Written By : Choreographer Ferhan Aral
Considering the world trade capacity textile ranks second, just after the arms trade, which takes the first place. Therefore, textile is a big “industry”.
Fashion and design; The driving force of this sector, which has such a large volume, is its showcase and the source it feeds. The fact that the volume is this big encourages design and thus brand new designers are joining the industry every year. The presentation and race of the collections gain importance here. This is why fashion shows are produced. Fashion show, fashion instalation, fashion exposition, photo shooting and recent fashion movie works are the most important events that directly give fresh blood to the textile industry.
Although it is under the “Performing Arts” category, the fashion show never bears any artistic concern, ultimately. It is the only event that uses all the materials of art, but is ultimately staged with a commercial concern.
In fact, the presentations made especially during the Fashion Weeks, and the expositions displayed against the Buyers completely. The presence or absence of the guests watching is not very important. The goal is always to impress Buyers and ensure that all or parts of the collection are ordered.
In this sense, it is useful to underline the difference in fashion show / exposure.
In order to ensure that the collection receives orders, in order not to distract the buyer and keep the attention on the collection completely, events where light and stage shows are not specifically held, with more straight walks and looks are shown one by one.
Of course, we have
been trying to decorate it with minimal shows recently so that it does not turn into a boring event.
It is actually a perception operation in which the brand stands out rather than the collection, from the location to whether the participating models are famous, who the choreographer is, the cocktail treat, who the front row people are. In these shows, the collection does not take orders directly, here the power of the designer or the firm is explained. They are the events where the brand rises In order to increase this effect, special light shows, special choreographies, concept shows are organized and it is desired to have a high coverage in the press. Of course, the result of this also returns to the designer or firm commercially.
After these explanations;
Fashion Week and Turkey
We were delighted when the event, which has been held for two seasons a year since 2012 and initially exhibited under the name of “Istanbul Fashion Week”, gained the sponsorship of Mercedes Benz. Because taking a place in the world fashion calendar meant inviting important Buyers to the country and ensuring that the collections take orders.
Unfortunately, this was not possible. We were not able to get a proper day from the world fashion calendar, nor could we bring Buyer in the desired size. While the most important 600 -700 Buyers of the world were watching the shows at Paris Fashion Week, this number did not exceed 20 in Turkey.
Our designers were very happy when it was said “20 Buyers are coming this season”.
For this reason, the Turkish Ministry of Economy started to fund this event through İHKİB, within the body of TİM (Turkish Exporters Assembly) in order to ensure foreign currency inflow to the country and to introduce Turkish brands to the world. Whatever happened happened after that, and when money and funds were involved, groupings and rant fights began between designers. For the Management of the Fashion Designers Association, groups struggled with each other. The winning group protected and watched over their own supporters. The prerequisite for participating in the Fashion Week events was “to be from the group”.
The management allocated the best sessions for themselves (even in the Mercedes Benz Presents format at no cost), while giving “please” lunch hours to important designers who were not from the group but could not refuse. There was an ongoing pressure that was unspoken but felt and known to everyone. The administrations have changed, this time, the new administration has brought its own supporters to the fore. It has reached such a point that this printing regime became dictated to the brands and designers to be included in the fashion show calendar, even with which choreographer they should work with. In the event where an average of 50 shows were exhibited, while the pro-choroegraphers were conducting 20 shows (of course, this is a profit), the remaining 5-10 shows were left to the other choreographers.
For these reasons, many famous and important designers who attended the events with great enthusiasm and enthusiasm at the beginning gave up attending the event, thinking that they did not get the efficiency they expected.
Fashion Week is an international event. To bring together foreign buyers and local designers, to ensure that collections take orders, thus increasing foreign currency inflow to the country.
In other words, both collections and presentations are for the foreign market… not for the domestic market.
However, some designers forgot this, turned the exposures into fashion shows and started to play in the local press by taking the old-age famous models on the podium.
For example, a Buyer from Marks & Spencer naturally could not understand this. They rightly began to question what a female model over 40 is doing in a collection whose target audience is between 15 and 25 years old.
In order to save the activity that became solitary and insignificant, the authorities made requests to important designers and offered some advantages. Who accepted and whom did not. Finally, Mercedes-Benz withdrew from the sponsorship and we got back to where we started.
Despite all these conflicts, design progresses and develops in Turkey and strives to reach points that can compete with the world.