Istanbul Shopping Fest
Istanbul Shopping Fest (ISF) is an annual festival that will enable Istanbul to become the shopping, culture and entertainment center of the world, realized under the auspices of Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Governorship of Istanbul, with the support of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM); and coordinated by Council of Shopping Centers (AYD), Trade Council of Shopping Centers & Retailers (AMPD) and United Brands Association (BMD).
If you didn't already consider Istanbul to be a world shopping capital, you soon will... This thriving city, one of the youngest in Europe and brimming with creative talent, is amongst the fastest growing retail destinations globally. In a bid to put the destination well and truly on the map, the first ever Istanbul Shopping Fest is taking place from 18 March to 26 April.
Istanbul certainly has the potential to rival the likes of New York and Paris: Home to the original mall - the 550 year-old Grand Bazaar, Istanbul has for centuries been a draw for artists and merchants from all corners of the globe. The city today boasts over 90 indoor shopping centres, including Kanyon, purveyor of an array of luxury brands including Harvey Nichols, and Cevahir, Europe's largest.
The event, the first of its kind, will see shopping malls and high streets throughout the city open every day until 11pm; up to 30% off new season products from more than 300 local and international brands; tax-free shopping for visitors from overseas; plus a host of giveaways, promotions, shows and concerts adding to the festivities.
Turkish fashion is having a moment with designers du jour including Erdem, Hussein Chalayan and, just launched at Harvey Nics, Hakaan Yildirim - as modelled by Victoria Beckham in Turkish Vogue last summer. Other up-and-coming names to look out for during the Festival include Arzu Kaprol, Bora Aksu and Dilek Hanif, with the high street ably represented by brands such as Mudo and Mavi Jeans.