The largest B2B event in Central Asia for fashion industry professionals will be held in Almaty from 11 to 13 March 2024.

International fashion exhibition Central Asia Fashion is preparing for its 33rd season

The largest B2B event in Central Asia for fashion industry professionals will be held in Almaty from 11 to 13 March 2024. Manufacturers of clothing, footwear and accessories, as well as buyers, representatives of business associations, retail chains, shopping malls and niche regional media will traditionally gather on the eve of Nowruz in Almaty at the Atakent Exhibition Centre. Fashion industry professionals from 15 countries have already confirmed their participation in Central Asia Fashion. Among them are such countries as Turkey, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Finland, Russia, Belarus, India, China. Central Asian manufacturers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are not lagging behind and will also be represented in the spring salon of the CAF exhibition. About 170 companies from all over the continent will be open for dialogue for three days on orders for collections, search for distributors and business development. According to Central Asia Fashion statistics, each season the event is attended by several thousand industry professionals. Professionals from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Russia and other countries are the undisputed leaders in terms of attendance. According to the organisers' forecasts, more than 9,000 buyers from different Asian and CIS countries are expected in the spring season. "The new season for exhibitors and all players of the fashion industry will take place against the background of a significant revival of the retail market in Kazakhstan, - says Milena Ershova, general producer and head of the Central Asia Fashion business programme. -The current situation has all chances to give brand companies an excellent chance to increase the number of clients and business partners in Central Asia. For the first time in a long time, the exhibition has formed an impressive "waiting list" of participating brands. In general, the number of foreign and local exhibitors has doubled, but even more importantly, another indicator - the number of buyers-visitors to the exhibition - has also increased. Taking into account all the above-mentioned facts and more than ever high interest in the Central Asian region, we have increased our investments in the professional buyers programme (hosted buyers programm). Also in the upcoming season, we have emphasised the section of industry research, trade analytics, with the current topic of pricing and glocalisation of Central Asia as part of the business conference. In addition, we added three new unique formats to the business conference: "intellectual retail battle", motivational session in the style of TED talks and "SMM school". As fashion expert Milena Ershova notes: "A special source of pride of the 33rd season of Central Asia Fashion is the "counselling centre", "job fair" and the "stylist for an hour" service. All these popular and absolutely free for CAF visitors projects have received a new round of development. For this purpose, we started cooperation with the largest in Central Asia "Community of Stylists and School of Conceptual Styling Style.session", star image stylist Madi Bekdair, and a whole pool of experienced experts-practitioners in visual merchandising and marketing".

Show programme and fashion shows

The 33rd season of Central Asia Fashion will also feature fashion shows of participating brands, reflecting the current trends of the season and presenting an exceptional combination of craftsmanship, style and industrial innovations. The exhibition organisers note that in the upcoming exhibition season the number of applications for participation in the fashion shows has significantly increased. On average, during one season of the exhibition, participating brands present more than 50 new collections of stylish clothes on the CAF catwalk, demonstrating the diversity of the assortment and professional level of exhibitors. The next CAF season will not be without innovations on the catwalk. Thus, on the second exhibition day, the public will be presented with a new format of a specialised buyers' show with the participation of the Asian Community of Stylists Style Session. After a quick analysis of the exhibitors' assortment in accordance with the world fashion trends, stylists will present ten commercially successful looks for capsule wardrobe. Dresses, jackets, shoes, accessories, outerwear and much more in the whole variety of brands will be assembled by stylists into a single image and presented accompanied by expert comments in numerous stylistic variants.

Business programme and industry conference

Traditionally, one of the key roles in the schedule of events at Central Asia Fashion is played by a rich business programme. This season it will include a business conference, industry research, educational projects, a free consulting centre, a "job fair", a "stylist for an hour" service and a number of new projects. Thus, the business programme will start with educational projects already two months before the opening of CAF. Free webinars will be organised for Kazakhstani buyers as part of the exhibition's new project - "SMM school". They will be conducted by MAYgul Burgebaeva, founder and director of MSB "School of Practical Internet Marketing". And already at the exhibition, from 11 to 13 March 2024, the expert will give a seminar, take part in a panel discussion and advise representatives of the fashion industry in a free consultation centre, as well as hold the traditional "CAF job fair". CAF's schedule will traditionally include a three-day industry business conference. Its spring season will cover truly large-scale, significant for the region and the most relevant topics in the fashion industry. For example, for the first time, the Kazakhstan Association of Professional Public Opinion and Market Researchers KAPIOR will present exclusive data of a unique industry research dedicated to the phenomenon of "consumer patriotism". From the analytical research the conference listeners will learn how the fashion offer looks like today for the Kazakhstani buyer, what are the unique features of the Kazakhstani people, their behavioural norms, character traits, traditions, attitude to fashion and appearance. In addition, listeners will learn how religion influences fashion preferences and what the unique cultural code of Kazakhstanis looks like. What films, music, literary works, authors, characters, figures, media, gastronomic dishes are the most favourite among Kazakhstani people. The panel discussion on the theme of "Glocalisation of Central Asia" promises to be no less interesting. From this panel discussion, conference attendees will learn where the trend towards globalisation and localisation is leading in the world and in Central Asia. How the demographic situation in Central Asian countries is changing and much more. Experts and analysts will discuss how a flexible strategy of combining global and local interests and orientations has become the answer to the global threat to local markets. A special place at the business conference will also be devoted to the topic of the pricing crisis in retail and how the new norm of price growth affects the Kazakhstani buyer and what new habits of behaviour it forms. The organisers of the business conference will not ignore the topic of marketing and customer psychology in fashion retail. Thus, Madi Bekdair - image stylist with international practice, founder of the Community of Stylists of Asia and School of Conceptual Styling @style.session, official stylist of Milan Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week will tell the audience about the total upgrade of customer psychology: what and why customers buy today. In turn, invited experts will discuss new media in the fashion business, as well as how not to be afraid of change and turn trends in their favour at the panel discussion of the business conference. The 33rd season of the exhibition will also be marked by the introduction of new formats within the framework of the business conference. The audience will witness an "intellectual battle" on the theme "Adapting Business in a New Way", and will also see one of the popular formats of recent years - a special motivational session in the style of TED talks.

Counselling centre and "stylist for an hour"

In the meantime, several business teams have been invited to cooperate within the framework of CAF's free consultation centre: for three days, merchandisers, stylists and digital specialists will hold free individual and group consultations and master classes on a separate, busy schedule. In addition, for professional visitors of the international fashion exhibition Central Asia Fashion Spring-2024, a unique format of support for the purchase - "chef-buyer" or "stylist for an hour" - adapted to the new market conditions will continue its work. Representatives of the fashion industry will be consulted by image stylist Madi Bekdair, a team of experts from Style Seesion, a community of Central Asian stylists, and Brand Sense, a visual merchandising agency. A team of practicing stylists will share their knowledge and help business owners to calculate the merchandise content of the shop, analyse the portrait of the audience, put together successful collections, as well as give recommendations on purchasing and display of goods. Valuable advice will also be given by the team of retail merchandising expert Oleg Temnikov and visual merchandising agency Brand Sense. Fashion retail practitioners will answer questions about the retail business and talk about product filling of the shop, trends in window dressing, assortment management, as well as provide recommendations on visual merchandising. For those who are particularly interested in personnel recruitment, marketing and SMM, the founder of the "School of Practical Internet Marketing" - MAYgul Burgebaeva will provide consultations during all three days.