In early decades of the 20th century Budapest used to be mentioned in the same league as Paris, when it came to fashion. Hungarians were very keen to look stylish and to wear good quality clothing – fashion life was booming. Due to well-known historic events, this segment of life – along many others – had faded away and became rather ‘uniformish‘. However, nothing could repress the local creative power any longer nor the general longing for an established Hungarian fashion industry.
Gombold Újra! (in English: Re-Button It!) became the slogan of a new initiative with the sole purpose to provide a platform and space to established and up & coming Hungarian fashion designers. Gombold Újra! was launched in 2011 and its success took the organizers by total surprise as it was not foreseeable how much Hungarians were actually interested in seeing the works of local fashion designers. The run for tickets was huge, event halls were packed, a lot of people could not make it to the shows and had to watch them via live-viewings outdoors.
Fueled by the excellent feedback in 2011 and 2012, Gombold Újra! fashion event goes international this year. It has been renamed to Central European Fashion Days and besides Hungarian designers, creative talents from other Visegrad-countries such as Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland are also invited to show their collections in Budapest. It will take place June 7-9, 2013 and a lot of international journalists, bloggers as well as buyers are invited.
Prior to the main fashion event in June, newcomers could apply by submitting their visual design drafts, from which a professional jury picked out the best, who will participate in the semi-finals mid May 2013. The winners of the Central European Fashion Days will be awarded with valuable prizes helping to promote their names and businesses. So-called ‘Oldhands’ – designers who have successfully launched at least four collections in the past – are also invited to show a set of their collections to a wider audience.
Besides the newcomers and up & coming designers, visitors will be offered a spectacular show whereby they can view the A/W 2013 collections by established fashion brands of the Central European region such as Anh Tuan (Hungary) – Artista (Hungary) – Gosia Baczynska (Poland) – Justyna Chrabelska (Poland) – Marcel Holubec W. (Slovakia) – Libor Komosny (Czech Republic) – Dora Konsanszky (Hungary) – Zuzana Kubickova (Czech Republic) – Maria Stranekova (Slovakia) – NUBU (Hungary) – Sisterconspiracy (Czech Republic) – Dori Tomcsanyi (Hungary) – USE Unused (Hungary) – Hana Zarubova (Czech Republic) – and Zien (Poland).
Central European Fashion Days is organized by the Budapest based Design Terminal, a non-profit organization with the ultimate mission to build the strongest creative ecosystem in Central Europe by capitalizing on the region’s tremendous and famous creative power and rich local traditions as well as on the huge interest by consumers and buyers alike. The closing day of the event is planned to foster meetings between brands, buyers and the press in form of showroom visits, conferences and B2B meetings.
That the event ‘Gombold Újra!’ goes international involving regional creators is a logical consequence of its evolution. It is very exciting to see how this and similar initiatives fuel local creative talents and motivate them to go pro. However, the Hungarian market is not big enough to survive for them all, so the challenge will be to succeed internationally, too. And this mid-term goal has to be part of the business plan of each and every newcomer brand when laying down their company foundations in a way that would help the expansion to foreign markets at a later stage.
Giving creatives the chance to higher public visibility and supporting the local creative industry – that already contributes with 6-8% to the Hungarian GDP today – makes us realize how much unexploited potential lies in this area. I think time has come to put Hungary back on the map of the international fashion industry. This goal is more than realistic and the potential becomes even more apparent when reading some of the amazing feedbacks by clients and fashion industry experts from neighboring and far away countries talking about the creations of Hungarian fashion designers.
Below you may enjoy a few images from the fashion shows last year as well as some visual drafts of a couple of newcomers, whose designs made it to the semi-finals. … and save the date: June 7-9, 2013, Budapest!
For more information about the event please visit the Central European Fashion Days website or join one of their Facebook pages: Gombold Újra (in Hungarian) or Central European Fashion Days (in English).
Source of images: courtesy of Central European Fashion Days.
Update [June 7, 2013]: Due to the catastrophic flood situation in Hungary – in particular along the Danube – the CEFD was postponed to June 22, 2013 and will not take place June 8, 2013. Invitations and tickets for June 8, 2013 are automatically valid on June 22. All proceeds from the event will be going to help people affected by the flood. Thank you for your support and understanding.