Fashion Craze in Georgia

The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi runs from 4 to 8 May, with 44 designers participating

The local interest in fashion is fuelled by zero participation fees in the show and by the international successes of two Georgia-born designers, David Koma and Demna Gvasalia.

Model by Anuka Keburia shown on the first day of the Mercedes-Benz Tbilisi Fashion Week, 4 May 2017

Model by Anuka Keburia shown on the first day of the Mercedes-Benz Tbilisi Fashion Week, 4 May 2017

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi for the coming Fall-Winter season started on 4 May and will run until 8 May. Not less than 44 designers, all but two of them from Georgia, will show their creations. The main location is Tbilisi's Museum of Modern Art, called MOMA Tbilisi.

The large number of participants is made possible by the fact that the organisers of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week don't ask for a participation fee, as Mercedes is subsidising the event. And the local organiser of the event, Sofia Tschkonia, a fashion enthusiast with Georgian roots living in Paris (photo below), is trying her best to make it successful.

Sofia Tchkonia, the creative director and driving force of Mercedes-Benz Tbilisi Fashion Week

Also, Georgian designers are motivated by the international successes of two of their compatriots. David Koma was became on December 2013 creative director at Mugler in London and Demna Gvasalia was named in October 2015 artistic director at the Balenciaga in Paris. Both were born in Georgia but educated abroad, Koma at the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London and Gvasalia at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium.

Finally, the Georgian government is also aware of the creative potential of the country's designers and tries to support the local fashion scene. But there seems to be no general blueprint of how to proceed. It cannot be Georgia's aim to supply the world with fashion designers. What is missing are domestic fashion companies with enough clout to sell internationally.

Coming back to the fashion week, the first three presentations were by Avtandil, Liya and Anuka Keburia.

Avtandil is a fashion house etsablished in 2000 by Avtandil Tskvitinidze with three stores in Georgia and one in Armenia. It showed colourful designs, many of them with accentuated shoulders (see video).

Lyia presented simple, feminine designs in classical autumn colours (video) and Anuka Keburia extravagant models in black and white which seem to have been influenced by Georgian national costumes (video).

See for yourself!

Anuka Keburia