Mustafa Ecer: A Design Dream | Turning Concepts into Reality
Every month New York Art Life recognizes and selects from a broad range of creative applicants, an expert artist and creative professional to shed light on his accomplishments and honors. Mustafa is truly an impressive designer who has worked in both the art and design fields, having secured positions at art galleries and residential to luxury retail design firms, such as Fendi and Michael Stiller Design, among others.
“I am a conceptual thinker who molds spatial ideas into reality,” writes Ecer of himself. “I am an internationally trained designer, an innovative creator, a hands-on builder, and a conceptual thinker. Being a true perfectionist, I love working hands-on and do not hesitate to get my hands dirty for the completion of a task.
New York Art Life
Thank you for accepting our invitation to speak with us. You are one of the few designers that we truly admire.
I’m very excited to be herE. The selection is an honor and I hope to share some of my experiences.
NY Art Life
Great! One of the reasons for selecting you is due to the notable awards that you have received throughout your career!
You have received the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Bruce Craig Fellowship, The Vogue Talents: Visualizing Inspirational Elements for Visual Merchandising Award, where you were one of three winners of a competitive, global application process.
Yes! The Bruce Craig Fellowship is an extremely prestigious fellowship awarded to museum professionals in the field. You might be thinking what do museums and a designer have in common. Well in my case, quite a bit. Design is a complex visual art form that draws inspiration from multiple sources of art. Museums tell stories about art and artists and as a designer, I tell stories with my work.
I was one of the winners of the The Fashion Brand Communicator Competition in Collaboration with Vogue Talents: Visualizing Inspirational Elements for Visual Merchandising Awardr. I won the competition because I uniquely proposed that the visual communication for Fendi include a new pattern that would celebrate the monogram mania which is quite popular among millennials and the thrifting and DIY quality of Brooklyn. It proposes mix-and-matching second-hand and luxury. The communication with clientele is not age/climate/sexuality specific, because the idea is pure self-expression. The color story follows the millennial pastels with a focus on shades of dusty pink. The hues complement the new monogram, which is neither sleek nor architectural but shows individuality and emotions. The campaign is named Fendi Fever, which is a reference to the common Brooklyn slang in which something is sick when it is really cool. The jargon would also be discernible through the logo, which combines the classic lettering with a typical Brooklyn graffiti: Fendi Fever.
This was an amazing experience which only enhanced my expertise working at Fendi where I worked on projects for major Fendi locations such as Cidade Jardim, Yorkdale, Lenox, Miami Design District, Las Vegas Caesars, Columbus Circle, and New York Saks, among others. This was truly a one of kind experience as I was working with the architectural department of Fendi to create and design retail stores in such iconic locations; but I was also conceptualizing and designing the brand on behalf of my outside work.
NY Art Life
That’s so amazing! What an incredible opportunity to work with a major brand and continue to tell your stories for a large audience to see and internalize.
I imagine this experience set the bar high for your continued work in the field.
You’re right. I went on to work for the Michael Stiller Design Studio, whose owner is the recipient of a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award, an IESNYC Lumen Award, two IES Illumination Awards of Merit, and a LIT Design Award.
It was an incredible experience and I served as the lighting designer for the monumental Smart Factory Innovation Campus project for Deloitte (one of the Big Four accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world), a groundbreaking and immersive experiential learning environment that will accelerate the future of manufacturing as innovation and new technologies continue to reshape operations and the modern enterprise.
It was an opportunity to work in the niche field of architectural lighting design and continue my storytelling thesis in a non-traditional way. I was a critical member of the team responsible for designing the lighting systems within the built environment, both interior and exterior. This included the manipulation and design of both daylight and electric light or both, to serve human needs.
NY Art Life
Amazing! I am super impressed with this high-profile top secret project that you are working on now. Can you reveal any details?
I work for Jam City, a video game developed whose games have 31 million monthly active users and 1.3 billion total downloads. It’s a major company and it’s a confidential project so unfortunately, I cannot reveal many details.
I can state that it is a lifestyle game, and my responsibilities include a unique blend of interior design and curation. It’s one of the first of its kind and it’s extremely honorable to work on such a distinguished production.
Ok, we absolutely understand. Can you tell us more about the exciting and innovative work that you are doing now?
Yes! I serve as a Design Expert for DESIGNANDLIVE, an online design platform with more than 1 million users across all social media platforms. As a Design Expert, I write my own column about the design of current exhibitions in NYC.
I also run my own home decor brand, byMUSTAFA (https://bymustafastudio.com/) where I fuse my Analtolian heritage with my NYC flair. Every piece I design is handcrafted by hand.
I also have designed premiere and exclusive home resideeces on behalf of the Award-Winning design firm Kananshree.
NY Art Life
Can you give some of our readers so parting advice?
All different types of artistry can influence you creative and artistic expertise. I am a trained in classical musician, holding certifications from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in Classical Piano and Practical Musicianship, which I believe enhances my design sensibility.