In September 2018, the city of Erbil hosted the first international standard fashion week to take place in Iraq. Kurdistan Fashion Week 2018 kicked off with musical performances by well-known local artists while models glided along the catwalk displaying a range of clothes designed by local talent, from traditional to casual wear. Seventy models took part in the well-attended event – fifty women and twenty men, including Iraqis and internationals who travelled to the Kurdish city from Ukraine, Turkey and Iran.

“Kurdistan Fashion Week is much more than just showing fashion,” writes Darbaz Younis, the founder of the project. “This makes the dream of thousands of people in the field of fashion and design to come true. It will be a platform for the ones who have talent in designing clothes to show their talent, and also it will be a market for selling their work. Besides showing the beauty of Kurdistan, KFW will create a positive effect from a cultural point of view, and from a business point of view this week will be a great step towards making local cloth markets. In the future, our wives, sisters and daughters could wear dresses for parties that have been designed and sewn by a young Kurdish designer instead of wearing Turkish and Chinese brands.”