The Kârvân Journey at Milan Design Week

Central Asian heritage was alive last week at Alcova during Milan Design Week. In the dark attic of an old military hospital, 5 designers from the region presented their unique collections to the public for the first time. Each showcased a contemporary interpretation of the culture and artisanal skills of their country.

The Designers

TIGRAN ERDMAN (Uzbekistan)

UYA NOMAD (Kyrgyzstan)

AIKEN (Kazakhstan)

CAMEL WOOL (Turkmenistan)

ORO (Tajikistan)

This delicate tapestry was the result of the collaboration between designer Sam Baron and Tajiki social enterprise Ozara. Photographed by Andrea Santese.
Uzbek homeware label 7even Planets showcased their debut collection. Photographed by Andrea Santese.

Stories of Nomadic culture, The Silk Road, and Central Asian hospitality flowed throughout the room, which was draped in handwoven textiles from skilled artisans in EFI’s international network.

Alongside these new labels, two established designers Sam Baron (France) and Cheick Diallo (Mali) joined the collective. Baron showcased a cross continental co-creation with several Central Asian artisans, the result of several months of work, while Diallo exhibited 2 chairs made from upcycled materials at his Bamako workshop.


A majestic creation by world-known designer Sam Baron. Photographed by Andrea Santese.
Aiken's dining collection was inspired by Kazakhstan’s culture of hospitality. Photographed by Andrea Santese.

This week-long exhibit is a project by the Ethical Fashion Initiative, who accelerate brands and artisans to the international market to achieve social impact. The EFI is a programme of the UN’s International Trade Centre, and this exhibition was supported by UNESCO and the EU.

Camel Wool introduced their premium wool homeware items during The Kârvân Journey. Photographed by Andrea Santese.

Creative direction: Cristiano Seganfreddo

Production: NM3

Venue: Alcova Milano

Event images: Andrea Santese