Making the Perfect Fit


BLUE PERIOD: Sait Akarlilar created Mavi in 1991, and now the brand outsells the mighty Levi's in Turkey

Turkish coffee, Turkish carpets, yes. But Turkish jeans? No item of clothing is as American as a pair of jeans, and no market is harder to crack. So when the father and son team behind burgeoning Turkish denim brand Mavi set their sights on the New World, people naturally thought they were mad. Even madder, rather than sell their jeans at Wal-Mart on the cheap, as many developing country producers do, the pair went for the gold: fashion-conscious youths willing to fork out $60 a pair.

And for more than a year after Mavi began exporting to select...

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