Leaders of the fashion industry have flocked to the Russian capital this week, with over 70 designers from Russia, Britain, Japan and many other countries showcasing their 2014 spring-summer collections at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. And for the first time, fashionistas worldwide have a unique chance to snap up the outfits online, hot off the catwalk. VoR's Daria Chernyshova reports from the scene.
The most significant event in the Russian fashion industry – the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Moscow - has kicked off with over 70 designers from all over the world presenting their 2014 spring-summer collections on the catwalks at Moscow’s Manezh Exhibition Hall.
And even though Russian Fashion Week still sounds like an oxymoron to many, it is in fact a well-established event that's been held in Moscow since 2001.
Fashion Week gives western designers a chance to break into the Russian fashion market.
It also provides an opportunity for Russian designers to gain more recognition abroad as buyers and fashion gurus come here to see the crème of the Russian fashion market.
And this season consumers have a unique chance to snap up Russian designer outfits online, as they move straight from the catwalk onto eBay.
Fashionistas all around the world can watch fashion shows online and order the models on eBay – an opportunity that’s never been provided by Milan, Paris or any other fashion capital of the world.
This retail project not only provides easy access to Russian designers, but also the chance to get the edge with clothing that will only appear in stores next in spring - and at very affordable prices.
Alexander Shumsky, the president of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, tells us about the new scheme.
SB SHUMSKY in Russian
Participants of the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia are going on eBay. This is a big event as internet retail is our future, we all understand that. This is a unique option which has never been explored by anyone. We are the first. I’m glad that Russian designers open new opportunities, and I’m sure this new project will translate into a big story.
Fashion Week started with the Day of Industrial Collections, demonstrating co-operation between well-known designers and major industrial companies within the concept 'Made in Russia.'
And over the week, every day offers a wide assortment of fashion shows and designers.
But Moscow is a place of exploring opportunities and has already made this fashion week the show.
Tony Ward has been on the Russian Fashion circuit for 8 years already and says the market is flourishing.
"I’ve been in the Russian Fashion market for eight years now, I work with the Russian clients – bridal and couture.. It’s an amazing market, very exciting, huge one, and runs from Russia to Azerbaijan, to Turkmenistan. We can have a wider exposure. Britain is different. When you sell in Russia, you sell to a Russian client, when you sell in Great Britain, of a hundred per cent, 70 to 80 will be to Arabs and Americans. Here you are dealing with the real people of the country."
And Russians do like fashion.
It is probably in their DNA, as many designers, models and fashion industry connoisseurs notice Russian women are not only beautiful, but also have a profound sense of style.
Olivia Culpo, Miss Universe, is in the Russian capital for the fourth time.
"One of the things that I noticed is that women are beautiful," she says. "I think that European women have a different classic style that’s been around for years, that people in America don’t have. I think it’s more sophisticated here. I think we need to take a little bit of Russian fashion over to the US."
As a part of European fashion traditions, Russia has its unique style that’s been inspiring the artists and designers for years and as Russian fashion is on the rise, the notion of Russian style is now not only about fur, winter coats, and bulky hats, but a mixture of traditional western fashion with Russian zest.