. My grandma was the first woman producer in the Asia Pacific. My grandpa was also somebody who has made a great contribution to the movie industry in Indonesia. Both had passed away before I was born. So, I have this very strong entertainment blood. My dad was an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry. He made so many projects related to music, movies, TV series, commercials and everything else really. He and my mom had this huge movie and music studio when I was a kid. I was surrounded by a creative environment. However I was a shy girl, and I took a notebook everywhere to write about my thoughts or create short stories. As a daughter, my dad never spoiled me, at all. He told me, “If you want something, then you need to get it with your hard work,” and would also say, “Never do name-dropping by using your grandparents’ name. You need to start from the bottom and know what hard work is.” So basically one day, when I was 5, he gave me tape recorder and told me to create songs by singing spontaneously. I created more than 20 songs. I don’t know how I did that, but somehow I managed. One of the songs was even adopted by an ice cream company, and they bought it. I received my first payment – 200 USD – and lots of ice cream. It was a lot in my time, especially for a person my age! The ice cream was sold from ice cream cars that would play the song all over the city. Another thing is he taught me to write screenplays. When I was in the 4th grade, he taught me how to do it and what the techniques were for writing a good story quickly. And it became my daily activity. I wrote a kids’ comedy series, working on it continuously every day…. I finished one screenplay per day, each of them 40 pages. I learned well about endurance and persistence. A TV company bought my screenplays. Each was sold for 300 USD, so, again, I was making my own money! From my teenage years up to college, I was more into music. I continued in the same role, essentially creating songs and then selling them to a couple of singers who were signed by recording companies. I was also managing a couple of singers and bands, so I gained experience by doing a road tour for concerts, being on TV and other things like this. It was another world.
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