Business program. Summary of BRICS+ Fashion Summit – Day 3
Day 3 of BRICS+ Fashion Summit encompassed 9 panel discussions, 1 plenary session, and 2 TED talks with speakers from India. Lectures by fashion experts took place in the Chamber and Open Halls of the Moscow Concert Hall Zaryadye. All the sessions were recorded and can be rewatched at the official website of the event.
During this day, 130 brands presented the most remarkable collections, and 2 designers took their trendiest looks up the catwalks in Zaryadye and the Pashkov House. The Fashion intensive course continued on Day 3. Yet, the BRICS+ Fashion Summit program did not end there. Guests who couldn’t attend the lectures of the business program at the Moscow Concert Hall Zaryadye are invited to listen to 13 lectures at the New Fashion Industry Forum on December 1-2 in Hlebozavod Space (Hangar Hall), as well as attend an additional session on December 1 in the Parking Gallery in Zaryadye Park.

The sessions held on Thursday, 30 November, are listed below.

Chamber Hall (Photo:
1.  Through the metaverse. Blockchain, DAO, Web3 and other technologies democratizing the industry
The session speakers explained how today’s technologies came to launch a rapid democratization process in the industry instead of being an exclusive domain for large innovative brands. Young designers can now skip quite a few milestones and avoid many of the startup pains thanks to the Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

‘A regular citizen can spend 16 hours in contact with the digital space,’ said moderator Alexei Kalenchuk, Creative Industries Director at Skolkovo Foundation. ‘A typical young person keeps consuming digital content longer than it takes them to be awake. How can that be? It’s just that they can attend to several types of content at once: watch a video in the background and chat online at the same time. Actually, we can say that the metaverse is already here, and all of us are already living in it.’

‘VR and AR offer us tremendous opportunities,’ says Anna Dreinberg, CEO of Tomorrow’s Render Team. ‘First of all, I mean the omnichannel and hybrid nature of the product. Moreover, now you can enter the market even without some material product. We are currently working with a Chinese startup that produces clothing from recycled ocean plastic and algae. We started by establishing a simple meeting room online, where they engaged investors, but now it is a comprehensive gaming world.’

Igor Doganov, Investment Director at Stoic Blockchain Fund, answered the question about NFT products – were they losing their relevance and how could that format be updated? ‘There’s a good case with Lacoste. They released a collection of cards, and what they did right was fulfilling the promises made to NFT holders. The brand had a show in VR, which was accessible with these cards, and they created some locations in the metaverse, where you could also get with these cards. Another thing they did right was that they immediately focused on the web3 audience, not on their brand’s fans.’

‘It turns out that NFT has changed – no longer a financial tool but a membership or club card for web3 communities,’ summarized Alexey Kalenchuk.

‘Why does retail need a metaverse? You give regular consumers a chance to come in and interact with the product, to immerse themselves in the brand’s reality. This is an area of gamification. The consumers are offered a new experience. They can understand what the product is good for, what benefits it holds,’ said Priyanka Sarkar, CEO and Head of Design at House of Biori.
‘Convention e-commerce has already bored the consumer, and now there’s a new curious scenario on the table. What you think is: how can consumers get out of the old boring scenario and turn to something more interesting?’ added Sunil Arora, co-founder of TRACE NETWORK LABS.
‘Most often, brands address the companies that develop VR and AR because they need some trying-on facilities. They want their consumers to be able to try on sneakers, jewelry, and dress, but do it remotely. Unfortunately, technology does not yet offer the desired effect. A person needs to see not only how a thing looks, but also whether it is comfortable. At the same time, there is a million-strong audience of users who keep buying goods online – and very few who use virtual worlds to try on collections,’ said Ekaterina Filatova, President of AVRA Association.

2.    Jobs for AI. Can neural networks replace stylists, designers, fashion journalists and influencers?
In recent years, neural networks and AI have become quite common for companies and researchers, but also in our everyday lives. Rapid AI development made the communities think about whether a neural network is going to replace real people at their jobs and how such technologies are going to affect art. The session speakers are absolutely positive that despite the enormous efficiency and computational superiority of AI, it will never be able to replace humans, just because it is us who always have the final word.

The session was moderated by Boris Agatov, CEO of Magazin 4.0 Project. He asked the participants if there are some cases when AI can replace humans.

Amir Sarakov, Vice President of SuperJob, shared the following data: ‘17% of Russians are afraid of AI development. That’s mostly because they are afraid of losing their jobs due to automation. In the second place, there’s the lack of control and the closed nature of powerful computer systems. In the third place, there’s fear of the degradation of humanity.’

