BANGKOK, Aug 18, 2009 / — With the ASEAN member countries joining forces to show their combined strength in the fashion industry at BIFF & BIL 2009 and ASEAN Fashion Plus, “The Great of ASEAN” came into fruition from Aug 13 -16, 2009 at the Impact, Muang Thong Thani.
The 2009 Bangkok International Fashion Fair & Bangkok International Leather Fair (BIFF & BIL 2009) was organized by the Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce, with “ASEAN Fashion Plus” as its highlight under the “Fashion Full Stop” theme with an aim to showcase Thai and ASEAN fashion industry and to promote Thailand and ASEAN as the fashion hub in this part of the world.
Despite the global economic slowdown, Thailand’s fashion and leather industry has remained strong and steadily growing. It is expected that the export income from the textile industry will reach 257,988 million baht (US $ 7,559 million) this year, which is higher than last year.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s export income from the leather industry is expected to reach 63,487 million baht (US $1,860 million).
Other countries in ASEAN are also strong in their export economies. Together, their combined export income amounts to US $ 850,000 million.
BIFF & BIL 2009 and ASEAN Fashion Plus has become one of the most important trade fairs in this region. Its opening ceremony on Aug 13 was presided by Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai. His Excellency Dr Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary-General, and other ASEAN economic ministers who are in Thailand for the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting also participated in the opening ceremony to show ASEAN force and unity.
“This year’s BIFF & BIL marks the first time ever that our ASEAN countries have joined forces to become one in order to strengthen our economic position as a group.” said Commerce Minister Porntiva Nakasai at the opening ceremony.
“Our common goal is to build ASEAN as the center of the fashion and leather industry since we have a very strong and comprehensive industry from downstream to upstream sectors. Working together as one will make ASEAN fashion and leather industry grow even stronger in the global market.” she added.
The ASEAN fashion unity was highlighted by a fashion show extravaganza “The Great of ASEAN” featuring distinctive designs from its ten member countries.
From Brunei is a collection of modernized traditional dresses with intricate embroidery while its colour theme is inspired by tropical forests.
From Cambodia is a set of evening gowns inspired by the famous Apsra deities from Angkor, using Cambodian silk with hand-made decorations to reflect Cambodian identity.
The Indonesian designers, meanwhile, use the famous Indonesian Batik to create modern designs while their peers from Laos mainly use silk with golden and silver embroidery to accentuate Laotian textile identity.
Malaysia focuses on femininity through colorful flower motifs and flowing chiffon. Red is also used to convey feminine confidence.
The Philippines, meanwhile, capitalizes on its famous and elegant pina fabric for its haute couture collection with white as the theme color. Black, however, is the theme color from Singapore with the designers’ interesting play of black’s different shades and shadows to convey modern women’s strength and iron confidence.
Thailand has chosen famous designer Somchai Kaewthong from “Kai” to represent the host country on the catwalk. True to form, “Kai” conveys femininity with a sense of luxurious elegance thru his deft use of silk organza and intricate sequin embroidery.
From Vietnam is a collection of black and white in cotton, silk and linen for modern wear with a traditional touch while from Burma is a stunning collection of traditional dresses in silk and chiffon.
Apart from showing ASEAN’s fashion strength, the “Great of ASEAN” fashion spectacular also reflects the region’s richness in cultural diversity and distinct identities – the source of creativity which will enable ASEAN to grow and remain distinctive in the global market.
BIFF & BIL 2009 and ASEAN Fashion Plus features a wide variety of products and services from the fashion and leather industry in the 40,000-square meters exhibition areas. It is a must event for manufacturers, business operators, designers and people in related fields from around the globe to showcase their products, meet, network, update on the latest advancements in the industry, and to conduct business.