Baku—if it’s a name you aren’t familiar with just yet, it’s time to get acquainted. The capital city of Azerbaijan, Baku was not even on fashion’s map until recently. Last month, Tom Ford opened his menswear shop in the Unesco World Heritage Site (with a women’s store in the works), and just prior to that, The Emporium opened its doors in the ancient city, with an impressive list of brands rushing in, Givenchy, Chloé, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, and Acne among them. Add to the list of credits the Condé Nast title Baku magazine, read by legions of chic Azerbaijans. Tuesday night, Baku editor Leyla Aliyeva and Simon de Pury played host to a fashionable set of guests in celebrating de Pury’s Fly to Baku exhibition in London.
“Baku is in a constant state of construction; it changes everyday,” said Aliyeva, who is the daughter of Azerbaijan’s president. “Art, fashion, and architecture are just exploding—even Tom Ford chose Baku as one of the first cities to open up in amongst the post-Soviet countries.”
At the exhibition, guests including Marios Schwab, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Tallulah Harlech got a firsthand look at the city’s art talents as they examined the contemporary Baku art (featuring work by 22 different artists) on display. “Baku was a wonderful, accidental discovery—an exciting new dimension for the arts world,” de Pury told Style.com.