Design Center for textile and fashion designers in Cambodia
Although textiles from Cambodia look back on a long tradition and the apparel industry today provides an increasing contribution to the economy of the country, hardly any high-quality and aesthetically independent textile products find their way into international markets. Mostly designs are defined by western brands or existing design patterns are copied. The few fashion designers, who earned a local reputation in recent years, have hardly any chance to prevail with their own designs, as they often lack necessary knowledge about the target markets. On the one hand there is need and desire to understand the design and quality standards of e.g. the German fashion and design consumer market, on the other hand to be advised on business issues and in particular to gain access to marketing and sales networks.
Together with a German trade fair for artisan products from all around the world, we established the Modern Ethnic Design Centre, also called MEDC in Phnom Penh.
Key project partners are the two education partners from Berlin and Phnom Penh.
In the MEDC, each year about 20 students or independent designers from Cambodia will be taught to develop traditional Cambodian designs that are suitable for the European market. A graduate of the German education partner will teach the students and guide the collection development process. Through this close assistance, Cambodian students will practically learn to adjust traditional Cambodian design, pattern and fitting and make their garments and accessories suitable for European customers. Focus of the project is also the topic of sustainability in terms of design, raw material sourcing and manufacturing.
A selected number of local designers will be tranined by the graduate of the German education partner and given the necessary skills to take over the teaching and management of the MEDC, and to pass on their newly acquired knowledge to future designer at the MEDC.
The designers also have the opportunity to present their collections at the German trade fair and thus gain market access to an international distribution network. Therefore, the German trade fair offers a free booth to 5 designers each year and organises B2B meetings as well as fashion shows to successfully market their products.