Interview with Aidar Khan about his initiatives to improve the fashion industry in Kazakhstan through Aspara Fashion Week

TPM: How Aspara Fashion Week project was born and what is the mission of this project? 

Aidar Khan: In a period of globalization, competing and cultural communication it’s very important to held events on international level. I realized it when I was participating in European and major Asian fashion weeks . Only projects such as Aspara Fashion Week can take a role of becoming conductor of cultural communication , show the world the openness of Kazakh’s mindset and adopt the best and progressive moves including fashion industry.

TPM: How many international designers from Kazakhstan participated in the first edition? 

 Aidar Khan: 22 designers took part In the first edition of Aspara Fashion week , and among them 4 designers were from Kazakhstan.

TPM: What can be done for the young designer of Kazakhstan?

Aidar Khan: I think that competitiveness , although we have a lot of problems in Kazakhstan fashion industry. One of the main issues is that no raw , no fabrics or fitting are produced in Kazakhstan. Even if sheep breeding, production of wool and leather, and in the  south of Kazakhstan the production of raw cotton are very developed. I still believe that we need to improve the production of raw materials for the garment industry.

TPM: For how many years are you a designer in fashion industry and when did you start?

Aidar Khan: As my profession ,  I’m an expert in the field of system for designing clothes and for a long time I was teaching at university in  the department of “design and sewing technology “ . In the year of 1993 I defended my Candidate’s Thesis and opened “Asyl- Design “ company. Twenty-five years have passed since then and I’ve achieved a lot in the domain of Fashion industry. You can see the result yourself – International recognition, own brand , partnership with foreign companies and etc.

TPM: Tell us the markets where do you sell more. 

Aidar Khan: Collections from brand Aspara sell via social media , more than 10 boutiques are placed in Kazakhstan and franchise with partners from China. 

TPM: What can we expect from Aspara Fashion Week next edition?

Aidar Khan: My direction as an initiator and constitutor of AFW – Neo-folklore – national clothes, endowed with the spirit of modernity. Therefore in the next season , we will try to form a team of designers who work with style of “Neo-Folklore” or modern ethics.  Special attention will be drawn to the designers competition and to the exhibition of fashion, where any willing designer can participate. 

TPM: How other countries around Kazakhstan like Russia and China help the fashion industry here? 

Aidar Khan: From the perspective of South Kazakhstan, Russia geographically located further than China. That’s why we are well connected with China. I, myself a member of Association of clothing manufacturers of China . We sold the the franchise for production and realization of our collections in China. In the southern markets of China we purchase raw materials for ourselves. That’s why we have good mutually beneficial cooperation with China. 

TPM: How the schools can help more the young designers from Kazakhstan and if there is any possibility to have them involved in Aspara Fashion Week? 

Aidar Khan: In 1999 , based on my company “Asyl -design” I’ve opened college “ASPARA” , which specializes in training of the fashion industry. As a designer with pedagogical experiences, I know that for young designers it is necessary to create conditions for competitive growth. Therefore within the next AFW we will pass international designers competition in an expanded format. The most promising talents will be assisted in further advancement.