Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library: Turkey’s first creative industries library
An interview with Begüm Başoğlu, the Supervisor of Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library
Vakko Fashion Center Nakkaştepe inaugurated in Istanbul by one of Turkey’s leading fashion houses and ready-to-wear labels Vakko in 2010, is host to Turkey’s first creative industries library, Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library. The library is named after Vitali Hakko the founder of Vakko whose history dates back to a small hat shop established in 1934.
Vitali Hakko Creative Industries Library is founded within the “Vakko Fashion Center and Power Media Center”, could you please tell us a bit about the center?
Vakko Fashion Center Nakkaştepe has been designed by New York-based famous architecture office REX. The building includes an Art Center, showrooms, the Vitali Hakko Library of Creative Industries, an auditorium, art gallery and museum as well as all management units and creative staff offices. The building is linked with the Power Media Center which is also a part of the Vakko organization.
The library is the first and only library in Turkey dedicated solely to creative industries. How did the idea of founding this library develop? How would you define creative industries?
Fashion and art were always important parts of our founder, Vitali Hakko’s personal and business life. A collector of art and all things creative, he dedicated his life on supporting art and artists. Later in the chronological history of Vakko, Vitali Hakko’s personal interest in arts embodied itself as a museum of contemporary arts within the premises of Vakko’s the flagship store in Beyoğlu, İstanbul.
Vitali Hakko sadly passed away in the late 2007, leaving his legacy at Vakko to live forever. Hakko family wanted to build a library as a tribute to him within this special headquarters. He always gave huge importance to the education of young people in fields of art, such as fashion, architecture, painting, sculpture etc..
As to “creative industries”, it’s seen that in this generation of knowledge and information, the importance of creativity is getting more important every day. Since the creative industries are defined as “.those industries which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent which have a potential for job and wealth creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property"; it definitely fits with the purpose of the library.
What are your criteria when you are working on the library’s collection?
The main aim is filling the gap of the collections of academic and institution libraries. Especially students are having hard times to reach the “special edition” books. There are a lot of books which can be found only in our library, throughout Turkey. The other point is the new published books. Especially budget wise it’s not easy to find the new books in the libraries but for us it’s a priority to update the collection always. Therefore we’re attending the book fairs in order to see what’s coming up before and being able to pre-order and presenting those to the visitors.
Do you also engage in collaborations of some sort?
Some libraries abroad and in Turkey got in contact with us and mentioned they wanted to make collaborations. We’re very happy about this since the aim should be getting stronger together and giving a better service to public. The details of the collaborations will be set in the upcoming months.
Do you also organize some events? Could you give us examples?
We have a very special auditorium in the building, therefore it’s very convenient for us to organize events such as panels, speeches, readings.. We started with hosting “Art Libraries and Collections Panel” two weeks ago during the Libraries Week. We will keep going with these kinds of activities and bringing the artists, editors and public together.
How has the library been perceived by the public?
It was a really amazing feedback. Especially the ad we had on papers was very fascinating for a lot of people. The huge number of appointment requests show that we’re on the right way and the best satisfaction is to see amazed visitors in the library who are spending long hours researching.
Where would you place Istanbul on the map of world cities?
“If one had but a single glance to give the world one should gaze on Istanbul” is such a great quote of Alphonse de Lamartine. As a historic city and a bridge between east and west, İstanbul is a real “inspiring” city. There is something magical about it that can be defined as unique. Having a rich heritage from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, İstanbul has a special role in art history. Since the city is also welcoming modern and contemporary art, the citizens and the visitors of the city are enjoying this synthesis.