Economy & Policy

Hungary can become a major player in the region’s fashion industry

The Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency (HFDA) held the Budapest Central European Fashion Week (BCEFW) online.

Zsófia Bata-Jakab, CEO of HFDA, reported to a local newspaper that the biggest challenge was determining the nature of the event, as they had hoped to have an in-person event until the last minute. The online show featured pre-recorded runway videos showcasing designers’ latest creations. The videos were streamed on the event’s Facebook page March 25–28 and can be seen on BCEFW’s Youtube channel.

In addition to the 26 Hungarian brands, several other designers from the Central European region also presented their latest collections. Hungary has become one step closer to having a dominant role in the region’s fashion industry, and Hungarian fashion brands can gain sales opportunities, which is especially important for them in this challenging period, the CEO said. 

Regarding the tender that has been launched with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Bata-Jakab said that the creative industry was declared a priority sector last year, and the aim of the call was to enable small and medium-sized enterprises in the Hungarian fashion and design industry to make investments that will help strengthen the sector in the long term, maintain jobs and create income potential.

Within the framework of the tender, those interested can apply for a total of HUF 12 billion, while a total of HUF 3 billion is available to companies operating in the central Hungarian region, she noted. The industry enthusiastically welcomed the tender, which is seen as a decade-long milestone. At present, applications are being submitted in central Hungary, while applications are already being evaluated in other regions, she said. 

Regarding the store closures of the larger clothing retail chains in Hungary, the director said that this phenomenon is unfortunate, but it does not only apply to Hungary; it can be observed worldwide. Over the past year, a number of brands have turned to online sales, she said.

In response to the growing prevalence of e-commerce, HFDA created the Budapest Select Concept Store webshop, which provides a platform for domestic brands to sell their products online. The range of brands on the website is constantly expanding, with new collections available every season. Some of the items presented by Hungarian brands at Hungarian Fashion Week and Budapest Central European Fashion Week have also been added to the webshop, Bata-Jakab pointed out.

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