Turkey and Indonesia are probably the biggest fashion markets in the Muslim world and the two provide opportunities for collaboration and joint ventures in the design world, a group of Indonesian fashion designers said on Monday.
“Fashion is one of the industries badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but we have a choice: either we surrender… or we stand up and say that we can do this,” said Franka Soeria, an expert on modest fashion from Indonesia.
Addressing a news conference in Ankara, she said Turkey and Indonesia are “very close in terms of culture and we are two biggest markets of modest fashion, so why don’t we collaborate with each other?”
A group of seven top Indonesian brands is in the Turkish capital for a fashion show set to start on Wednesday. Turkish First Lady Emine Erdogan is expected to attend the show, while a parallel event will be held online.
Soeria said the brands including Elzatta – the pioneer of modest fashion brands popular among Muslims – and Wearing Klamby flew to “offer friendship in fashion with Turkey.”
“Hopefully, if we start the friendship now, by the time pandemic is over, we will have already established our relationship,” said Soeria, who co-founded Markamarie, a modest fashion platform.
Lalu Muhammad Iqbal, Indonesia’s ambassador to Tukey, said Turkey is known for its strong manufacturing industry and is “therefore one of the biggest suppliers of fashion worldwide.”
“Our embassy and Markamarie are trying to connect the two countries together through fashion,” he said. “Through this fashion diplomacy, we are aiming to connect the two countries closer than ever.”
The Indonesian ambassador acknowledged that it is not easy to organize an event in the times of coronavirus. “But we will continue to find ways and means to make our people come closer.”
Soeria said fashion is “here to stay.”
“It is hard but we are here. The fashion industry is about business and so many people are dependent on it. And we want Turkey to be together with us.”
She added: “We realize that brands need activation to survive in the market. Events like this will trigger the market to be more resilient.”
The fashion consultant said Turkey is a window to markets in the Middle East and Europe, whereas Indonesia can introduce Turkish brands in Southeast Asia and beyond. “Let us take this opportunity of friendship for fashion,” she said.