TEX-MED ALLIANCES campaigns for a Mediterranean fashion style during a seminar held in Alexandria, Egypt
The concept of "Mediterranean fashion" was the topic of discussion at the seminar and business meeting held on 1 December in Alexandria.
Organized by the EU-funded project TEX-MED ALLIANCES, the event brought together fashion experts and designers from 7 countries of the Mediterranean basin to answer the question: is it possible to have a Mediterranean fashion style?
To focus the topic, the Technical Assistant Manager of the TEX-MED ALLIANCES project, Mr. Francesco Pellizzari, explained to the audience that, by searching the internet, through different sources, he found very little content related to the Mediterranean fashion concept. "There is a lot of material, books, articles, etc. on the Mediterranean diet; quite a lot on interior design or cosmetics related to the Mediterranean, but practically nothing on fashion". According to Pellizzari, apparently, the concept of Mediterranean fashion is not well developed. It is still dim, undefined, and poorly adopted by the fashion sector.
With this provocative introduction, the expert round table began. Among them was the Jordanian designer Dina Maqtah, who spoke of the great diversity present in the Mediterranean countries and the fact that this geographical area is known above all for its climate and for being a pleasant place to spend holidays. As for fashion, Maqtah stated that "you're always asking people what brander is wearing or what designer you wear. I feel we must focus on what story are you wearing because there's a story behind any collection you want to present everyone".
History and tradition were the key elements of Hani Mourad's speech. This international fashion marketing expert wanted to emphasize that "we are very rich in tradition. In fact, modest fashion is tradition. We have the same climate, a great wealth of diversity, colors, and shapes. Therefore, we can say that the Mediterranean fashion style already exists".
During the debate, the Italian, Roberta Lojacono, fashion designer and art director, introduced a problem to be solved: "we can design fantastic products but we have to sell them". In this sense, Lojacono stated that this apparent handicap can be a great opportunity: "the Mediterranean fashion can be the big player in the fashion system, but we must do things in an international way. The key is to find our special and unique identity brand in each country and compete in the international market".
Another interesting point of view was that of Irene Salguero, Internationalization and fashion consultant from Barcelona. Salguero highlighted that "Mediterranean means in the middle of the lands. We may be different but we share identities, styles, colors, traditions, etc".
Sustainability was also at the center of the attention of the panelists. The new textile business platform and trademark, TheMedNew, an initiative developed by the TEX-MED ALLIANCES project, was an example of sustainability in textile production that was physically present at the event in Alexandria.
The creator of TheMedNew's first collection, the young designer Júlia G.Escribá, explained that currently, "we have to find a middle ground that allows us to end pollution, maintain tradition and find a way for consumers to choose what colors they want to wear". The fashion expert and member of the international team of PANTONE view colors planner, a catalog of trends and new concepts with international repercussions, Gloria Jover, participated in the online debate and emphasized the fact that "to talk about sustainability is to talk about life and the future. We are the generation that must clean up our seas. That is why it is important to reinforce recycling and establish transparency in the entire traceability of the textile production process. We have to transmit the need to live in a simpler way. The style is related to a way of life".
But, what about the clients? Actually, in some experts' point of view, they decide what to buy and they choose fast fashion because of the price. At that point, the fashion expert and university lecturer, Venetia Koutou, affirmed that "we must educate consumers, as we do with the Mediterranean diet or cosmetics". Mr. Francesco Pellizzari disagreed with this statement. According to him, "we have been educating the consumer for 30 years towards low-cost and not towards the local textile tradition. Moreover, we are telling them that they have to pay for quality. What we have to do is not to educate but to offer opportunities to the consumer so that they realize how important it is to wear quality".
After the round tables, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a matchmaking session with textile companies present at the event. In addition, the new brand, promoted by the TEX MED ALLIANCES project, TheMedNew, was presented and the benefits of joining this new textile business platform of the Mediterranean basin were explained.
To end this article, we would like to tell you a little anecdote: the Spanish group of experts and collaborators of the TEX MED ALLIANCES project could not physically attend the event in Alexandria because of the storms in Turkey. This delayed their flight from Barcelona to Istanbul, where they had a stopover to finally fly to Alexandria. However, this did not prevent them from being able to participate in the webinar in an online mode.
Here you have some pictures of the event and the link to the event that was also offered through Youtube.