Nikita Khudov, Executive Director at Sber AI, said: ‘Artificial intelligence is not about replacing people, but about helping them. For example, it can automate some tasks. When we talk about neural tools intended for programmers, we understand that such means don’t have to replace human engineers. We don’t want AI to write all the code – we want it to write code faster and more efficiently. And that is the case in many other areas of business.’

Maxim Fedyukov, CEO of Texel, described how AI helps to find the right employees for the company and choose the best applicants from lots of CVs submitted: ‘The program collects all the applications we get our vacancies available, then, the algorithm analyzes them with 20+ criteria to see how suitable a particular applicant is and issues a letter of description.’

Francesca Tabor, founder of Fashion AI, added: ‘A neural network can help with routine tasks. First of all, it is the inventory count of all the company’s processes and data, when you have to know which processes take a lot of time, which use most data, so that you can start by automating these.’

Yu Chen, founder and Design Director of Chen Yu Studio, made it clear that artists should be critical about working with AI, and they have to choose carefully: 'AI can make a huge number of designs, prints, ornaments. Its performance is really colossal. But it is the designer who chooses what to use. A designer working for the consumer market knows what exactly people need. Some ideas that AI produces can be undreamt of, but they are computer-like, without a human touch, and the audience won’t not take that.’

Natalya Stetsenko, Development Director for Smart Store Concept, PROJECT LINE, told the audience that they use a neural network to work with interior design: ‘We have our work, including generation of new designs, sped up a great deal. I believe these technologies helped us highlight our expertise. Previously, some routine tasks could make all our proceedings blurred, the customer got tired and bored, but today thanks to the new generation options we can quickly present all the concepts at once, and then choose proper solutions from all the visual content we've got.’

3.    The future is here. How technology transforms the fashion industry
The plenary session was started by Dmitry Peskov – Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in Digital and Technological Development.

‘We usually talk about technology as an independent value,’ he said. ‘But in fact, technologies do not have any. They are only valuable when applied to something. They could be used if you want to earn more money. Or for fun. Of course, some create technologies for eternity, to remain in history.’
‘I would consider two technologies,’ said Vladislav Martynov, founder of BlockGeeks, when asked about the technological means a fashion startup should use. ‘Firstly, it is AI, and secondly, it is blockchain. The designer comes up with an idea, and the neural network can visualize it really fast. It saves time, which means it saves money. As soon as something you like appears on the screen, you can just wrap it into an NFT to register your copyright.’

Rajesh Masand, President of the Clothing Manufacturing Association of India, spoke about production extension – and the technological opportunities it brings: ‘The most important thing is that you have seamless production, seamless use of technology. What we need today is automation, AI, and data analytics – these are the three pillars of scaling-up. You can also use 3D technologies to enhance your models and procedures.’

Nana Tamakloe, Managing Director of Accra Fashion Week, said that the key technologies that had helped them tell the world about African fashion were social networks: ‘Thanks to them, people of Africa have got a chance to make a statement. With social media, people finally realized that Africa is not what they see in the movies. We have fashion and we have culture.’

‘Our clothes can tell a lot of stories,’ said Olivia Merquior, founder of Brazil Immersive Fashion Week and Iara Land. ‘About what motivates us, about our attitude to the economy, politics, about cultural changes. We are working in the fashion industry and are trying to make sure that there is some kind of narration behind our things. It's not about the product or the fabric, it's about the story that can bring us together, as a community. Technology doesn’t only mean ‘digital.’ It also includes other kinds of methods, like printing. We need to understand how they can be used to create stories that would enhance our experience.’

4.    Innovative VS natural fabrics. Are traditional textiles losing their edge?
The session was powered by the Materials Center and was moderated by Dmitry Guzov, Head of Innovative Research and Production Center of Textile and Light Industry.
‘Advanced technologies can add new essential properties to the materials we’ve been using for a long time. For instance, we can apply an extra coating to the fabric surface to prevent statics accumulation or ensure that the fabric is resistant to high temperatures, which can be important at production sites like foundries,’ said Tatyana Novosad, Vice-rector for Science and Technological Entrepreneurship at the Ivanovo State Polytechnic University.

