The International BRICS+ Fashion Summit kicked off in Moscow. It will take place from November 28 to December 2. The Summit opened with the business program with the participation of the key officials of the fashion industry from BRICS countries, Latin America, and Middle East. The guests attended the catwalk shows by Sadaels (Argentina).

Grand Hall
1. Made in BRICS+. National brands - the basis of the single market
The most anticipated event on Day 1 was the plenary session – National brands - the basis of the single market. The session was moderated by Tina Kandelaki.
‘The global fashion industry is currently going through transformations, and the game rules are changing,’ she said in her opening speech. ‘Local brands are getting go-ahead. A designer from anywhere globally can break into a big time.’ Reaffirming this statement, the honorary guest of the plenary session Ornella Muti, an Italian film actress, producer, and businesswoman admitted that she loves Russian brands and wears them.

Alexey Fursin, Minister of the Moscow Government, Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow, announced: ‘In 2022, we held the Fashion Week that was attended by 1.5 mln people. What was next? We had to gather not only the Russian regions at a single venue in Moscow. The objective was to bring together international communities from the BRICS countries, the Middle East, the Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Today’s Forum is a proof that the said countries are ready to work together, to develop their local brands, and to cooperate with Russia and each other.’

When asked about the secret of her brand’s success, Alena Akhmadullina, designer and CEO, explained that every brand has a secret of its own, although the common feature is knowing how to get into the stride – not the fashion-related, but social. It is important that the designer feels the community’s demand. In her case, this demand included distinction, local stories, and a national code. ‘In opposition to massive utility and pragmatism, the time of design is coming back,’ she added. According to the designer, the fashion field is rapidly developing. Quite soon, big-name brands are going to give place to the local ones in this turbulent flow.

Tinatin Kandelaki asked Yang Jian what brands he was wearing, and the Executive Chairman of the China Fashion Association replied, ‘My costume is locally made, but my shoes are from the UK.’
During the discussion, the participants brought up an important topic – why clothes design in Russia can’t be independent? Why do many producers keep making orders in China or using feedstock from Italy?
It was Oleg Bocharov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade (Russia) who tried to answer this question: ‘On the global scale, they’ve been cutting us of stock materials in the last three decades. To restore polyether production, I have to provide a guarantee to ‘Sibur’ or ‘Tatneft’ that we are going to consume 360 thousand tons of such threads. Alas, even if I consolidate all of the state and defense contracts, we’ll hardly reach 5% of this amount, as all the market is currently in the grey area. This is a disputable matter but I have to say that our consumers don’t have to be affected either when it comes to their wallets, or the assortment of goods. Our citizens change their clothes a lot. This year, the Russian consumer goods industry has seen a 6 to 7% growth, as we can produce things faster when we do it locally. Moscow is the major driver of the local industry, as we have about 40 thousand designers here.

Cem Altan, Board member of the Istanbul Apparel Exporters Association, remarked that large-scale design competitions can promote development of the local brands. ‘Most of those taking part in the Istanbul Fashion Week have come from the Emerging Designers Competition, which we established 26 years ago,’ he said. ‘Such initiatives are a way of taking brands out to the markets, including to the international platforms.’

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2. Democratization of Fashion, how local becomes global
Moderator Tatyana Naumova offered the central topic for the discussion – how is fashion being made more democratic and decentralized today, and what is required for that? How are these processes going on and what part BRICS+ countries can have in them?

Senan Kamel Alwan – CEO of Baghdad Fashion Week, answered the question about the influence that BRICS countries can have on fashion: 40% of the world's gross output product is generated by BRICS countries, so their economic power is quite obvious. But the second direction of fashion is about trends and designers. At the moment, we don't see trends coming from Brazil, China, or South Africa, so the BRICS+ alliance should work to develop trends of their own and to help them spread worldwide,’

Tatyana Komissarova – Professor from Higher School of Economics, suggested that new fashion influence centers are going to emerge, and Russia is one of the countries that is capable of establishing them. Despite the fact that the consumer audience in our country is rather conservative, it still reacts fairly quickly to changes and new trends. ‘On average, it takes a Russian consumer a year and a half to get used to new brands, which is relatively fast,’ she elaborated.

