An extraordinary event within the scope of the MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK in Berlin took place on Wednesday, January 18th 2017 under the patronage and with the support of The European Azerbaijan Society Germany (TEAS).
The Berlin based young and fresh designer Leonie Mergen presented her new outstanding "Karabakh Collection" on the runway, which features the theme and the culture of Karabakh, an Azerbaijani region in the center of the South-Caucasus, TEAS told APA.
With the rich cultural heritage of Azerbaijan as her inspiration, Leonie released her current collection, a series of pieces inspired by the traditional attire of Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region. The ensembles feature patterns reminiscent of the country’s famous tapestries, with signature necklines and sleeved capes making an appearance in both menswear and womenswear clothing. Azerbaijan’s legacy as a hub on the historical Silk Road and as a leader in horse breeding can be seen in Leonie’s designs, with equestrian-influenced leather accessories and sophisticated silk elements playing an essential role in her collection.
In the presence of over 500 fashion industry professionals, fashion reporters and international guests the highly atmospheric show took place in historic Kaufhaus Jandorf in Berlin Mitte. The show started at 12.00 pm and lasted half an hour. The collection was presented on the catwalk in 26 distinct looks while traditional Azerbaijani Mugam and instrumental music was playing in the background. Leonie Mergen’s unusual and intercultural as well as technically skilled approach was highly appreciated by the attendees. The audience was enthusiastic and celebrated the Karabakh Collection which represents a further milestone in the The European Azerbaijan Society’s continuous efforts to raise awareness about the ongoing occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenian forces.
The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was fought from 1988–94, between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Azerbaijani territory in the west of the country populated by both Azerbaijanis and ethnic Armenians.
However, the history of this dispute stretches back for centuries. As a result of this one-sided illegal invasion, Armenia still occupies Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding provinces, altogether about 20% of Azerbaijan’s territory, and nearly one million Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP’s) have been forced out of their homes. Nagorno-Karabakh is universally recognised by the international community as being part of the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan. The United Nations Security Council condemned the ongoing occupation in four resolutions and called for the immediate withdrawal of the Armenian forces.
Tale Heydarov, Chairman and Founder of TEAS stated: "The Karabakh Collection is a very interesting project for TEAS, and we were happy to give Leonie Mergen, a young Berlin designer, the chance to present Azerbaijan inspired fashion to a worldwide audience and to support her during her inspirational journey through our country." Concerning Nagorno-Karabakh he continued: "A fashion collection with this degree of international coverage and attention helps a great deal to show to a wider public, that there is an occupied Azerbaijani region called Nagorno-Karabakh and that steps have to be undertaken to protect our national heritage in all areas of culture and civil society."
The fashion show was followed by a press get-together and resee where further details of the collection of Leonie Mergen were revealed.