Fashion as an exchange between nations is one of the ideas behind a multifaceted event taking place this weekend. The third edition of the Athens Exclusive Designers Week opens its doors at the Ethniki Insurance Megaron on Syngrou Avenue tomorrow. Running to April 12, the event comes under the aegis of the Italian and US embassies in Athens. «This time around our aim was to give the event a more festival-like character, by including a series of parallel events,» organizer Tonia Fousseki told Kathimerini English Edition. «We would like this to be a celebration of fashion, in all its different forms.» Besides catwalk shows by local and foreign talent, the upcoming event features a photography exhibition, a live performance by Vakalo School of Art and Design students, a party by Best Radio, a business forum and a closing party featuring live music by local band C-Real combined with a catwalk presentation with a charity angle. Also new to the Athens Exclusive Designers Week is the establishment of an award for young Greek designers. Fousseki pointed out that the organization is increasing its ties to foreign fashion weeks and events. A collaboration has been secured with Chicago Fashion Week, for example, while the Athens Exclusive Designers Week is keen on bringing over fashion designers of the Greek diaspora. On the international front, the event features an array of designers presenting collections for fall/winter 2008-2009: A scion of the Ferragamo family, Vivia Ferragamo is based in London where she designs a ready-to-wear and accessories collection; Thes Tziveli is a Greek-born, Italy-based fur and leather specialist; Nicky Hilton, sibling of Paris, is the designer of a collection for the younger, fun-loving generation; and Penelope Zagoras is a Greek-born designer with a Paris and Middle Eastern following. A regular fixture at the Athens Exclusive Designers Week is Romania’s Catalin Botezatu, while Cypriots Marios Messios, Notis Panagiotou and Marina Zachou will also present their collections. Presenting a catwalk show for the first time in his homeland is Ioannis Guia, a Paris-based Greek designer who enjoys working in a quiet, but steady manner. Also part of the catwalk schedule are local designers Katerina Dapi (with the Angel D collection), hat specialist Katerina Karoussos and Miltos. On the young Greek designers front, the event showcases collections by diaspora Australian-Greek Christiana Livaditis, Ioanna, Elie Papacosta, Vassiliki Assimomiti, Rannia Angelakou and Andreas Georgiou. «I really believe in the international factor; we are working very hard on this,» said Fousseki. «In my view, I think it’s important that this event brings local and foreign designers together and that the latter agree to come to Greece.» Athens Exclusive Designers Week at the Ethniki Insurance Megaron, 103-105 Syngrou, tel 210.909.2988.