Georgian Designers Make a Splash in Paris Showrooms

At Paris Fashion Week, twice a year, top international designers present spring/summer and autumn/winter women’s ready-to-wear collections in a series of fashion shows, with smaller Fashion Weeks for men's and haute couture collections in between. A Fashion Week presents approximately 100 brands to hundreds of buyers and media representatives from around the world. In the buzz and excitement surrounding Fashion Weeks, in one of fashion’s most important cities, many showrooms pop up independently to exhibit the work of emerging designers.

Products from seven Georgian designers were exhibited at the Paris showrooms of More Dash, Maison Pyramide, and Paper Mache Tiger Paris from June 19 to June 26 as part of the Men’s Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2019. The collections were supported by Enterprise Georgia, an agency of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, which is responsible for business support, export promotion and investment in various sectors of the Georgian economy. The showrooms displayed the brands N-Duo, Dalood, ANOUKI, Tamuna Ingorokva, Lako Bukia, Materiel Tbilisi, and LIYA. More than 22,000 Euros worth of merchandise by Georgian designers were sold across the three showrooms this June.

Ukrainian promotion and sales agency More Dash represents Ukrainian and Georgian designers. Their website explains that, “From year to year we to promote a new generation of Eastern European designers to international buyers and press.” More Dash will open its next showroom, coinciding with Women’s Fashion Week, on September 27, running through October 2, 2018, which will exhibit Georgian brands ANOUKI, Dalood, LIYA, and Materiel.

Cairo-based Maison Pyramide opened The Showroom in March 2017, a platform that “gained immediate recognition for bringing together a heavy roster of award winning and emerging talents presenting a fresh approach to contemporary and advanced contemporary womenswear and accessories,” according to their website. 

Paper Mache Tiger is a fashion sales and communications agency specializing in integrated solutions for quality brands, based in London and New York with a year-round showroom in Paris. “From emerging talent to established international brands, Paper Mache Tiger provides brand partners with tailored, communicative and strategic representation and consultation,” their website reads.

In Georgia, fashion is becoming more than an entertainment industry, now playing a significant role in the growth of the economy. The fashion industry has drawn attention to the country, particularly on the part of superstar designers such as Demna Gvasalia, the creative director of Balenciaga and head designer for Vetements. Gvasalia brought the post-Soviet aesthetic to the world stage and turned heads with his Georgian 90s-inspired collections. Even after proclaiming, in 2017, that “Eastern Europe is over,” young Georgians still flock to the bazaars to buy knock-offs of his designs – and the occasional authentic piece. In May, GQ wrote about the future of fashion and Georgia’s role in it in an article on their website, calling Georgia “the wildest country in fashion.” Georgia was this year’s guest nation at Pitti Uomo, one of the world’s most important platforms for men’s clothing and accessory collections and for launching new projects in men’s fashion, described by GQ as “typically known for generating insane, eyeball-twitching street style.”

Many Georgian brands have received international success, such as Avtandil, worn by Lady Gaga and Mary J. Blige, Situationist, worn by Bella Hadid, and George Keburia, worn by Rihanna and Kortney Kardashian. In July, Materiel announced that it was anticipating orders from 30 retail stores globally, including Italy, France, the UK, the USA, China, Japan and the UAE. While the big brands are beyond the reach of most average Georgians, high-end fashion from local designers inspires street wear lookalikes and draws culturally curious fashionistas to the boutiques and workrooms of Georgia’s top fashion houses. In June of this year, Tea Agladze, Editor-in-Chief of fashion and lifestyle magazine Bomondi, predicted that fashion tours of Georgia would be the next big trend in the tourism industry – so far, interest in Georgian designers continues to grow, but mainly in exported collections rather than domestic visitors.

The 2019 Spring/Summer Tbilisi Fashion Week will be held October 19-21.

By Samantha Guthrie

Photo: More Dash

11 September 2018 09:40