Political intrigue in Uzbekistan may have removed first lady of glitz Gulnara Karimova from the fashion scene, but an abiding appetite for style in Tashkent is enabling the emergence of bold, young designers.
When she was still at the top of her game in Uzbekistan, Karimova designed and promoted her eponymous Guli luxury brand of fashion accessories, and rubbed shoulders with international celebrities at top catwalk shows. Her status as the president’s eldest daughter, however, could not prevent her downfall last February, when she was placed under house arrest on suspicion of corruption amid rumors of jostling for influence and family feuds.
With Guli gone, Uzbekistan’s fashion industry is now showing it is far more than just Karimova.
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Joanna Lillis is a freelance writer who specializes in Central Asia.