BGCC & Co.Mode: Georgian Fashion Designers on Display in London

With the #UKGeorgia Season 2019, the Georgians have been further introduced to the Great British culture and the common ties it has with the Georgian. Georgian-British relations are a two-way street and while it was noted that the UK will host the Georgian season in 2020, important Georgian events are taking place in Britain here and now. The British Georgian Chamber of Commerce (BGCC) is one of the great contributors to developing business relations between the two countries. On November 5 and 6, London celebrated Georgian fashion when a Georgian concept store’s fashion designers showed off their works in the British capital.

Nino Ugrekhelidze, Founder and Creative Director of Co.Mode, told GEORGIA TODAY about her concept store, how it works and what success it has had so far, while also giving context to their collaboration with the BGCC.

“While Co.Mode is a company that unites up to 40 Georgian designers who create clothes, shoes, bags, and accessories of various styles, it is also its own brand. The Co.Mode brand produces clothing and accessories and we currently employ 15 people,” she told us.

She went on to discuss her mission and goals: “My main goal as the founder of the company is to increase sales of Georgian designers, as well as the number of our employees.

“My mission is to build a big company with friendly staff and creative designers making amazing products and selling them around the world”.

She is ready for the dedication the plan is going to take: “I understand well that accomplishing this requires a lot of effort and hard work. But I’m ready!”

The motivated founder of the concept store describes her collaboration with the BGCC as one of those challenges that lead to success. “Mako Abashidze, the founder of the BGCC, suggested we bring our products to the London market with her assistance. Mako herself was our biggest fan and client. When wearing our clothes in London, she was often asked what brand it was and that's where the idea came from to hold this event. We have already traveled to shows, presentations and exhibition halls in Almaty, Baku, New York, and Paris. But London and the British market are a completely new stage for us. During the three-day pop-up event, held between me and Mako, we realized that the British capital is also greatly interested in Georgian designers. Therefore, I think that this will be only the beginning of a series of visits to London.”

Mako Abashidze, Founder of BGCC, also shared some of her ideas on the new collaboration with GEORGIA TODAY.

“We have been working on this project since last summer,” she said. “It all started on seeing the high interest from journalists in the activities of the British Georgian Chamber of Commerce, as we regularly invite UK press representatives and journalists on media trips to Georgia.”

Journalists from the Tatler, Decanter, Guardian and The Times wrote amazing pieces about Georgia, she tells us. “Our last project was in partnership with Monocle magazine - Adam Sutton Film and Katrine Levin Gallery - covered a big piece on Georgian fashion.”

She told us that whenever she wears a piece by a Georgian designer, she feels that her look is unique even in stylish London, “wearing Georgian means in a way promoting the country, increasing recognition,” she added.

The BGCC founder also told us the sustainable reasoning behind supporting Georgian brands like Co.mode: “In an era of a dangerous climate change and environmental problems, the consumer market is becoming more conscious about shopping,” she said. “The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries, so buying from small artisan designers, mostly handmade craftwork, is a perfect way of guilt free environment-friendly shopping!”

The Georgian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Tamar Beruchashvili talked to GEORGIA TODAY about the diplomacies of the fashion industry and congratulated the organizers: “In recent years, the Embassy of Georgia in London has been actively engaged in the promotion of the innovative cultural sector of Georgia. Especially attractive and popular is the fashion industry, as a very effective tool of public diplomacy,” stated the Ambassador. “In this regard, this three-day pop-up show of Georgian company Co.Mode, organized jointly with the BGCC, presented to the wider audience garments and accessories of various talented Georgian fashion and clothes designers. I want to congratulate the organizers and hope to continue active collaboration to facilitate more events of this type to further strengthen trade and cultural ties between Georgia and the UK.”

The British Georgian Chamber of Commerce (BGCC) is a leading business organization, which was founded by Lord Godfrey Cromwell and Ms. Mako Abashidze in March 2007. It is a non-political trade body to facilitate business growth and contacts at all levels between the UK and Georgia.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

Image source: BGCC

11 November 2019 19:44