When asked about fabrics of the future, Zhou Jianchun, CEO of Wujiang Shengwei Bauhinia Textile Co., answered, ‘It is essential that these fabrics are highly functional.’ ‘We need each type of fabric to be suitable for making as many types of clothing as possible.’
‘In the future, clothes will not be made of cotton. This material will be too expensive for future generations because it consumes so much water. Cotton countries are countries with lots of water, but its stock is not infinite. I believe we're going to switch to linen, or hemp fabrics, and some blends. We’re going to use the best properties each material can offer, and blend them with lyocell, viscose, and nylon,’ added Mikhail Kupavtsev, CEO of Metr Tkani.

‘We can compare traditional fabrics with innovative ones, but we need to understand that both have their own strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages,’ said Rahul Mehta, Senior Mentor at The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India. ‘Don’t put traditional materials aside. In India, we adhere to traditions. We’ve built our entire industry with cotton.’
‘We discovered linen 5,000 years ago thanks to Egypt, cotton – 4,000 years ago thanks to India, and silk was discovered in China 2,600 years ago. How can we reject such a legacy? Of course, new technologies are developing. However, they do not replace, but complement and enhance what we have been using for milleniums,’ outlined Alexandra Saukova, Lecturer at British Higher School of Art and Design. In her presentation, she told about the experiments that students and graduates of BHSAD performed with innovative materials, including biological ones.

‘It is important that we use any materials rationally. If you have some materials, think about whether they can be recycled and reused several times. Nowadays, the market for recycled clothing consumption is developing rapidly, and it is important for it that the materials are durable,’ Indika Liyanahewage, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters' Association, shared his opinion.
Anna Vasilyeva, co-founder of WKS Tortuga, designs and produces clothes for climbers, since she herself is engaged in this kind of sports: ‘For me, clothes are 20% of an expedition’s success. If a group of climbers reaches the level of 5,000 meters, and someone’s clothes get wet, the entire group will have to go down. It is important for climbers to be comfortable and to feel safe. But there is one more point: they also want to look good. Imagine, you go up, they take photos of you up there, and there will be no second chance to do it properly. Your clothes should be functional and good-looking. That’s why I never choose between natural and synthetic fabrics. I believe they are good when used in collaboration.’

Mubashar Naseer Butt, Chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said: ‘The EU is passing new laws regarding responsible production. You will need to see what your carbon footprint is and consider reducing it. By 2050, all of us will have to be carbon neutral. Therefore, it is important to consider what our objectives are.’

Irina Leonova, CEO of Biotex, a company that develops technologies for innovative biomaterials production in Russia, asked what can be deemed as a natural material. ‘Everything we extract from the depths of the earth or grow ourselves is natural – this way or another. However, we need to see if it’s eco-friendly. I believe that the future is in technologies that ensure sustainability and eco-friendliness of the product.’ 

Open Hall (Photo:

1.    On style, on futurism. The fashion of the future
During this session, the participants discussed issues related to forecasting of fashion trends in the coming decades, planning of the future of fashion and changes that will occur in the industry – from design to stores.
Planning of any industry’s future is a sophisticated and multifaceted process that includes analysis of fashion trends, consumer preferences, social and economic changes, as well as technological advancements.
One of the key questions discussed at the Forum was what fashion was going to be like in the coming decades. The participants considered various scenarios and trends that might impact fashion in the future. The speakers agreed that fashion was going to develop further based on technological innovation, sustainability, and the changing consumer preferences, which in turn would lead to the appearance of new materials, new design approaches, and new methods of clothing production.
‘As I see it, for many designers going digital and switching to more eco-friendly materials could help. Soon, we are going to see a symbiosis of science, technology, the fashion industry and even medicine, I dare say. It seems that all these industries should collaborate in this century,’ designer and artist Kirill Mintsev shared his thoughts. ‘Speaking about the platform industry, we will never abandon hand labor, classic clothes, luxury, common offline stores and boutiques. People love other people, and this will be so no matter what, but at the same time, technologies, marketplaces, platforms and online sales are yet another tool that enables us to work at a more global scale.’
Beona Gapare, Director of Digital Talent, founder of Falcon Ventures Middle East, took part in the discussion, too.
The moderator, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors at Medianet Igor Didenko summed up the session by saying, ‘Economy, eco-friendliness, and sharing – this is what our future is about. World futurologists believe that this is absolutely necessary if we want to preserve the ecology and the society we’ve got. It is only us who our future depends on.

