What It's Like At Fashion Week in Kazakhstan

Ryan Koopmans is one of our most trusted sidekicks photographers during NYFW. So, recently, when he had the opportunity to train his lens on Kazakhstan — during the Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Almaty Fashion Week — we jumped at the chance to see the Central Asian style scene through his eyes.
We were particularly interested since Kazkhstan has recently undergone an economic boom, and the designer-goods market that's sprung up as a result has fueled an emerging creative class, including a new set of very young designers.
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Ahead, Koopmans' dispatch of his week spent in Almaty, which reveals a beautiful combination of old and new, familiar and foreign, and local and global flavors. You might not catch any glimpses of Wintour or Kloss here, but the alternative is just as stunning.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
A view of the city of Almaty and its surrounding snowcapped mountain range.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Artificial snow falls during the show of Kazakh designer Leonid Zherebtsov.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Models Aigerim Uzembayeva and Zhamilya K backstage in costumes before the opening ceremonies of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Almaty. Uzembayeva mentions that her dream is to work a campaign for an Italian designer.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Kazakh fashion-show attendee Manshuk Kuanysheva with bejeweled accessories outside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Almaty.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Parisian street-style photographer Nabile Quenum rides a horse during a tour of the Medeu district in the mountains of Almaty. Medeu is home to the world's highest Olympic-sized ice-skating rink.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Model Katrin backstage at the show of Kazakh designer Alima.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Models walk during the Lanthane57 show of Kazakh designer, event organizer, and professional photographer Yan Ray.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
A woman stands in front of photographs in a lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Almaty.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
A furry, blue overcoat is the first look for 18-year-old Ukrainian designer Anna K.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Models pose in first looks for Kazakh designer Mikhail Kravets.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Model Ardak backstage at a Giles show. Makeup inspiration from Giles' London show hangs in the foreground.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
A woman waits outside of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Almaty between shows on an overcast Sunday afternoon.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Models Madina Serikbaeva and Symbat Alibek pose backstage in first looks for Anna K.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Model Aimira Kerimova backstage.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Ayman Alzakova decked out in Moschino.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Mikhail Kravets with his models (including one in the finale bridal gown).
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
A model for Kazakh designer Pentatonica waits backstage before walking on the last day of the shows.
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Kazakh model Baha Abdrakhmanov poses backstage wearing glasses by Aizat Sarsembayev at Khan Kuchum, the clothing brand of 17-year-old designer Danilo Okai. Okai mentions that Kazakh buyers want their pieces to reflect the price of their purchases. As he puts it, “There is lots of free space in the industry…if you do something good or make something interesting, people will notice it."
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Model Valentina dresses backstage at Kazakh designer Mikhail Kravets. Her tattoo reads, "The path will be overcome by the person walking it.”
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Photographed by Ryan Koopmans.
Models for Kazakh designer Aigul Kasymova do a final walk.
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