Social commerce gives Turkmenistan’s national costume wider audience
Combining modern and ancient traditions, ITC’s Ready4Trade project promotes young Turkmen designer who makes modern clothing with centuries-old techniques.
As a designer, Jennet Agayeva sees it her mission to revive ancient Turkmen patterns, which she recreates in her works. To that end, she’s continuously studying traditional Turkmen women’s costumes, dresses, and headdresses.
“I study the history of costume and ornaments, existing nowadays, and those that have been lost and then rediscovered by scientists,” she said. “I also visit the historical sites of Turkmenistan, excavations, meet and talk with archaeologists and art historians.”
The Turkmen national costume is a unique expression of the material and spiritual culture of the people. For thousands of years, this clothing has been preserved, representing the brightest features of the original culture and its peoples. The designs and patterns reveal which region the artisans come from.
Turkmen-style needlework, sewing, and embroidery have traditionally been the realm of local women. From a young age, girls learn the delicate art of embroidery and sewing skills. Women’s clothing in Turkmenistan has retained a distinctive style through the centuries.
Today the Turkmenistan national costume has once again become fashionable, and the most women in the country wear the bright and colourful traditional clothing.
“In my collections, through the design of the dress, its lines, the texture of the fabric, and handmade embroidery, I try to convey the spirit of my people — workers and warriors,” Jennet said. “When creating ornaments for my models, I draw on the knowledge gained and, along with embroidery patterns widely used today, weave historical elements to restore the connection of millennia.”
Jennet creates collections that satisfy the most demanding client. All the items are handcrafted by Turkman artisans. One dress takes around a week to complete, with up to 12 artisans involved in its creation.
Participation in ITC’s EU-funded Ready4Trade project helped Jennet to strengthen her brand and define the direction for future work. She realized the importance of e-commerce and digital marketing and started actively promoting her brand online.
With the project’s support, Jennet created digital content and her Instagram account to promote her company and start selling online.
“Thanks to the Ready4Trade project, we created an Instagram page and started posting new collections and news. Like any creative person, I work for society and share my vision, so it is very important for me to receive feedback from my audience and engage with my customers,” said Jennet.
About the project
The Ready4Trade Central Asia project is a joint initiative of the European Union and the International Trade Centre. It aims to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region. Beneficiaries of the Ready4Trade Central Asia project include governments, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular women-led enterprises, and business support organizations.