The field of fashion offers infinite possibilities for collaboration between Turkey and the Netherlands. This collaboration could be developed on a purely cultural level as one of the means to increase cultural dialogue and exchange, but it could also be taken into the practical arena of business collaboration.
Textiles and apparel industry have been a corner stone of the Turkish economy. But fashion? Until recently it hasn’t really been a part of economic policy discussion. So focused were industry leaders and policy makers on volume production and export numbers that fashion, that frivolous and ephemeral thing, was not welcome in their business realm. Well, things have changed. Dramatically.
At home a young generation of creatives came to the fore. Brimming with energy, ideas and desire to make own fashion they were not willing to toil away in obscurity for overseas brands. Internationally in the face of ever growing competition Turkey had no other choice but to rebrand herself - from “the country manufacturer” to the country “fashion maker”. With this came the realization of the need to invest in fashion education, nurture and promote young fashion designers and grow brands “made in Turkey” that carry a unique Turkish cachet.
As Turkey works to shed the old image of the “country textile manufacturer”, it looks out to France, Italy and Germany for knowledge and savoir faire unaware that the Netherlands has a wealth of expertise in creative management and has developed a sophisticated infrastructure to position Dutch design and designers internationally. If studied, this expertise could prove beneficial to Turkey. Furthermore there are ample possible synergies between Dutch and Turkish fashion waiting to be engaged.