Worldview: Istanbul Modest Fashion Week Goes Global


🇹🇷 Istanbul Modest Fashion Week extends its international network. Think Fashion Group, the Turkish organiser behind the travelling runway trade show company Modest Fashion Weeks, has presented the main edition of its annual event in Istanbul from Apr. 25 to 27. In addition to local brands with modest fashion ranges, designers from Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, the UAE, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Serbia, India, the US, Canada and Australia converged on Turkey’s largest city to drum up business. Well-known hijab-wearing models and influencers from around the world, such as Halima Aden, Rawdah Mohamed and Fatma Husam, presented collections from brands like Marina, Buttonscarves, Imannoor and Akkoia to dozens of buyers from the Middle East, including Landmark Group, Al Tayer and Alhokair, and others from countries as diverse as Singapore, Lebanon, South Africa, Tanzania, Italy and Germany. Founded in Istanbul in 2016, the travelling showcase has also been held in London, Dubai, Jakarta and Riyadh. Where will it touch down next? “We have been shortlisting countries for a while [and we recently] hosted two country representatives that were really interested,” said Ozlem Sahin Ertas, CEO of Modest Fashion Weeks and Think Fashion Group, which also owns sourcing and production company TurkishMade. [BoF Inbox]

🇨🇳 New European Union regulations to impact supply chains in China. Europe’s Parliament has signed off rules that will make brands more accountable for what happens in their supply chains, ban products made with forced labour and set new environmental standards for the design and disposal of products. The forced labour ban is a move similar to the tough import restrictions introduced by the US to target products linked to alleged human rights abuses in China’s major cotton-producing Xinjiang region. China has denied the claims. The EU’s forced labour ban still needs approval from member countries, a final step that is usually a formality. It will come into force three years after it officially enters into law. [BoF]

🇰🇷 Korean shopping app Ably is reportedly seeking investment from Alibaba. The South Korean fashion app co-founded by Kang Seok-hoon in 2015 that now competes with local app giants like ZigZag, W Concept, Musinsa and Brandi, is said to be in talks with Alibaba Group’s international e-commerce firm AliExpress. If an investment is finalised, Korean sellers on the app could potentially tap into the Chinese group’s network of e-tailers including Lazada, Daraz and Trendyol, focused on Southeast Asia, South Asia and Turkey respectively. Alibaba could gain market share in Korea, where AliExpress competes against local players Gmarket and Coupang and China-founded Shein and Temu. [South China Morning Post, The Chosun Daily]

🇰🇪 Kenya’s second-hand clothing imports from China surge 86%. The amount imported from China, the main source of the African nation’s controversial ‘mitumba’ trade, rose on a like-for-like basis in the first quarter of this year. According to data from Chinese authorities, 31,594 tonnes of were exported to Kenya during the period, valued at $22.732 million. The local textile industry has campaigned against the resale trade which is estimated to employ two million people in the country, according to a representative of local sellers who recently lobbied against proposals by France, Denmark and Sweden to ban EU exports to developing countries over pollution concerns. [The East African]

🇮🇳 India’s annual cut and polished diamond exports plunge 27.5%. Exports fell to $15.97 billion due to sluggish demand from the US, China and the UAE, forcing India to reduce imports of rough diamonds by 18 percent to $14.27 billion in the financial year ended March 31, according to the country’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council. The industry is facing headwinds including western buyers scrutinising Indian exports over new Russia diamond sanctions and the Middle East conflict, which is expected to weaken demand for exports in the April-June period. [Economic Times, Financial Express]

🇨🇳 European Union hits China-founded Shein with new digital rules. The ultra-fast fashion brand originating in Nanjing, which moved its headquarters to Singapore, has been drawn under the scope of flagship EU rules designed to clamp down on illegal and harmful content online, aimed at stopping the spread of counterfeit items on the platform. The company has an average of more than 45 million monthly users in the EU, meeting the threshold to be swept up by the bloc’s Digital Services Act, meaning Shein could be liable for fines of as much as 6 percent of global revenue for violating the law. [BoF]

🇸🇦 Istituto Marangoni is opening a fashion campus in Saudi Arabia. The Italian fashion and design education institution, which already operates schools outside its home country in Paris, London, Dubai, Mumbai, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Miami, has announced it will open one next year in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture’s Saudi Fashion Commission. [Zawya]

🇿🇦 South African retailer Shoprite’s Uniq brand expands footprint. The Cape Town-based grocer, Africa’s largest, which sells apparel online though its namesake Shoprite chain, opened a specialist clothing chain last year called Uniq. Benise Spangenberg, head of buying at Uniq, confirmed plans to add 20 more stores in 2024, adding that it is also looking to source more of its basics range domestically. [Reuters]

