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Osmanbey Textile Export Businessmen Foundation (OTIAD) chairperson Rıdvan Kandağ speaks at the launch event of the Fashionist Virtual Fashion and Apparel Fair. (Courtesy of ZB Medya / Fashionist)

Turkey’s 1st fashion fair launches virtually in 4 languages

BY DAILY SABAH

The Fashionist Virtual Fashion and Apparel fair organized by Osmanbey Textile Export Businessmen Foundation (OTIAD) and Istanbul Ready-Made Garment and Apparel Exporters’ Association (IHKIB) has opened its gates virtually.

The online event will focus on fashion trends of the spring and summer seasons of 2021.

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“Fashionist,” which will be held in four languages, will host fashion parades from 41 different firms and several conversations with industry experts. OTIAD Chairperson Rıdvan Kandağ stated at the launch of the event that the online fair would provide a unique opportunity to people as they will be able to access private collections with one click.

The unique digital fair will feature menswear, womenswear, kidswear and evening wear that will take place every day of the event with more than 7,700 products aiming to capture the new season’s fashion trends.

The fair, curated by Ferhan Aral, intends to introduce brave, diverse and innovative new clothing this year as well as offer insight on what’s to come next with a discussion titled, “A Look into Fashion’s Future.” The talk will feature industry expert Ahu Barut who will explore subjects like factors that determine trends, the new digitalization of fairs and sales and the approach of brands regarding sustainability.

A female speaker takes the stage at the launch event of the Fashionist Virtual Fashion and Apparel Fair. (Courtesy of ZB Medya / Fashionist)

The event will also host the Swedish Exhibition, which will attempt to answer questions on the fashion revolution, future of textile and paper’s place in textiles with guests from Sweden, one of the leading countries in sustainable fashion.

Ahmet Öksüz, the chairperson of Istanbul Textile and Raw Material Exporters’ Association (ITHIB), was another speaker at the launch of the event and stated that textile and ready-made garments were two fields that complemented each other greatly. Öksüz also noted that collections which did not feature a sustainability aspect were much less likely to succeed in a post-COVID-19 environment.

Industry representatives cut the ribbon at the launch event of the Fashionist Virtual Fashion and Apparel Fair. (Courtesy of ZB Medya / Fashionist)

Meanwhile, Mustafa Gültepe, chairman of IHKIB, expressed his strong belief that 2021 and the following years would be very different and positive for the clothing industry. He added that as June approached, they will begin organizing physical exhibitions, and he firmly hoped the rest of the year would be much more promising.

There were several other speakers and guests at the digital event’s launch, and all reaffirmed their belief in the strength of the Turkish clothing industry and their hope for a better tomorrow. One such speaker, Ismail Gülle, the chairperson of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM), stated that the online event carried a $500 million (TL 3.5 billion) trading volume and that it offered unique insights into tracking trends, data analysis and developing target audiences.

Lastly, Rıza Tuna Turagay, deputy minister of commerce, stated that the Turkish clothing industry had performed much better than expectations despite global struggles and that he hoped that he could meet the 71 attending firms in person during next year’s fair.

The Fashionist Virtual Fashion and Apparel fair will welcome virtual visitors from around the world until Feb. 27.

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