Earlier this year, Indie Culture, along with our parent company Indo Skins Garments Pvt.Ltd. had the opportunity to attend the LeShow winter fair in Istanbul, Turkey.
Turkey has been at the top of my list of places to visit for a while now, having heard a lot about how it reflects the confluence of east and west. The city of Istanbul was stunning, a treat for architecture, art and fashion lovers. The city offered luxury shopping destinations and bustling market places in equal measure.
The fair was held at the Istanbul Congress Center from 16th to 18th January 2020 and hosted over 20 countries showcasing upwards of 100 brands.
They exhibited everything from leather and textile, to cashmere, knitwear and luxury haute couture.
We were happy to be a part of this selection and were one of 3 Indian companies participating in this trade show. Our range included specialty suedes showcased through our own designs of jackets. Indie Culture accessories were also on display along with some of our distinctive pieces like the Duality embroidery jacket and the Weave, our woven leather jacket.
We were eager to attend Leshow this year, considering Turkey is a forerunner in the field of leather and garments. It holds the fourth place after Italy, China and India for being the biggest producer of leather.
Research on Turkey’s export numbers revealed that that textiles accounted for the greatest share (18.5%) of total goods exported from Turkey in 2015 (Source: Market research firm Euromonitor). In monetary terms, figures from the Turkish Ministry of Economy show a staggering value of $16.8bn from clothing exported in 2015.
With a geographical advantage, being at the centre of European and Asian commerce allows Turkey to offer shorter timelines to European buyers and a unique perspective in design. Management firms weigh in that this location leads to faster reactivity to market developments and trends.
In terms of style, I found the garments to be uniquely reflective of this with designs that married the European silhouettes with Asian techniques like appliqué and embroidery.
(Mood board made from Pinterest images)
The fair was also a platform for Turkish designers and brands to throw light on the sustainable tanning methods they used and their policies on reducing wastage. In the wake of climate change, the country also prides itself on strict environmental controls when it comes to what it is producing. They claim that upto 70% of leather produced in the country is now done with sustainable methods, a statistic which was highlighted at the fair.
Experts from consulting firm Kurt Salmon believe that "Turkey takes a proactive stance on environmental concerns in the supply chain. It is one of the few countries to mandate all textile manufacturers to comply with internationally accepted environmental standards, which is another plus.”
The Turkish industry also asserts that its record on corporate social responsibility is improving.
Leshow had also organised fashion shows by Turkish brands which took place during the event and showcased a wide variety of local talent.
With attendees from Europe, North America, the Middle East, Russia and Asia, I foresee that Turkey, like Hong-Kong, will soon become a hotspot for buyers and suppliers to network, meet new vendors and increase their visibility on the world stage.
We left Turkey feeling energized and inspired. I'm eager to build relationships with the people we met and I'm looking forward to incorporating what we learned into our processes.
Thank you for hosting us Leshow! We look forward to our next visit.