With Istanbul’s reputation as one of the most exciting and dynamic fashion capitals, it is vital now more than ever that       the designers are not only firmly established in the domestic marketplace, but engaged internationally.

With this in mind, during 2013 CFE  was invited by Istanbul Moda Academy (IMA) to develop a programme of business support for the capital’s most promising designers. In partnership with Istanbul Development Agency and IHKIB (Istanbul Apparel Exporters’ Association), the resulting project, Istanbul Fashion Incube, has helped designers to gain a foothold on the national and international fashion market.

In March 2013 designers were selected by a panel comprising CFE Director Wendy Malem, CFE Business Development Consultant Jan Miller and Professor Roy Peach, former Dean of Graduate School at London College of Fashion and CFE Consultant, among others. The 10 designers who received business support included: Asu Aksu, Günseli TÜrkay, Ayhan Yetgin, Hande Cokrak, Burçe Bekrek, Nil Kandemir, Ece GÖzen, Niyazi Erdogan, Emre ErdemoĞlu and Songul Cabaci.

Harnessing the CFE’s expertise in strategic business development, the team have delivered a package of support comprising workshops and one-on-one sessions covering range planning, branding, business management, financial planning and fashion show preparation. Additionally, designers received a studio space in the fashionable Nisantasi district, access to a technologically innovative fabric library, as well as the opportunity to build brand visibility: the project culminated in the designers showcasing their Spring/Summer 2014 collections at Paris Sur Mode Fair in September and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Istanbul in October 2013.

Whilst the project ends in October 2013 its sucess signals continued links between Turkey and the UK. Centre Director, Başak Demir Onay, said of the collaboration, “As we had really good interaction and reaction with CFE for all these consultancies, we would like to continue with projects in future.”