Vitaly Stepanov – CEO of the Moscow Export Center – talked about programs that support local businesses when they enter the global markets: ‘Our organization was established by the Moscow Government to promote and support Moscow's products in foreign markets. The Moscow Export Center offers 30+ different services and tools to the fashion business to enable brand promotion abroad. For instance, this year we've arranged an exhibition at the China International Fashion Fair (CHIC) in Shanghai, where 15 Moscow brands showcased their products and held B2B meetings.’

Uma Rutanova – CEO and co-founder of Two Eagles, shared her experience of working in foreign markets. In 3 years, she created a successful accessories brand. She used traditional ornamental fabrics as she had recognized a remarkable trend of using local cultural traditions in design.

Binod Singh – Managing Director at BRICS Institute, summarized the discussion: ‘Instead of competing in the fashion sector, we should join our strengths to achieve amazing results. Moscow is rich in design, while India is rich in traditional methods. We could create a fusion of technology and craftsmanship, and it will be beneficial for all.’
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3. Closed loop fashion. An inspiring utopia?
The session moderator and RBK TV presenter Elina Tikhonova presented some statistics: over the past 15 years, clothing production worldwide doubled, and in terms of CO2 emissions, the textile industry has surpassed both maritime shipping and international flights. According to the Global Fashion Agenda report, by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions from the fashion industry will go up by 1/3 from now. Besides, the fashion industry ranks second in the world in terms of water consumption.

‘After the pandemic, consumer habits have changed a lot,’ said Aishwarya Sharma – Sustainability Advisor for Fort Fashion Council. ‘Now, safety's become everyone’s concern.’ Marketplaces have emerged that sell only eco-friendly products. People are paying more attention to what they buy and what they wear. We can see it even in India.’

Irina Leonova, founder of Russia’s first vegan bioleather handbag brand, SEVEN PIECES, agreed that consumer mindset is changing, but added that this process is complex and slow, and has to be worked on. She elaborated that consumers who do not yet understand why they should choose eco-friendly products should be enlightened at the government level.

‘In Turkey, it took us 20 years to make sure that the state supports and even sponsors producing eco-friendly materials,’ said Nejla Guvenc – multidisciplinary designer. ‘In 2001, Sustainable World Movement emerged in our country. When we started it all, we believed that only designers, only mass market fashion makers could change the world. We are grateful to our government for their support. Over the last 3 years, the demand for products made of renewable materials has increased by 450% in Turkey.’

The session was also participated by Viktoria Generalova – CEO of General VI, and Margarita Reznikova – founder and Creative Director of RISHI upcycling brand.

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4. Strategic entry. Expanding a fashion brand into new markets
Daniya Tkacheva – consulting expert and CEO of Dynasty brand, who moderated this session, raised a hot point: what does the state do to help Russian brands get to BRICS+ countries?
‘We have all kinds of support arrangements for Moscow-based business operators, and they can be divided into two big portions,’ answered Kristina Kostroma, Head of Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, City of Moscow. ‘The first one is aimed at helping them create a product. The second part is about promotion. Anyway, thetextile and leather industry is one of the priority sectors, and we are doing everything possible to help entrepreneurs cut their costs.’ Kristina added that the Moscow Export Center had been opened for export proceedings. It offers business operators different kinds of help – from market approaching advice and contract making to direct financial support.

Mmantlha Sankoloba – CEO of Botswana Exporters & Manufacturers Association, added that to get to an overseas market successfully one should believe in their own identity, stand for their own culture, have general trends in mind but be unique at the same time.

Anastasiya Vasilkova – Business development director of Choupette, spoke about her brand’s successful experience of international scaling up. ‘It’s important to understand what your export product is, what exactly you are going to export,’ she said. ‘Not always you should take your entire brand overseas. You can come up with a special offer, something you are an expert in, something that is likely to be much-in-demand in a certain location.’

Sameep Shastri – Vice-Chairman of BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry – added that expanding any brand is a complex procedure, in which both logistics and understanding of the target consumer matters. ‘When interacting with the BRICS+ countries, you need to understand how people think there and how much they use the Internet. It is also important to gain insights into the local culture, which is of great importance in the fashion world,’ he added.

