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.
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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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."