ISTANBUL-Hürriyet Daily News

Istanbul Fashion Days, which will last three days, opened its doors for hundreds of fashion enthusiasts yesterday at the Taşkışla campus of Istanbul Technical University in Istanbul.
The event, which was organized by the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Union, or İTKİB, the Fashion Designers Association and the Istanbul Fashion Academy, started with the participation of State Minister Zafer Çağlayan.
“We are hosting many guests from around the world and the hosts include the industry’s pioneers,” said Çağlayan speaking at the opening ceremony of IFD.
Noting that textiles, confection and ready wear are major production and export sectors in Turkey, Çağlayan said, “IFD’s organization is very important for Turkey in terms of presenting our country to the world.”
"Today we are doing something new. Istanbul Fashion Days is one of the first fashion activities for the 2010 season in the world. For other countries this activity takes place in September, while Turkey has chosen August,” he said. “It is not enough just to create designs. We should also do this as a trade labor and expand our investments on a world scale,” he said.
“We are supporting designers, exporters, in short everyone who is involved in this organization. Turkey has so much talent in terms of fashion and trade,” Çağlayan said.
One of the main goals of IFD is positioning Istanbul as the region’s fashion center, as the city has a developed awareness of fashion and brands in manufacturing, sale and consumption. On the other hand, IFD organizers also aim to strengthen the image of Turkish products.
“Turkey is in a very important position in terms of fashion, confection and textiles, however it is not enough. We need to be a brand mark and we need to create lots of brand names,” Özkan Karaca, vice chairman of İTKİB, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.
Over the next 10 years Turkey should create at least five major brand names, Karaca said. “We are expecting the government’s support,” he said. “People who are coming to Istanbul for IFD or for other organizations have seen the beauty of the city and been amazed. This is a good chance to present our country.
“We should increase the competitive force of the Turkish textile and fashion sector,” he said.
IFD also aims to revitalize the sector and contribute to the country’s economy with the export potential. The IFD committee expects 15,000 visitors to attend the fair. A total of 24 firms are taking part in the organization while 18 fashion parades will take place in the coming three days.
“We are hosting approximately 80 journalists from all over the world. There are also large buyers from some shops,” said İsmail Kutlu, CEO of Gizia and chairman of the working committee of IFD. “During IFD, the government, investors and designers will work together. Turkey has a production capability and this is important,” he told the Daily News.
“Everyone is contributing to this event. We are planning to do another one in February,” he said. “All the IFD committee members are CEOs of large confection or textile companies and every company taking part in the IFD event also contributed to the budget,” Kutlu said.