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5. Codes of culture and the slippery slope of appropriated culture
Anna Rykova – a stylist and a teacher at the British Higher School of Art and Design, started the discussion named ‘Codes of culture and the slippery slope of appropriated culture.’
She addressed her first question about the composition of country’s cultural code to Gulnara Agamova – CEO of the Creative Industries Agency. ‘Recently, we’ve made a study to know how many crafts there are in Russia,’ Gulnara answered. ‘What we found were 63 thousand specimens of different goods. That is, our heritage is immensely rich. The question is how to integrate this cultural code here and now. You know, with it we will be able to convey our meanings, our values and priorities to the whole world.’

Svetlana Rodina – owner and designer of Loom by Rodina – confirmed that the time had come to pay attention to turn to arts and crafts, to change how they are seen. They should no longer be just souvenirs but deserve to get their previous value back. ‘After the pandemic, I started traveling around Russia to look for lace, because the borders were closed and the logistic chains were disrupted. I realized that we have more than 20 crafts dedicated to embroidery alone, she said.

Antonio Shin – founder and designer of Shin brand, expressed his regrets about no one in presentio wearing some traditional clothes. Then he added that production of traditional Russian lace is not enough to promote Russian culture across the world.

Designer Alexandra Gapanovich touched on the sensitive topic of cultural appropriation: ‘It is very important that the European world paid attention to this. First of all, to the fact that we must respect other people's culture. I think that this is primarily about respect, about dignity and focus. As a designer, I don't like that they won’t let me find inspiration in other cultures. It limits me as an artist. I wish I could look for inspiration in the Indian culture, African culture, or Russian culture, or whatever I saw yesterday. This is very important to me.’

Nadezhda Abzaeva – founder of ABZAEVA brand – remarked that creativity and culture should go hand in hand: ‘Hybrid mentality, I mean, when we explore ourselves by means of art, when we turn to our roots and genes, and history, is when we establish a connection that doesn’t promote separation but helps us find something in common.’

The session was also attended by Arzu Vagifgizi – Head of PR Department of Azerbaijan Fashion Week, and Mansoureh Mirzaei – Executive Director and Director of Fashion Department at Iranian Public Diplomacy Foundation.

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6. Celebrity style on and off the screen
Day 1 of the business program in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Concert Hall (Zaryadye) was closed with a round table discussion about the celebrity style on and off the screen. It was participated by cinema officials from all over the world. The session was moderated by Madonna Mur – journalist and media manager.

Cinema and fashion are tightly connected and can influence both each other and the consumer. What comes first, fashion or cinema? Do films and TV series set trends or just mirror them? What is cinema for fashion – a marketing tool, a means of communication, or just a source of inspiration? These were the issues offered to the participants.

Moscow is currently working to establish a major cinema cluster, announced Lyudmila Tsoi, Acting Deputy Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the city of Moscow. ‘300+ hectares have been allocated in New Moscow area to construct this cinema hub. This will be one of the largest cinema parks in the world, and there will be enough space to build any sets one might think of. The studio filming zone is going to increase five-fold soon.’

Film costume designer Anastasia Batalova admitted that in her work she is often inspired by things she sees at the catwalks. She suggested that emerging costume designers should watch as many fashion shows and catwalk looks, streetstyle photographs as possible.

‘Today’s Bollywood is the only industry that creates fantastic looks and images. Everything is so exaggerated, including the costumes. Every actor has a stylist of their own because the reality presented on screen is so very different from the real one,’ said actress Pavleen Gujral.

David Martinez, CEO of Cinettica Fashion and Art Film Festival, mentioned the new emerging trend – fashion films. In such films, costumes and fashion are the protagonists. For those who want to work and proceed in this field, there are dedicated festivals, including the Nick Knight Festival. ‘At first, I was stunned to learn that there are companies that produce fashion films alone. However, now I'm scouting for filmmakers working in this genre, the ones with bright and vivid ideas,’ he added.

The session was also participated by actress and designer Siena Lee, Lizzy Wang – artist, music producer and DJ from Warner Music Asia, Bench Bello – Editor-in-Chief of Ganap Magazine, and Natalya Kanevskaya – costume and fashion designer.

