Should emerging fashion designers consider the new fashion capitals?

Expert Advice

Designers constantly ask us about showing at fashion weeks and which one would be best. For many years the main four of New York, London, Milan and Paris have had all the focus, but times are changing. Now instead of looking forward to fashion week in the big four fashion capitals, lots of designers press and buyers are focused on new fashion locations. We will be posting about a few of these in the few months including Fashion Weeks in Tbilisi, Copenhagen, Australia, Kiev, Mexico. 

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One of the most exciting dates on the international fashion calendar at the moment  is Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. Over the last few seasons there has been a growing following of the world’s top fashion editors, street style photographers, store buyers and fashion industry icons descending on this hilly enclave to discover exciting new talent. 

For those that don’t know, Tbilisi is the capital and largest city in Georgia, known for its distinctive architecture which is an eclectic mix of Medieval, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, Stalinist and Modernist structures. Georgia is a point where Europe meets Asia and Russia. A magical place, Tbilisi has won the hearts of the fashion industry for not just the excellent fashion but also the stunning scenery, cultural clashes, outstanding architecture and amazing wines. 

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MB Fashion Week Tbilisi is the hotbed of amazing design talent that is emerging from this previously unrecognised fashion capital. The stampede of new Georgian talent was led firstly by David Koma and then latterly by Demna Gvasalia who found his place on the world stage with his brand Vetements in 2014. Receiving outstanding reviews for his first few collections, the Georgian-born designer successfully worked with leading boutiques across the globe to stock his brand. His recognisable silhouette of outsize proportions is lauded for bringing a streetwise, decontructivist edge to fashion. After a few seasons, his disruptive and directional aesthetic caught the attention of the luxury conglomerate Kering, who in 2015 chose Gvasalia to act as the artistic director of Balenciaga. 

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So, Georgian fashion is now suddenly center stage and interest in other designers from this country has begun to escalate.  Steering this interest in Georgian Fashion is the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi – a week-long celebration of diverse, established and rising talents presenting their collections in unusual and outstanding, historically significant locations across the city. Leading the Georgian fashion uprising is dynamic industry icon Sofia Tchkonia, the creative director of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. Sofia is singlehandedly raising the profile of her home country designers and introducing them to worldwide opportunities. 

For the AW18 season talent included Situationist, Gola Damian, Mach and Mach, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Alexander Arutyunov, Eloshi, George Keburia, Irma de Flore and Diana Kvariani to name a few and they each bring something new and different to the marketplace.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi will return again in November with the highly anticipated SS19 collections 

Images from Situationist, Mach and Mach, Diana Kvariani