After the city held its successful first Istanbul Fashion Days in August and declared its ambitious goal to belong to the five leading fashion capitals in the world by 2023, leading international designers are coming together for the Fashionable Istanbul weekend.

Hosted by Israeli top model Bar Refaeli, the first event of its kind will open on October 23 with a gala showcasing creations by the Italian designer Roberto Cavalli, the event's guest of honor.

Cavalli, who opened his stand-alone boutique in Istanbul back in 2003, said he was delighted to be part of the event because "Istanbul is a seductive and mysterious city, a geographical bridge between my culture and the East."

Over the course of the weekend, upcoming Turkish designers will be joined by other international brands such as Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Gianfranco Ferré and Vivienne Westwood in showing their collections at Istanbul's historic Dolmabahçe Palace..

Family-run luxe label Missoni will close the three-day fashion extravaganza on October 25, with both CEO Angela and brand ambassadress Margherita attending the fashion show, a re-run of Missoni's spring/summer collection which premiered in Milan.

"Our approach is to get big brands to bring their fashion show here, and to give it another platform. For these brands it's not enough to only to have an important shop in Turkey," said Hakan Baykam of Baykam & RBM, the production company that organizes the event.

It remains to be seen whether Istanbul will really compare to the world's leading fashion capitals come the 2020s, but with a line-up like this and IMG as partners (who are also in charge of the fashion weeks in New York and Berlin), the city has taken the first step to placing itself on the fashion map.