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Chamber Hall
7. Learning in style. Contemporary methods of education
Progress in education was discussed by Gulbash Duggal – Dean of the International College of Fashion, Yulia Kopchikova – founder of Leetme Pro, Greg Maragelis – Director of the Cape Town College of Fashion Design, Olga Mikhailovskaya – Creative Director of Front Fashion School, Ekaterina Beresneva – founder of REIN, Sergey Sysoev – designer of SERGEY SYSOEV, and Elena Shestakova – jewelry designer of ERE. The session was moderated by Victoria Romashova, Head of Fashion and Digital & Communication Design Departments at the British Higher School of Art and Design.

During the session, the participants discussed many issues – from getting to the bottom of business procedures to significance of cultural codes in collections. The session participants agreed on the main issue with today’s education, which is the lack of practicing experts in teaching. Another pressing matter is the myth about education in fashion being exclusive and elite. Students fall for the ruse, but while working on their first project, they start to suspect that this activity requires continuous development, education, and training.

Today, many education programs have appeared in the market, from fundamental training and professional retraining to short-term courses that allow one to quickly get the necessary skills and give young specialists a chance to scale new heights. Approaches to education are transforming, too. Today, universities are talking about setting up a portfolio and about practice-focused learning, the problem-based approach, and collaborations with the industry. At the same time, emulated business procedures are being integrated into education programs.

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8. Fashion brands as an integral part of urban identity
The speakers discussed the connections between fashion brands and the urban identity. Every metropolis is a platform where fashion brands originate and come into being – the ones that can absorb the local specifics. Similarly to urbanism, fashion has an important part in creation of a visual image. One of the main ideas for discussion was announced by Ksenia Guseva, curator of the exhibition ‘House of Models. Industry of images’: ‘Today, a metropolis is the place where trends come into being. Of course, there are cultural codes encrypted in the regions of a particular country, but the main factory of fashion is in big cities. Moscow is one of such factories, indeed.’

During the discussion, Ariadna Grant – documentarist and journalist at Itaca Documentaries & El País Semanal outlined that a relevant national brand does not necessarily encompass some typical ethnic motives. It is enough to take a single element and make it popular throughout the world.
One of the most hot topics for discussion was the impact of urban infrastructure on our clothing habits. After all, the city imposes own rules of style and fashion on its citizens, which leads to a conceptual relationship and makes the urban identity impact the fashion trends. Different city districts can have their own fashion trends and styles, highlighting significance of the urban environment context.

Yurate Gurauskaite, founder and Creative Director of U Magazine, stated: ‘Today, there are so many people who where cool clothes, who have established a style of their own, with sportswear in the lead. This urban style followed by the younger generation offers hope that fashion will not go evanescent or fade into insignificance, but on the contrary, we will be able to move it forward.’

At the end of the session, the participants agreed that the term ‘fashion capital’ is quite flexible and can be understood differently. However, over the coming years we can expect both Moscow and Mexico to approach this status. The session was also participated by: Larisa Koltashova – CEO at Fashion Trends, and Vsevolod Okin – CEO and co-founder at
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9. (Not) a useless agent. Buyer public talk
As part of the discussion program, speakers talked about essential aspects of successful brand promotion and working with buyers. Buyers have the key role in brand promotion, as they communicate with each other, share experiences, and talk about new brands and designers. If a designer collaborates with a buyer and manages to sell his or her collection in the buyer’s boutique, it is highly likely that others will hear about the brand soon. Then there will be photographic coverage by magazines, publications in the media, runway shows, advertising with influencers, and perfect brand design. All these activities help to increase brand awareness and get into the spotlight of potential buyers.

Francieli Vargas Hess, CEO of Hess, mentioned the following: ‘What’s important now is not fast fashion, but a story, or a narration. We no longer have to follow certain trends. The time has come to showcase something bigger In the future, very designer is going to have his or her 15 minutes of fame.’

Alexandra Varchuk, Head of Department at Bosco di Ciliegi, said, ‘We see many trends every season, and on average each of these trends has been formed by an agency and fashion mass media.