🌏 Taipei Fashion Week focuses on athleticism ahead of the Olympics. Taiwan’s main fashion week event took place from Apr. 25 to 29 featuring shows from brands including Liyu Tsai, Uuin, Damur, Gioia Pan, Claudia Wang, WooLeeX, INF and Douchanglee. Taiwanese designers including C Jean, Jamie Wei Huang, Just In XX, Pces, Story Wear and Syzygy took part in a special sports-themed opening show, featuring Taiwanese athletes on the runway ahead of the Chinese Taipei team’s participation in the Paris Olympics. [BoF Inbox]

🇯🇵 Pioneering Japanese bridal designer Yumi Katsura dies at 94. Her company Yumi Katsura International confirmed on Tuesday that the entrepreneur, whose career spanned over half a century, has passed away. Having studied fashion design in Tokyo and Paris, she became an early designer of Western wedding dresses in Japan in the 1960s, opening a bridal store the next year at a time when most Japanese brides still wore traditional kimonos for their wedding. [Japan Times]

🇹🇷 Levi’s could continue working with Turkish supplier Ozak Tekstil. The American denim giant Levi Strauss & Co. has confirmed that it will continue working with the apparel manufacturer on a “conditional basis,” contingent on Ozak fulfilling a “detailed remediation plan” that tackles freedom of association, working hours and health and safety. Earlier this year, the manufacturer came under fire for allegedly denying its employees in a factory in Urfa the right to choose their own union and dismissing some who went on strike. [The Sourcing Journal]

🇦🇺 Cosmopolitan will return to Australia with a local edition. The women’s style and lifestyle magazine which exited the Australia market six years ago will relaunch in the spring as a venture between Katarina Kroslakova’s local publishing house KK Press and Hearst Magazines International. The editorial team is currently being assembled by Kroslakova who is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of T Australia. The return of Cosmopolitan to the country follows the return of Elle earlier this year. [Ragtrader]

🇨🇳 Chinese tourists are once again embracing international travel. More than a year since China reopened its borders, some 63 percent of its residents say they’re ready to return to exploring the world, according to a survey published on Wednesday. Just 10 percent spurned international travel altogether — a significant shift from a year ago, when more than half of China’s consumers said they had no plans to go abroad and 31 percent said they weren’t even interested. [BoF]

🇰🇪 Nexgen Packaging opens African headquarters in Kenya. The US-based global provider of apparel brand identification and packaging products has opened its regional headquarters in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, bolstering the capacities of the company’s existing operations in Egypt and West Africa and becoming its primary production centre on the continent. [BoF Inbox]

🇧🇷 Riachuelo produces Brazil team uniforms for the Paris Olympics. The Guararapes Group-owned fashion retail giant, a sponsor of the Brazilian Olympic Committee and official fashion brand of team Brazil, has presented the travel and opening ceremony uniforms that will be used by athletes at this year’s games. [FashionNetwork]

🇮🇳 Indian department store Shoppers Stop promotes Kavindra Mishra. The former executive director and CEO has been elevated to dual role of managing director and CEO of the firm, which has 270 stores across the country including 98 fashion and beauty department stores, 11 standalone SSBeauty multibrand beauty stores and 7 Home Stop stores. [Economic Times, Telegraph India]

🇦🇺 Australia’s Adore Beauty CEO Tamalin Morton announces exit. The multi-brand beauty e-tailer is searching for a new leader after Morton said she will step down later this year for “personal reasons”. The former Priceline Pharmacy chain executive joined Adore in November 2022 to steady the business but it is understood there now may be an illness in her family. [Australian Financial Review]

🌏 La Mer names Taiwanese singer Jay Chou as its first male ambassador. The Estée Lauder Companies-owned luxury skincare brand has tapped the so-called “King of Mandopop,” who boasts a far-reaching Asian fanbase, to endorse products like its Treatment Lotion. [Cosmetics Business]

🇮🇳 Indian beauty brand Nat Habit surpasses 100 crore rupee in revenue. The DTC natural beauty and personal care brand founded by Gaurav Agarwal and Swagatika Das has hit the milestone in the fiscal year ending March 2024. The brand raised $10.2 million in December 2023. [Economic Times]

🇦🇷 Argentine textile company Inta changes its name to Arciel. The Buenos Aires-based firm founded in 1944 which manufactures technical fabrics and provides spinning, weaving and dyeing services made the change as part of a restructuring of its business units. [FashionNetwork]

🇨🇳 Tod’s names actress Zhang Jingyi as its new brand ambassador. The Italian luxury brand has tapped the star of TV series including “Lighter and Princess” to endorse products such as handbags and shoes in a new promotional campaign. [Jing Daily]

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