With its debut on Aug. 26-29, Istanbul Fashion Days is aiming to expand the country’s often associated image as a production center and fabric supplier to the globe to include one of unique fashion design.

Under the aegis of Itkib and in collaboration with Fashion Designers Association and Istanbul Fashion Academy, the event unites organizers on one platform that includes fashion shows, designers and brands.

Istanbul Fashion Days will be located under the single roof of the historical Taşkışla Campus of Istanbul Technical University, and will also bring together Turkey’s fashion industry and the design scene in Istanbul.

“The Turkish fashion sector, which feeds from the cultural riches of this country, needs unity,” said Bahar Korçan, President of the Fashion Designers Association.

While the Brandist section of top Turkish ready-to-wear companies will serve as the main fashion draw and platform for brands, Fashion Lab, a fashion show and boutique fair organization, will display the collections of Turkey’s leading and most renown fashion designers.

Meanwhile, Itkib’s annual Young Fashion Designers Contest, which has been running since 1992 to promote young fashion talents and enable their entry into the sector, will continue under the body of IFD and its new name Koza.

“Times of crisis are the best for publicity and in accordance with this, Turkey will gain an important advantage with Istanbul Fashion Days on behalf of her fashion and textile sector in the current economic situation,” the State Minister Çağlayan and patron of the project noted during a press conference introducing Istanbul Fashion Days.

Hikmet Tanrıverdi, Chairman of the Istanbul Ready-to-Wear and Apparel Exporters Association, also pointed out that they have started a new era for the sector in Turkey and that IFD will be contributing to the Turkish economy while accelerating the fashion sector.

In recent years fashion designers including Arzu Kaprol, Ümit Ünal or Bahar Korcan have been driving forward Turkey’s fashion industry, made famous by designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Dice Kayek and Atil Kutoglu. With IFD, the metropolis now hopes to launch a new fashion destination for the international fashion community and confirm Istanbul as the European capital of culture in 2010 by the E.U.

—Karin Leiberg