These are a few subjects the designers ask us to focus on. A buyer has to collect all this information, study it carefully, and then adapt the designer’s message for the customers. The buyer’s task is to know your target audience, to know who you buy things for, and know how many of these you should buy. It is the buyer who is the agent between the designer and the consumer of the goods.’

Giulio Di Sabato – President of GDS Group and Director of Sari Spazio, made the audience focus on the matter of working together – ‘My slogan is “We should collaborate.” Today it is important to communicate, to get to know people, and to be close, because we need to rebuild our future. Why does Italy remain one of the major countries in terms of the fashion industry? That’s because we have a unique fashion chain: first fabric producers, then clothing manufacturers, then distributors, and finally the consumers.’

Chen Nicole, CEO and founder of NC SPACE, drew attention of the participants to the part that social media have in any brand’s development. ‘I have to be a blogger and a fashion buyer, because if I fail to attend to my social networks, my store will collapse the next day,’ she said. ‘Today, there’s the only way to do things. I have to present designer products, stores and myself, too, because otherwise no one will see the difference between my store and any other boutique.’
The session was also attended by Ali Shafaque – founder and Creative Firector at Shafaque and Shafaque Designs, and Marina Kostyuk – Brand Manager of the Section Department at Bosco di Ciliegi.
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10.   The power of a trend. How fashion reflects and causes socio-cultural change
in different countries
Fashion has a unique ability – it can encourage dialogue and transform one’s view of the world. That is why it is so important to understand whether it can be used as a platform for discussion of pressing social and cultural issues, including equality, justice, and diversity. The speakers answered these and other questions to help the audience see fashion not only as an individual demonstration of style, but also as a force that is capable of influencing the society as a whole. Pavleen Gujral – actress and TV presenter – moderated the session and asked questions on the subject.

Inna Apenko – Founder and CEO of GLOBALNOMADS, said, ‘Fashion can foresee mega-trends. Artists are visionaries, so they can perceive such things. As a rule, a year or two before some trends come into being or become popular, they demonstrate these on the catwalks. For example, the global agenda is becoming less popular across the globe, as many companies and businesses are going local. More and more often, we ask ourselves: ‘What are we as a country? What meaningful things can we make?’

Elena Plavova – Creative director of the Murmurizm brand, spoke about the trend for socially responsible projects that is supported by the young.

Nawel Nedjari – founder and Director of Alger Fashion Week, focused on the special part of fashion in trend-setting: ‘I believe fashion is a way to spread important information and an attempt to speak to people in the language they understand. This is a good tool to share your thoughts with the world. Let’s say, Fashion Weeks – they are always essential, no matter if they are in France, the USA, England, or the BRICS countries. This is how we convey our opinion, how we show the world what we have got. Through fashion, we can see a free woman, because fashion helps her express herself and demonstrate who she is.’

11.   Reverse pitch. Country expert session. India
Many brands see entering other markets as a key objective of their work. Some of them are export-oriented from the very start, while others have overgrown the local market and are ready to expand further. However, they face numerous dilemmas: which country to choose? where to look for partners and investors? and so on, and so forth. One of the most useful tools here is talking to experts and marketers, as well as representatives of a particular region.

As part of Reverse pitch. Country expert session. India, experts in various fields shared their expertise in 15-minute presentations. The visitors were welcome to ask any questions they wanted to know the answers to. Thanks to this event, companies and brands interested in the Indian market got some valuable insights and advice from experts, and got connected with potential partners and investors. The moderator of the session was Sanjay Chawla – Editor-in-Chief of DFU Publications, as well as founder of FashionatingWorld.

Gulbash Duggal – Dean at International College Of Fashion in Delhi, spoke about the way of successful integration into the Indian market: ‘Our people are really affectionate, so if you need your business to be in India, you should use this. For us, buying clothes is not only about going shopping. We do fall in love and react every time. The key fashion trends in the Indian market are moving towards consistency, classic fashion and designs, and upcycling.’

Akashdeep Singh – President of the Indian Business Council, recommended considering their marketplaces: ‘How to start your work in India? Start with a marketplace. One of the most well-known companies that can help is Choupette. The main question is not whether it is worth working with India. The question is what you can do as soon as you’ve made the decision.’

