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ITALIAN, GERMAN, JAPANESE AND RUSSIAN BUYERS “ATTENDED” THE FIRST DIGITAL SHOWROOM OF RUSSIAN DESIGNERS

Together with the Russian Buyers Union, Russian Fashion Council has started a new online project, aimed to support Russian brands and shops. This week, the first digital showroom of Russian designers, Pop-Up Zoom, set to work, featuring one-hour-long meetings at Zoom, the video conferencing online platform, five designers presenting their collections to ten buyers. At the first meeting, designer Ksenia Seraya joined brands SEMILETOVA, Valeria SAAD, ASOMATAV, and Angela Le Bourgeois, whereas ten buyers were from Krasnodar, Magnitogorsk, Kazan, Volgograd, Vologda, Surgut, and Krasnoyarsk boutiques. In total, Zoom-based online meetings for designers and buyers have already been attended by 30 people, including buyers for Italian, Japanese, and German stores. The virtual showroom Pop-Up Zoom is open for all the Russian designers ready to work with sales outlets in the future. Virtual buyers’ sessions will take place on the weekly basis – this way, the organizers intend to connect hundreds of Russian buyers and retailers going through difficult times now.

“Our online Pop-Up Zoom initiative is not only designed to support the talents eager to work in a consistent manner, but also the stores that due to the pandemic have issues with sales today and with procurement in the longer term. At the same time, premium segment retailers believe that things will come back to normal and their loyal customers will be back. The virtual meetings’ format appeared to be good both for designers and buyers. It is not just a working session to discuss fabrics and prices: participants can ask their questions and share opinions, too. Of course, this project can’t match in scale everything else that Russian Fashion Council does, but it is the intimacy that guarantees direct contacts here. In my opinion, 15 people meeting online is an optimal number, it makes a small event, which anyway requires preparation on the part of the brands. Early in April, we’ve arranged the totally digital Fashion Week, and the international interest in it (the event was covered in 2,000 publications, quarter of this amount issued abroad) once again proved the potential of Russian fashion. It is this potential that we are currently developing in our Pop-Up Zoom project. We use today’s isolation as a chance to arrange business meetings that in any other situation would hardly be interesting to either of the parties,” said Alexander Shumsky, President of Russian Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.

“We’ve started Pop-Up Zoom for boutiques and designers to keep the ball rolling under the new market conditions. For members of the Russian Buyers Union, this is an absolutely new experience and working format. At first, many were skeptical, but after the very first session everyone realized it was our reality – and our future. The market has changed, and so have communication methods. Today, we have to do whatever we can to help Russian fashion survive and advance,” Elena Bugranova, President of the Russian Buyers Union.

RED SEPTEMBER, FAKOSHIMA, SEMILETOVA, Valeria SAAD, Angela Le Bourgeois, SERAYA, LES’, NASTYA NEKRASOVA, ASOMATAV, MAD DAISY, Be.Li.Ve., and Yana Besfamilnaya have already presented their collections at Pop-Up Zoom.

Let us remind you that on April 4 to 6, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia for the first time ever was held totally online. The event was broadcasted by 103 Russian and international websites, including Vogue.ru, Bazaar.ru, Kommersant.ru, Iz.ru, Vogue.it, and Elle.in, as well as covered by hundreds of Russian and foreign media: news about the digital MBFW Russia and collections of the participating designers appeared in Financial Times, The Guardian, Vogue Czechoslovakia, Vogue Italia, and many more. During the virtual Fashion Week, designers and stylists delivered their workshops at TikTok. In total, #MBFWRussia online was viewed by 800+ thousand people.

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