The Moscow Seven: Meet Russia’s Future Fashion Stars

In times of strife and struggle, Russia has always placed its biggest trust in human resources. “We’re rich in minerals and minds,” goes an old saying. While the population of the world’s largest (by territory) nation has steadily declined since independence in 1991, recent years have marked a potential reversal of fortunes with ‎0.05% growth recorded in 2017. The government aims to prevent the dreaded brain drain, but it’s the creative industries that often are the most flexible to adapt to new challenges.

One of Russia’s leading fashion designers Igor Gulyaev closed MBFW Russia with a blockbuster show inclusive of his Insta-famous cat!Courtesy of MBFW Russia

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia just took place in Moscow in October 13-17. Its Fashion Futurum program is an example of successful strategic support for emergent talent within a specific economic sector. Last year, the organizing committee co-launched FashionNet as part of the National Technology Initiative to boost domestic apparel market coverage up to 70% by 2035. While all eyes were on the fashion capital’s brightest stars Yasya Minochkina, Pirosmani, Artem Shumov, Alena Akhmadullina and Igor Gulyaev, we decided to spend time with the participants of the Fashion Futurum Accelerator, a program that helps promising designers set up a business from scratch. These future stars spend the past couple months in an intense mentorship program in Moscow working alongside established brand managers, buyers, investors and consultants to perfect their vision and set up sustainable production and retail channels. In between the shows, I asked them what participation in the Accelerator meant for them as they prepared to develop and present their full debut collections next season as part of the platform.

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Meet Fashion Designer Şansım Adalı Of Sudi Etuz At Her Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi Debut

Şansım Adalı of Sudi Etuz and models in the collection after her show.Courtesy of Mercdes-Benz.

A big challenge for emerging fashion designers is to show their collection abroad, and the Mercedes-Benz International Design Exchange Program allows for many to do that. Turkish fashion designer Şansım Adalı traveled to Georgia, where she presented her label Sudi Etuz internationally for the first time as part of the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program

(IDEP) during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi. The designer’s Spring/Summer 2019 was a love letter to Istanbul, with references to the city through its geography and opulent buildings. Bulbous sleeves were shaped like Palace doors, while the decolletage of a bandeau top traced the outlines of the famed Bosphorus Strait that links Asia to Europe. Delicate ruffles and swathes of tulle gave the collection and ethereal touch, ideal for that staid woman who lunches, and the fun, young debutante alike. Adalı spoke to a group of reporters after her show, where she discussed her first time traveling abroad, her ode to Istanbul, and the challenges of being an emerging designer.

How did you get the opportunity to present at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi?

Last season I was presented by Mercedes-Benz in my hometown, Istanbul, and they gave me a chance to do an exchange program. There was a list of some cities in which Tbilisi took my attention because the emerging designers are so cool. Fashion week goes really well. I really wanted to be a part of it, and thanks to Mercedes, they just placed me here, and replaced me with a Georgian designer, and the experience improved me a lot because I’m out of my country for the first time, so it was a really great experience to be a part of it, and working with Georgian models and a Georgian team.

Turkey shares a border with Georgia. Is there a strong connection between countries?

Yeah we do. We don’t even need passports to fly. We’re just neighbors. We’re so close.

Were you exposed Georgian culture growing up?

In Istanbul I have some Georgian friends, and my teacher from fashion school was Georgian, so she was telling me stylist friends who are visiting Tbilisi Fashion Week, they are always telling me a lot about it, like how cool the places are, and how the street style so good, and how international press is giving much attention, and the city is inspiring. I didn’t expect this much. They preserved all the buildings, everything really good, and inspired me. Being in the city gave me so much inspiration.

[“source=forbes]