Sameep Shastri – Vice-Chairman of BRICS CCI: ‘If every state understood what skills and industries they support, it would be possible to make a common pool and choose what you need from it – and collaborate more effectively. Today, it is important to work together, to make sustainable products, and this is exactly what India is going to put forward.’

Open Hall
12.   Entering international marketplaces. Waste of time or an important step in scaling up?
The session moderator Dina Gorchakova – Project Manager for Digital Services Development at the Russian Export Center, asked the speakers to talk about trends on the world stage and the impact they have, about difficulties in going global, as well as about significance of global product promotion.

The first speaker was Jay Ishak, President of the Malaysian Official Designers Association: 'I believe all designers aim for collaborations and cooperation with other countries. At the same time it is important to remember about the traditions of your own country but make the collections up-to-date. Many designers have turned to their cultural heritage and integrated it into modern garments, which is an essential component of authenticity and encouragement. You have to demonstrate that your trends are suitable in your target market,' she said. She believes it is important 'to focus on communications in the local market but at the same time to be open to exploration of international opportunities.’ The speaker announced that she couldn’t wait for Russian clothes to be exported to Asia.

Sergey Igishev, Export Development Manager, presented YallaHub and spoke about online and offline promotion channels: 'Every country has fierce competition and lots of brands. Only strong and big brands with an expertise and a target audience that is already familiar with their products can manage to stand out with the offline channels. On the other hand, online channels help the others take their first steps, sell their first pieces, and get feedback. Going offline is a deliberate and expensive move that takes much preparation. Online is about probing, finding an audience, and it offers greater opportunities for you to find a niche with a relatively small investment.'

Priscilla Chigariro, the founder and executive producer of Zimbabwe Fashion Week, touched on the subject of a new brand promotion by a designer. According to Priscilla, designers should stick to what they know well and use ‘the advantages offered by their culture as a driver for their promotion.’ ‘To be seen, you need a good strategic marketing plan,' this was a strong point made by Priscilla.

Andrei Mozhaev, the founder and CEO of Digital Marketing Agency Asia Pacific, talked about the tools that can be used to promote goods in the marketplaces. In particular, he described how Chinese marketplaces can be entered, as he has got to the heart of the matter.

13.   Technological solutions stadium. Sports fashion of the future. What influence technologies have on fashion and what is new in the market
The list of speakers included Kirill Chizhov – the co-founder of Copplife, Sergey Manelyuk – Director of Denkito, and Kirill Orlov – Director of LLT. Kirill Chizhov offered a talk about the innovative approach to sportswear. At Copplife, they use copper particles integrated in clothes for climate control, odor control, antibacterial protection, and the anti-slip effect. Smart clothing developed by Sergey Manelyuk was well-met by the Russian audience, too. Denkito offer their wear with heating, lighting, ventilation, and many other features. Smart clothing is capable of monitoring physical parameters of the wearer’s body and even the environment around the person. Another format of smart clothing was proposed by Kirill Orlov. His projects are a fusion of medicine-related technologies, everyday wear, and sportswear. These clothes are quite tight, so they can improve blood circulation and build the wearer’s muscle. The session speakers arrived at a conclusion that Russia has a lot of technologies but their marketing options are poorer than the ones of the West. This is the main reason why all the advanced breakthrough solutions get little coverage.

Kirill Chizhov – co-founder of Copplife – outlined that it is essential to develop smart clothing: ‘I encourage business operators and companies to contact research institutes. They have a huge amount of knowledge, and they’ve already tested it.’

Sergey Manelyuk – Director of Denkito: ‘Unfortunately, this technological revolution is a quiet one, so we have to yell to make it popular.’

Kirill Orlov – Director at LLT: ‘In my opinion, a person shapes a trend in his or her imagination. I mean, imagine if you could workout without exhaustion, or you could walk and feel no pain. We set horizons for ourselves – and try to get towards them. When you start a business, you set certain limits. Maybe, you will never reach the horizon anyway, but if you set limits for yourself, you just have no chances.’

