Aylin, clad in a Levi's x Opening Ceremony chambray dress, lounges on a custom sleeper couch a friend made for her.
It seems like Levi’s just keeps getting cooler by the season. This is in no small part due to a string of on-the-pulse collaborations with some of today’s best designers. From Levi's x Opening Ceremony’s chambray frocks to Levi's x Pendelton’s cozy trucker wraps, who’s the force behind it all? Meet Aylin Beyce, the denim house’s collaboration designer, who has a life any creative type would envy. Her globe-trotting schedule takes her to Alabama to hang out with Billy Reid, then to the Scottish countryside to check out historic fabric mills. Of course, all of this traveling (and the treasures she scoops up along the way), make for a very interesting abode back in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights hood. It's at this eclectic space that we caught up with the designer to talk about personal style, her favorite souvenirs, and her dream collaborator.
The bookshelf in the living room is topped with an antique typewriter.
We know you live in this gorgeous Bernal Heights apartment now, but where are you from originally?
“I was born in Turkey, but my family moved to the States when I was really young. I grew up in the Bay Area and my grandmother is from San Francisco, so I spent a lot of time in the city as a child and a teenager. After high school, I moved around a lot—Portland, Oregon, St. Petersburg, Russia, Paris, France, Berlin, and Los Angeles—but I ended up moving back to San Francisco when a position opened up at Levi’s.”
Aylin, in a pair of unisex Levi's x Opening Ceremony jeans, lounges on her bed, which is covered in a Levi's x Pendleton blanket.
One of the many perks of your job is traveling all over the globe. What's your most treasured item that you've kicked up on the road?
“It's hard to choose! I just went to Turkey, so my newest true loves are these traditional handmade Turkish slippers and a vintage robe from Uzbekistan. Another old favorite is a Fassbinder poster from a bathroom in Berlin. I can also tell you about the object that I most regret giving away! I found some really old, hand-drawn architectural plans in a dumpster in Paris, and they were so beautiful. But I got rid of them before I moved back to the USA and I still think of them to this day.”
The light-soaked wash area (left), and a view from the living room to one of the three bedrooms in the space (right).
Aylin, in Levi's Vintage Collection 606 cut-offs and Nine West shoes, cozies up to her roommate Lauren in the kitchen (left). In her bedroom with her clothes rack (right).
Your closet is just about as eclectic as your decor. What are your wardrobe favorites?
“A little silk button-up shirt from a flea market in Paris that looks great with everything. A bright pink silk dress my mom had custom made for herself in Malaysia in the '70s. Also, my favorite pair of jeans are the Levi's x Opening Ceremony 505 fit, but I had them made in a heavyweight denim, so they are custom for me!"
The kitchen table, surrounded by mismatched chairs and an antique sofa, and a memento-packed shelf.
What three pieces in your closet get the most mileage?
“Definitely the Levis x Opening Ceremony denim 505’s that I mentioned, a vintage black wool cape, and my Anniel polka dot ballet shoes. I also carry my Filson x Levi's duffel bag as a backpack almost every day!”
A tiny matador picked up on one of Aylin's trips abroad is surrounded by photographs, perfume bottles, and antiques.
Your place is obviously amazing. Where do you find your decorating inspiration?
“I guess I just love what I love! I could identify different cultural influences that formed my taste, but when I see an object I love it just feels intuitive. I don’t care about clashing and I don’t keep any objects that I don’t love, so everything just goes together.”
In Balenciaga shorts, a Uniqlo tank, and a Fendi sweater.
Lauren starts lunch preparations on the vivid orange counter.
What about inspiration for your own personal style?
“My style is Siouxie Sioux meets Yoko Ono meets Georgia O’Keefe meets Adam and the Ants meets my grandmother, Adele. Customized and personalized. I almost never buy something I don’t change just a bit."
One of Aylin's many collections includes fancy (and not so fancy) vintage dishware.
Do you have any dream brands or designers that you would like to collaborate with, but haven't yet?
“There are different reasons I love different designers. For a personal project, I would have said Alexander McQueen, who was such a brilliant talent. Now I would say Miuccia Prada, who is a genius. She is always ahead. She isn’t afraid. And she's just an icon. Another is Junya Watanabe."
Out on the balcony overlooking Bernal Heights in a Vivienne Westwood Anglomania t-shirt dress, her trusty Levi's x Opening Ceremony 505's, and Westwood booties (left). A shot of Aylin's bedroom (right).
Do you have an item in your closet that you have never worn?
“I do! An Alexander McQueen McQ dress that I bought and I’ve never had the chance to wear it. I should wear it to the grocery store or jogging just to get over the formality of it. I really don’t know what I’m waiting for! I guess to be invited to the prom!”
Another shelf strewn with nostalgia.
What song would describe you?
"This is too hard! I have always loved House of the Rising Sun but I don’t think I should publicly say that it describes me! But I can tell you some bands that I love: The Sandwitches, Dark Dark Dark, The Animals, Neil Young, and Pylon."
Photos by Carolina Ramirez