The 6th Istanbul Fashion Week blew winds of fashion for an entire week. A string of catwalk shows were staged besides the Collection Première Istanbul (CPI) Ready-to-Wear and Fashion Fair and IHKIB Koza (Cocoon) Young Fashion Designers Contest.
Since its first year, Istanbul Fashion Week has made Istanbul a fashion attraction. Again arresting shows were programmed for its sixth year in the presence of masses of local and foreign visitors. Organized by Istanbul Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters Association (IHKIB) with the Fashion Designers Association, United Brands Association and Istanbul Fashion Academy, IFW took place between the 8th and 12th of February at the IFW tent in Taksim Odabaşı. 17 runway shows were performed in 4 days in addition to the CPI Ready to Wear and Fashion Fair and the award ceremony for the IHKIB Koza (Cocoon) Young Fashion Designers Contest. Gathering several celebrities from business and media, IFW started on the 8th of February with the catwalk show of Gamze Saraçoğlu followed by the shows of Berinza and Tuvana Büyükçınar. The closing events of the first day were the collections of Atıl Kutoğlu, Zeynep Erdoğan and Günseli Türkay. On the schedule of the second day was a mixed show by Nihan Peker, Beste Gürel and TubaBenian as well as the individual collections of Simay Bülbül, Özlem Kaya and Niyazi Erdoğan. IHKIB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi made a speech emphasizing that IFW had arrived at a crucial position to promote Istanbul, Turkish fashion of ready-to-wear, Turkish labels and designers. With reference to the coverage of IFW by the foreign press, Mr.Tanrıverdi said, "IFW is an essential activity for improving Turkey's image, and to display the presence of fashion and design in Turkey”. He raised the importance of making IFW a sequential event, declared their objective to brand Istanbul as a center of fashion and avowed to operate in a more professional manner with every passing day. For the next year, there are plans of a new organizational model for IFW. Already, the association is working on these plans, and the relevant announcement is to be made in the upcoming days. Mr.Tanrıverdi mentioned the difficulty of measuring the economic value pertinent to such organizations: "About three years ago, we had a hard time inviting people from abroad to Istanbul. But now, they are making demands from us to be here. There is massive interest in the world towards Istanbul. Further to becoming a center of finance, Istanbul shall also be a center of fashion. There are 139 fashion weeks in the world. Istanbul is in the top 20. We will rise higher above in the next years.”
"European chic emanates from Turkey”
The shows on the third day of IFW were by Erol Albayrak, StudioKaprol, adL&Cengiz Abazoğlu. The final day began with a mixed show featuring the works of Şafak Tokur, Çiğdem Akın and İpek Arnas, then the shows of Nejla Güvenç and Avva. The festival ended with the collection of Mehtap Elaidi. Catwalk shows were not the only activities of IFW, though. Workshops and the award ceremony for the IHKIB Koza (Cocoon) Young Fashion Designers Contest were other highlights. The contest has been hosted by IHKIB for 19 years. The award ceremony was in Odakule Koza Tent on the 7th of February. It was joined by Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan, Austrian Minister of Culture and Education Dr. Claudia Schmied, TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi, İHKİB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi, United Brands Association Chairman Yılmaz Yılmaz and Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association Chairman Cem Negrin.
Young designers receive their awards
İHKİB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi spoke on the night, and noted the enormous leap of the Turkish fashion sector in recent years. He praised the perfect synthesis of the contest with Istanbul Shopping Fest and CPI for opening the path of Turkey by complementing each other: "When we view the Turkish fashion industry in total, we see that IFW deals with the fields of fashion and design and Shopping Fest addresses retail. I would like to underscore that these events are conscious choices complementing each other and configuring the future of Turkey's biggest sector with 25 billion dollars of ready-to-wear and textile exports. All these activities help define our sector as a role model pursued by the whole world. İHKİB has sown new seeds in the fashion field of Turkey. The seeds planted two years ago are now burgeoning. Young people like you are the best example of this. We are particularly pleased to see that bright young designers like you take the challenge in the fashion and ready-to-wear sector. As you all know, in 2011, our labeled ready-to-wear exports exceeded 1 billion dollars. By 2023, this figure will reach 10 billion dollars. At this point, we direly need the power of young designer colleagues like you”. After the conclusion of the speeches, awards were distributed to the winners. The first prize was handed to Kadir Kılıç by the Austrian Minister for Culture and Education Dr. Claudia Schmied, the second prize was presented to Esra Kurtçu by Beyoğlu Mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan and the third prize was given to Ece Gözen by İHKİB President Hikmet Tanrıverdi. The cash prizes for the three winners were TL 7500, TL 5000 and TL 2500, respectively.