14.   Eco lessons are soon learned. How do media and influencers motivate the society towards conscious consumption?
The session speakers were Margarita Reznikova – Creative Director of RISHI, Nando Yax – Associate Director of Guatemala Fashion Week, Anna Lekontseva – Director of Rigraiser, and Aishwarya Sharma – Sustainability Advisor for Fort Fashion Council.
The experts concluded that sustainable fashion is primarily driven by people. Eco-activism is setting a new trend that is supported by society, but brands are also about people. Influencers often are part of the promotion strategy, but it is crucial that they are in line with the ideas they present. Celebrities support the eco-agenda, too – by wearing the same outfits they have been wearing for many years. Nando Yax called the past pandemic the main driver of sustainable fashion. People began to spend much time on self-education and social networks, and their eyes opened to see all kinds of problems. Everything that is going on is a reply to human’s needs.

Nando Yax – Associate Director of Guatemala Fashion Week: ‘The pandemic has caused a major change. Many printed media suffered, many magazines nearly closed. And there are influencers who are coming to replace them. People see that an influencer is a real person. That's how influencers have gathered that much momentum.’

Aishwarya Sharma – Sustainability Advisor for Fort Fashion Council: ‘This is a person who has influence. This is a person who has something to say. For me, this is my mother. Yes, she hasn’t got too many followers in the social media, but she has got so much influence on lots of people.’

Anna Lekontseva – Director of Rigraiser, explained that a brand itself can be an influencer, whereas Margarita Reznikova – Creative Director of RISHI – spoke about people’s stereotypes about eco-friendly fashion and how they are broken with the course of time.

15.   Art collaborations for fashion brands. Image strategy, attracting new audiences or searching for new meanings?
During the session, the speakers talked about different approaches to collaborations. The experts agreed that the main advantage of any collaboration is the opportunity to expand the brand's audience and explore the new formats. Some of the brands include collaborations into their long-range business strategies. In collaborations, designers team up with artists, film makers, animators, celebrities, TV channels, and even radio stations. Some of the items produced become signature pieces for the brand – for example, the Russian Bushlat by DNK Russia. For Genet Kebede, working with local weavers is the most important collaboration ever. It turned out that not every collaboration is always profitable from the business perspective. First of all, any tandem is about experimenting. The speakers offered different kinds of collaborations, like with AI, or Roskosmos.

Genet Kebede – founder and Creative Director of Paradise Fashion – spoke about a life in art: 'Making an art object is not the point. We make art a part of our lives thanks to their work. The artists take their works to the loomed canvas.’

Anna Lekontseva – Director of Rigriser: ‘When there is a collaboration between an artist and a brand, it is very important that they share the same values. It’s always working with a new team, with new people. We’re trying to get on the right side of them every time. They do business in their own way and see a shirt in their own way. Well, that's a challenging task.’

Anna Nichkova – General Director at DNK and Olga Nichkova – Creative Director at DNK see collaborations as a task of making incompatible things go together. Meanwhile, Alexandra Kaloshina – Soltstudio Textile Group Founder – believes it is an up-to-date approach to preservation of the cultural code.

On Day 1 of the fashion show program, the following international brand showcased its collection. The visitors were presented fashion looks from Argentina. The runway was located in one of Moscow's iconic sites – Parking Gallery in Zaryadye Park, where renowned designers from BRICS countries demonstrated their new collections to the Russian audience.

Day 1 of BRICS+ Fashion Summit encompassed the show by Argentinian brand:
   SADAELS (Argentina)
The Argentine-Belgian designer Juan Hernandez Daels presented his ode to the female body by means of his collection. The designer specially brought it to Moscow to take part in BRICS+ Fashion Summit. A graduate of the famous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, he has been working as a clothes designer for his Sadaels brand since 2015. Along the way, the brand has become one of the most famous and popular in Argentina, and they win the consumers’ hearts in Europe. Finally, the designer is ready to kindle interest in Russians.
The new collection by SADAELS offer a new take on the basic trends from the 2000s that are coming back. They are tightly fit dresses, barely noticeable macramé tops, pants with hip cutouts, ultimate minis, and backless blouses. Daels has relatives in Argentina and Belgium, and these roots are his main source of inspiration. His works are always a fusion of refined European couture with sensual Argentine identity.

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