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Fashion Week, Caspian Style, Features Region’s Best Looks

By Vusala Abbasova November 14, 2017

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The sixth season of Azerbaijan Fashion Week (AFW) has seen the closing of the three days show on November 10 at the Fairmont Baku Hotel, where eight local and foreign designers showcased their new collections.

The sixth edition of Azerbaijan Fashion Week wrapped up Friday, closing out three days of dress, glamour and style at the Fairmont Baku Hotel, where more than 20 local and foreign designers showcased their latest collections of spring and summer wear for 2018.

The event, which is held in May and November, attracted fashion designers from France, Georgia, Russia, and Azerbaijan, as well as international buyers, and ran from November 7-10. Azerbaijani fashion brands featured included Jemma Aleksander, Mak Mari, Lali, Estellita, Yes Couture, as well as Georgian brand Revoltant.

Collections by fashion designer Aiza, from Krasnodar, Russia, was a featured treat for guests, along with those by French fashion designer Patrick Boffa.

“In my opinion, today, fashion runs the world and it is very important to have the kind of events that influence every country of the planet, because it's really interesting to see different visions,” Boffa told Caspian News when asked about the importance of Azerbaijan being on the world’s fashion map.

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French fashion designer Patrick Boffa. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

I think this is the strongest way to change the way of thinking of people," said Boffa. “My advice to the young generation, who wants achieve success in fashion industry would be "work, work, work, and always do your best to realize your dreams."

Azerbaijan Fashion Week is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which aims to popularize the country’s fashion industry and create favorable conditions for its designers.

Sayad Dossybayev, Azerbaijan Fashion Week’s art director, told Caspian News that with the event being in its sixth season, the Caspian region’s fashion industry is on the rise.

"Earlier, there were a few designers for the entire event. Now, there’s an army of designers that have grown up, and we can demonstrate the collections of eight different brands per day within one event," said Dossybayev.

Dossybayev also emphasized that the level of interest of Azerbaijani designers has increased this year, judging by the number of applications received from Azerbaijani designers to participate.

"I notice that fashion industry in Azerbaijan is growing," Dossybayev said.

Looking towards the future of the industry, Dossybayev believes the number of designers will definitely increase, but at the same time hopes to see growth not only in quantity but also quality.

Knowledge and education in the fashion industry requires drawing and artistic skills, as well as business acumen. Designers must know how to navigate a highly competitive global marketplace, and be responsible for their brand’s identity.

"No one was born great. Even if one has the potential he or she needs to develop and correctly direct it to become a designer,” Lali, a successful and growing Azerbaijani designer whose brand goes by the same name, told Caspian News.

“For me, the concept of a designer is an educated person with his own point of view,” said Lali.

Opening day featured collections by three Azerbaijani fashion brands: Leya Couture, Aygun Talibova и GM Fashion Lab, and collections from Moroccan designers Zineb Jundi, Manal Dinar and those produced by Qadienne Fashion House. The first day also saw Kazakhstan’s SAMIDEL brand present, and was rounded out with collections by Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger and Hackett London. Day two was marked by mostly Azerbaijani brands, including Fakhria Khalafova, ULVIYYA&ULKER, DESIRE, Nubi Couture and men’s fashionwear brand CHIRAGLI. The event wrapped up with collections by Leonid Zherebtsov from Kazakhstan.

The first Azerbaijan Fashion Week was held in 2012. Since then, more than 60 designers from around the world have taken part in the event.

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A model during the Estellita show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

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A model during the Estellita show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

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A model during the Aiza show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

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A model during the Jemma Aleksander show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

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A model during the Lali show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News

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A model during the Patrick Boffa show within 2017 Azerbaijan Fashion Week. / Adil Yusifov / Caspian News