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Torino Fashion Week: A format fusing talent and business opportunities

By Isabella Naef


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Turin seems to have found the recipe for bringing a packed fashion week schedule to life, one that attracts abundant creativity and a multitude of companies. Earlier this month the Piedmont capital opened its doors to an international fashion week that makes way for the creativity and talent of designers from all over the world.

Torino Fashion Week represented a real novelty on the ‘Made in Italy’ fashion scene, with an event focusing on companies and b2b opportunities during the day. Then from late afternoon the spotlight shifts to the catwalk in the former Stock Exchange, featuring collections - very often “no season” ones - from Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Italian, African, Iraqi and European designers.

The first edition of Torino Fashion Week dates back to 2016 and the event is now consolidating its format with four editions under its belt. In Italy fashion events that give a real chance to young talents are few and far between. Very often young designers have to compete for time slots in between established designers' shows, reducing their chances of visibility before press and buyers.

Claudio Azzzolini is the founder and CEO of Torino Fashion Week told FashionUnited: "We offer a complete package to designers who exhibit here. At a cost of around 1,000-2,000 euros, we offer a space, fashion show, makeup and hairstyles for the models. Every designer showcases around 10-20 outfits. We only have one edition per year, and always from 27th June to 3rd July, which is dedicated to clothing and accessory collections. The catwalk show sessions are from the 17th to the 19th and from the 21st to the 23rd, while during the day the Torino Fashion Match takes place, when 220 businesses from the fashion industry from 28 countries come together in 630 meetings."

The b2b sessions provide companies and designers at fashion week with the chance to find buyers selected from the Unioncamere Piemonte in collaboration with the Turin Chamber of Commerce, and all of it for free. Also, during the day, some thirty workshops are planned on sustainability, the circular economy, funding opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses on a European level, digital innovation, technology and business development issues and problems. The European organization Enterprise Europe Network and the European Commission have supported the Torino Fashion Match since its first edition.

”In Italy we are often criticised for what we do, abroad they compliment us and wish to collaborate with us”

"This year we have invited about ten buyers from Germany, the Netherlands and Norway," explained Federica Leonetti, manager of the Textile & fashion Sector Group of Enterprise Europe Network to FashionUnited. "These are buyers from the luxury sector, either from the international multi-sector or the online ecommerce sector."

The bond with Europe, both in terms of participation by brands and by companies, is evident during Torino Fashion Week. "I must say that while in Italy we are often criticised for what we do, abroad they compliment us and wish to collaborate with us," says Azzolini. He was the first in Italy to understand the potential of modest fashion, and a couple of years ago he decided to dedicate this fashion week to the designers of this thriving market segment, and also thanks to a partnership with the Islamic fashion and design council (which has an office in Milan). "Our motto is Turin in the world and a world in Turin," explains the CEO of Torino Fashion Week, adding that the format of the event is in line with the times and the current changes in the fashion industry. "Fusion is important for fashion and also to create a fashion week that is truly international in scope".

Immersing themselves in the Piedmont Fashion Week, is the versatile Iraqi artist and adoptive Torinese, Hussain Harba and the talented 22-year-old Edwin Basha with his brand Orgvsm. Over the years, with his design studio and creative laboratory La Triart Pubblicità, Harba has produced more than 173,000 art objects for Italian and international brands and distributed them throughout the world. On the stage of Torino Fashion Week, he presented a preview of a capsule collection of customised bags, which are all unique items.

On the catwalk for Harba was ex-top model Bali Lawal, a Giorgio Armani, Etro, Krizia, Diesel, Versace and Calvin Klein icon. No longer on the catwalk these days, the model continues to tread the international fashion stage as an entrepreneur with "A Coded World", a culturally and geographically transversal fashion and design project which aims to concoct a melting pot of talents and to provide visibility to young stylists and designers from all over the world.

During the week, there was also a space for the thesis projects of IED students on the topic of "New classic, new future". This time the event opened under the theme of China, and featured 90 emerging designers from all over the world. Among the Chinese, the new autumn/winter 2020 men's collection by Leon Yu, with the ChiChu brand that includes jackets, sweaters, shirts and trousers and celebrates the freedom of young Chinese people who want to express their ideas bravely in this era of encouraged rebellion from the spread of social networks. The traditional costumes are revisited from a pioneering perspective, that highlights its unique sartorial details. The style, both nostalgic and contemporary, seeks inspiration in visual art, pop art and deconstructionism.

Shesho for Liang Dongzan designed tailored blazers in a variety of colours, highlighting the shapes of the female body, paired with cigarette trousers that revive the classic New York style 70s suit and decorative skirts in soft and flowing fabrics.

Natural colours and fabrics, on the other hand, enlivened the penultimate day of the shows with the imaginative creations of South African designers. Floral patterns with hand-sewn borders and drapes are the hallmark of Carlos Fritz, while Indoni Fashion House presented Afro-inspired geometries, cuts, materials and trends for women who love natural beauty.

De Hart Training's prêt-à-porter line is inspired by the South African landscape and culture, clothing, work and leisure.

Finally, among the Italian designers, there is the interesting collection of hats by Giuseppe Fata, known as "the genius of head art". The stylist who has excellent collaborations with the great fashion houses, from Yves Saint Laurent, through to Chanel and Dior presented his collection "Codicis". In the year which marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Leonardo Da Vinci, the new capsule is inspired by the genius of the Italian Renaissance: in the forms that appear above the "heads" of Fata will be reported some manuscripts, especially the drawings of the Leicester code, revisited in a contemporary accent through the geometry of the garment. "The head makes art, because the head is the dynamic art of our thoughts," said the designer who, with this collection, wishes to make a personal contribution to honour one of the artists that most marked the Italian visual heritage.

Alongside him, in the session dedicated to Italy, there was also Re-New Bags that promotes the recycling of materials; Adelyur Fashion, with her wedding dresses; Sonia Riberi, who calls herself ‘a stylist of the soul’ and finally Lorenzo Ferrarotto, barely 18, who was discovered by the French-Vietnamese designer Walter Dang.

Photo’s: Torino fashion week press office, FashionUnited

Modest Fashion
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Torino Fashion Week