2.    Street-style. Reflecting identity or losing authenticity?
The business program of the international forum BRICS+ Fashion Summit became a place to discuss an important topic – streetstyle. The participants were asked to share their opinions on how street fashion is evolving in different countries, how technology influences its progress and whether it is possible to predict trends.
Streetstyle has become an integral part of modern culture, where urban streets have become a place for self-expression and distinction. With the growing popularity of social media, streetstyle has gained even more influence and become an element of mass culture. People from different countries share their images online, create online communities and contribute to the global exchange by demonstrating their belonging to a particular culture.

Some of the participants believe that streetstyle is an organic manifestation for a person and for today’s reality in a particular culture. They don’t think such trends can be predicted. Others are positive that if we analyze the data and observe the evolution of street fashion, we can reveal common trends and predict their progress.
Moreover, the speakers talked about the key aspects of streetstyle. They discussed evolution, influence of technology, predictability of trends, as well as consequences of the global race for self-expression to better understand the part and significance of street fashion in the modern world.
‘Streetstyle is a kind of reworking of everything that happens in our world,’ Anton Gorbashov, Head of Sportswear at Lamoda, said at the beginning of the session. ‘Indeed, this is a means of self-expression, but it is also a kind of word of mouth, where there are so many trends processed by the community, the culture, and the outdoors. It reflects modern trends, and this process has now been accelerated by social media.’

Talking about the fashion industry, the visionary and founder of the Beinopen Fashion Development Institute Alexey Bazhenov outlined, ‘Recognition, working with streetstyle, uniqueness, and infrastructure are what a brand needs. If you want to keep your factories up-to-date, you can repeat after us. We have found such a solution, which is a partnership with associations abroad. Therefore, this Forum is a good thing because associations can learn from each other’s experience, while working to serve the interests of the businesses.’

‘Streetstyle trends aren’t really trends because people don’t try to look all the same,’ said Adama Ndiaye, founder of Dakar Fashion Week and African Fashion Council. ‘It’s just something they choose to express themselves.’ Streetstyle depends on three things – the city you live in, the content you consume, and the culture that you like.

Svetlana Shatunova, CEO and Creative Director of SHATU, explained: “We, the designers, are turning towards streetstyle. This is the only way for us to understand people’s reactions to certain phenomena and trends around the world. Today, everything is going global, and we see what is happening in the streets in different countries: how streetstyle develops, what trends and directions emerge and so on. For any brand, the most essential thing is to see, feel, look into the world, but at the same time preserve its DNA. You don't have to rate streetstyle above your DNA. Indeed, you need to look into the world, to process, absorb, and let all of it all through your DNA. This is our way of making a unique product.’

When asked what brands have to do today, Nana Tamakloe, Managing Director of Accra Fashion Week, replied, ‘We need to make sure we offer top-quality and unique things, but at the same time we should remember that we need to promote our brand, as it is brand that sells in the first place. Emerging designers are trying to compete with the established brands. They take beautiful designs up the catwalk, but really, we hardly know who they are. Unfortunately, they don’t bother to promote their brand, while focusing on the design alone. Your DNA mustn’t be only about design. It is your name and your brand that has to be recognized.’

Olga Bukhtiyarova, Art Director of Branded Products Department at Sbermegamarket, explained how streetstyle influenced the merchandize they make: ‘Streetstyle resulted in oversized and semi-oversized clothes, hoodies and zippers. Such apparel are the most popular model in every second merchandize collection. Naturally, we also work on the prints and types that are used in streetstyle fashion. We follow the trends and include them into our merchandize.’

President of the Creative Economy Marina Abramova stated: ‘The legend, one’s own name, the emotion invested in this name are important components of the brand,’ and the speakers were then offered a brief survey – What aspects should a designer pay attention to before establishing a brand? This was the advice they offered to an emerging designer: think about the narration and the story of your brand, find your niche, know the business procedures, follow the industry, set up a universal team, select sales points and distribution strategies, make sure your design is top-quality, and love whatever you do no matter what.

3.    Putting people first. New approach to fashion industry ethics
As part of the business program, a session was held on reformation of the fashion ethics. This event was about the changes in the strategies followed by fashion brands, inspired by new generations – millennials and zoomers, who are avid users of advanced technologies. Fashion and trends are currently changing dynamically against the backdrop of new ethics. The participants discussed that fashion brands have to be ready to follow the changing consumer preferences and quickly respond to new trends. This requires the fashion industry to create innovative approaches to design and production, and to participate in the discussion and creation of new communication cultures.
Reshaping of the ethics in this field is a result of changes within the fashion industry. Designers and business operators have to reconsider their beauty strategies and standards, as well as pay focus on their HR policies. Besides, the social agenda of brands and consumer preferences in fashion is of essence when it comes to the new ethics. The speakers agreed that advertisements that often include some too perfect people do not reflect the reality and expectations of consumers. This led to a discussion about the need to create human-focused fashion that would embrace diversity and ethnicity.

