Against the backdrop of a massive earthquake, the third and largest edition of Istanbul Fashion Connection trade fair took place in Istanbul from February 8 to 11, 2023, showcasing Türkiye’s power of disaster management and the need to revive economic development.
The fair, while paying respects to the victims of the disaster- was an extremely successful one with around 588 exhibitors and another 22,543 visitors from 134 countries. This comprised 45 per cent international visitors from Asia (33 per cent), the Middle East (33 per cent), Europe (19 per cent) and Africa (13 per cent) and 55 v domestic visitors, showing their faith in the country’s high levels of crisis management.
Core Istanbul, bridal, and other innovative segments attract crowds
Alongside the busy exhibition, the Türkiye Exporters Assembly (TIM) and Exporters’ Associations also initiated immediate aid campaigns in coordination with the official Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of Türkiye to help the thousands of victims. The trade fair continued with lively economy-boosting activities with international visitors such as Ackermans (South Africa), Al Shaya (Kuwait), Apparel Group (UAE), Truworths (Kenya), Bodesa (Mexico), El Corte Ingles (Spain) and other countries who met exhibitors relevant to them and concluded orders.
The Istanbul Fashion Connection spread over a massive 100,000 sq. mt. was divided into segments of different brands and manufacturers and showed the collections in women’s wear, menswear, kid’s wear, denim, sportswear, evening and wedding wear, lingerie, hosiery, leather and fur collections. With a concept of B2B meetings in speed dating mode: brands and manufacturers networked with special international buyers which insured the fair’s success.
Also, there was a new and sophisticated designer area called ‘The Core Istanbul’ where globally renowned designers from Istanbul Fashion Week presented their innovative product portfolios. They included Arzu Kaprol, Aslı Filinta, Cerenocak, Çiğdem Akın, Ersozata, Essin Barış, Ezgi Karayel, TAGG, Giyi World, Lug Von Siga, Mehmet Emiroğlu, Meltem Özbek, Kuela, Murat Aytulun and By the Oak among others.
Creative spaces in the trade fair showcased trends and themes for the coming season in a visually-elaborate manner. Euphoric Recall encompassed colourful, playful 70's vibes; Metasphere described the return of glitter and metallic with a futuristic touch. The New Gen area featured pieces by up-and-coming designers. A huge aesthetically appealing display of high-quality bridal and evening dresses and suits was shown in the FashionIST area, which caught the attention of many visitors.
In the IFCO Sourcing area that was specially designed for production trade, visitors networked directly with international production companies such as Bozkurt, Bilce Tekstil, Gelişim, Karar, Cemsel, Bozpa, Demezoğlu, Zevigas and more. As a part of IFCO, around 145 manufacturers presented their product portfolios here.
As per Türkiye’s government, the textile and clothing sector exported around $31.2 billion in 2022 which accounted for around 12.4 per cent of the country’s total exports. With a share of 6.7 per cent of the total GDP, the total production of textile and clothing industry was $79 billion last year. Export volume of over $21 billion is what is keeping the country’s economy alive. The apparel industry as the sixth largest exporting country in the world targets exports worth $40 billion in the medium term. The success of the third edition of Istanbul Fashion Connection was a great step to boost a flailing economy currently reeling under the after-effects of a natural disaster.