Another mesmerizing collection of the latest in clothing fashion was showcased at Azerbaijan Fashion Week held in Baku from May 1-3. Now in its ninth edition, the event drew local and foreign designers and fashion-lovers to the capital’s Stone Chronicle Museum to showcase the latest in clothing designs for this year’s autumn and winter seasons.
Designers from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey and Georgia helped demonstrate talent from the region. Two young Azerbaijani designers, Medina Zalova and Anar Iskander, were featured on the first day. In an interview with Caspian News, Sayad Dossybayev, Azerbaijan Fashion Week’s art director, commended on Iskander’s collection.
"Every year we bring together new volunteers mostly from art schools, and Skandar was once one of those students who worked as a volunteer before, and now, in the 9th season, he has already matured enough to represent his own collection," said Dossybayev. "He is a very interesting and promising designer who has own vision of fashion."
The opening day also included collections by Kazakhstani designer Alex Chzhen, who dazzled the audience with feminine and sophisticated looks. Nomad Homme, another brand from Kazakhstan, showcased masculinity with its unique styles for men. Ukrainian designer Alyona Pristupko presented a new collection of her brand called Mayumi, which translates from Japanese as "perfect beauty" and consisted of soft dresses with floral prints and flounces.
Chekhmechi footwear from Azerbaijan made its way down the runway when capoeiristas – Brazilian-styled dancers – who were performing on the catwalk together with strutting models, the brand invited a bunch of celebrities to walk the runway as models.
"I would like to express my gratitude to Azerbaijan Fashion Week for the organization of the event at such a high level," said Fara Azim from Tajikistan, whose collection was exhibited on the final day. “I saw Azerbaijan from the European side as a very developed and beautiful country. I am sure that in the future Azerbaijan Fashion Week will develop more and reach the level of Paris,” she told Caspian News.
Looking towards the future of the fashion industry in Azerbaijan, Sayad Dossybayev, said there is room for growth, and that fashion week plays an important role.
"I think that in a country like Azerbaijan, a modern country that hosted Eurovision and is hosting the Formula 1 race, there should be a fashion week," Dossybayev told Caspian News. "Fashion for countries is like a mirror that shows that there is a creative intelligentsia in the country."
Azerbaijan Fashion Week is supported by the Ministry of Culture, which works to promote Azerbaijan’s fashion industry and create favorable conditions for its designers. Dossybayev expects that increased support for the event by the government will help propel the industry domestically and help designers establish a presence abroad.
"Azerbaijan Fashion Week could be supported within the promotion of the Made in Azerbaijan brand," said Dossybayev. "I want the local public to see even more foreign designers at the Azerbaijan Fashion Week, and Azerbaijani designers become more competitive looking at them."
"A country is judged by cultural events, such as theaters, music, cinema, including fashion. After all, we all try to dress up more beautiful, and so, it turns out that fashion is one of the segments of the economy," he added.
The latest fashion week was held at the Stone Chronicle Museum, which showcases the prehistoric life in the region. It was chosen as the venue for the three-day fashion event for the second year in a row.