Kicking off today (8 February), the Istanbul Fashion Connection Apparel and Fashion Exhibition, organised by İTKİB Fuarcılık A.Ş. on behalf of Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association (İHKİB), is welcoming participation from over 600 companies with 30,000 industry professionals expected to attend from over 100 countries.

As one of the largest apparel exhibitions in Europe, IFCO is hosting an increased number of qualified exhibitors and buyers in every organisation to ensure visitors maximise their time, with seminars, panels and trend areas all part of this year’s experience.

The Core Istanbul, organised simultaneously with IFCO İstanbul Fashion Connection, offers creative and collaborative solutions covering all areas of the fashion sector. It aims to bring fashion designers together with international buyers of apparel brands and provides the opportunity to transform the collections of brands and designers into commercial activities.

Just Style news editor, Hannah Abdulla, is at this year’s exhibition and has noted the “sombre mood” around the event, “with broken hearts all round for the state of the country following the earthquakes earlier this week.

“While many garment and textile manufacturing locations are based in and around Istanbul, lots of local designers source fabric from suppliers in the Hatay region, which was severely impacted by the earthquake.

“It’s warming to see the community come together in force. Many designers have temporarily switched from working on their current lines and have united on an effort to produce and supply safety jackets and warm clothing for the people in areas of devastation.

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“Despite this, the turnout for the first day of the event has been excellent and it has provided a great backdrop for suppliers to showcase their collections and entice buyers with the most advantageous selling points of sourcing from Türkiye which include short lead times, vertical integration and high-quality products.”

Companies present at this year’s IFCO include suppliers of women’s and men’s clothing, children’s apparel, denim and sportswear, evening dresses, wedding dresses, suits, underwear, socks, leather and shoes.

İHKİB deputy chairman, Mustafa Paşahan, said: “As İHKİB we organised an exhibition on the international platform on the road to make Istanbul a centre of fashion with the belief that value added export goes through exhibitions.

“We realised by bringing together all industry under the same roof with the support of our Ministries, unions and associations and ICOC (İstanbul Chamber of Commerce), it is taking place on a 100,000 square metres of ground on the 100th anniversary of our Republic, as we promised.

“With IFCO, our companies are able to develop their trade and conduct business to business meetings instead of exhibitions in the other parts of the world.”

Yesterday, Türkiye’s apparel sector appealed for donations, including clothing, to help the relief effort after two major earthquakes struck the country this week, resulting in over 11,000 deaths and the closure of a major shipping port.