Uzbekistan’s Urban Style company: strategies on exporting luxury
Uzbek businesswoman Kamola Aliyeva saw a gap in her national market and jumped in, manufacturing and selling 100% cotton and silk, high-quality stylish lingerie and home-wear under the brand name “Look At Me”. Now, with ITC’s help, she is turning her sights on the European market.
Aliyeva’s company Urban Style already exports to Russia and Kazakhstan. But her high-quality products gained her a targeted export coaching session through the Export Management Coaching Initiative (EMCI) implemented by ITC as part of its EU-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project.
The EMCI provides on-the-job advisory and capacity building services to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Aliyeva, who describes her clothing line as “Western classics with oriental flavour”, says the knowledge she gained has been critical to improving production and building her export strategy.
“Having studied and reviewed all the recommendations on packaging and labelling, customs clearance, international logistics, and export planning, we intend to apply the tools and knowledge,” said Aliyeva.
Alyona Golovanova – the EMCI coach who was working with “Look At Me” – recommended Aliyeva apply for the OEKO Tex Standart 100 voluntary certification to reach the EU, as well as to the accredited representative office of the Hohenstein textile testing institute in the Uzbek capital of Tashkent, and state certification bodies.
Golovanova also proposed that Aliyeva move to environmentally friendly packaging options, using materials from the company’s core manufacturing.
Aliyeva was also introduced to ITC’s powerful trade intelligence tools for operations and market analyses, such as the ITC Trade Map.