fashion diplomacy

On Friday, June 20, Serap Pollard, the first Turkish designer in London, displayed her AW14 collection at the Embassy of Turkey in Ulaanbaatar in a runway show as part of a week of cultural events to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and Turkey. Pollard’s collection, displayed in front of the crowd of roughly 100, comprised of the international business and fashion community, also embraced a polycentric philosophy.

From Naomi Campbell to Nancy Ajram and Kate Moss, Florence-based fashion designers have dressed the world’s stars and they don’t look set to stop any time soon. Whether it be Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Guccio Gucci or Emilio Pucci, they are all being celebrated during the 60th anniversary of the Center of Florence for Italian Fashion. These Italian powerhouses have been at the cutting edge of fashion design for years and their influence on the Middle East, as well as their inspiration from the region, is clear.

December 10, 2013

Michael Ardaiolo discusses fashion diplomacy and how fashion can affect cross-cultural identities with Harriet Brown and Timi Komonibo. Harriet Brown is an associate professor at Syracuse University. She has more than 30 years of experience as both a writer and editor in magazines. You can find her recent work in the New York Times science section, where she covers issues like food, eating and body image.

She lives in post-war Uganda and used her skills to create the necklace she’s wearing from recycled paper, a traditional jewelry art form in her country. The income she earns enables her to go to school for the first time at 27 years old, along with her children. As one of the designers of the 31 Bits team, she is reaching her once out-of-reach dreams.

Appearance is powerful and fashion cannot be ignored in international relations and public diplomacy, as it is a tool of communication.

February is a busy month for Indonesia’s senior fashion designer Poppy Dharsono. After several years out of the spotlight, tending to her ill husband, the 61-year-old has decided to make a comeback at Indonesia’s fashion week this month.

Valentino’s ateliers in the Eternal City could not be in greater contrast to groups of Kenyan women in an improvised workroom, creating traditional embroidery patterns inherited from Masai ancestors or the intricate crochet work handed down the female tribal chain. But these African women have been organized to create luxury products from designers such as Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood.

Marielle van Miltenburg, Head of Political Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands said, “We are happy to establish collaboration between Dutch and Indian fashion via the Dutch Fashion Here & Now India program... A much-awaited event hosted by Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the apex body of fashion designers in the country, provides an outstanding platform for information exchange and trend preview for the forthcoming season.