‘Design has gone beyond things. Now, it is a kind of a consumer community, and consumers are our best value,’ shared her opinion Victoria Andreyanova, Director of Victoria Andreyanova Fashion House. When speaking about trends, we used to impose them before, but we have to propose them now. Russia has some local trends emerging. For example, today typical folk arts and crafts are relevant. Today everyone uses them without any pressure, just because they see potential in this feature, this cultural code.

Executive Director of the Afro Fashion Association Michelle Francine Ngonmo spoke about global trends:

The agenda is really diverse at the international level. Today, many large-scale brands focus on the social agenda because a modern consumer no longer wants creativity. There is a need for a brand to provide value and stand up for ethical issues, so brands have started to integrate all of this into their agenda.’ 

Talking about her brand, Head and Chief Designer of Mono-Style Elena Melnik outlined, ‘A product should be socially useful and only such a product is capable of generating income, but at the same time we should not forget about marketing ethics. We have many different development paths to choose from. If we want to play a long game, if we want the brand to be steady, we have to proceed ethically and organically. We realized this back in 2015 and set our course on a person. For me, it is my customer that is important, so I looked at my brand through the eyes of my customer and tried to make a product that would be socially useful and beneficial to them, that could resolve their problems and fears. However, in today’s market, solving problems is a secondary issue. Now, we have to move on – to resolving of our customer’s fears.’

The idea of socially useful products was continued by KULT BEDRA designer Anastasia Kostyuk: ‘Once upon a time, the global trend for body positivity reached Russia. Now, this trend is gone as a concept, but plus-size clothing and culture remain. Here we are talking about a woman who loves herself and knows what she wants. She is ready to express herself and respects the wishes of other women. At the same time, our brand has not slipped into some subcultural domain. We’re still talking about Russian women.’

When asked about the programs in place to support fashion businesses, entrepreneur and politician Elena Nikolaeva explained: ‘For us, the law makers, as well as for executive authorities, the fashion industry is a priority. Today, we are working to establish the showrooms where we can help young designers show their work. We are also presenting more and more Russian talents by means of the mass media, Internet, and TV.’

The founder of Pure Sense inclusive perfume brand Ekaterina Zinchenko shared a story of her brand and spoke about the importance of social entrepreneurship: ‘I founded the world’s first perfume brand in which scents are created by blind people. In fact, this is a brand that does not only involve people in the creative agenda, but uses their superpower – because blind people by the virtue of their limited visual perception have a better odor sense, a much brighter range of associations, a more creative approach to scents combinations. Now, social-focused companies are beginning to stand out as a big track in Russian business, because it has finally become possible to get the social enterprise status in 2021. In general, I can see that this is not just a mission, but also a great advantage for a company when it uses the labor and talents of people with special needs.’
Summarizing the results of the session, moderator and Director of CIPR Olga Piven said: ‘It’s great that the world has turned to people, and begun to appreciate their individuality, that big and small brands are trying to customize their products to make people really happy.’

4.  Reverse pitch. Country expert session. Africa
Many companies and brands are looking to expand their presence in international markets. Expanding into other markets may be one of the key objectives, whether it was the initial desire to sell abroad or the result of the brand’s development, when the local market becomes too small for them. However, they face numerous dilemmas. Which country to choose? Where to look for partners and investors? And so on, and so forth.
In this case, communication with experts and marketers representing Africa has turned out to be quite valuable. During this session, experts from various spheres shared their expertise in a 15-minute pitch format. The participants were welcome to ask any questions they wanted to know the answers to and got some new knowledge and useful advice.
The founder of Fashion Forum Africa Makeba Boateng described the African fashion market in detail with all its advantages and shortcomings: ‘Expanding into new markets is a major challenge for many brands. Choosing the right market is of essence because the size of the market and its conditions are important. We've seen these factors play a certain role in the cases of designer Christy Brown and some other successful stories. We conducted a survey, and they told us what prospects there were for the global expansion of a brand to the African market. This is what most of them said: “The main motivation for international expansion is reaching out to new consumer groups and the opportunity to diversify market reach, penetration into new markets, higher revenue potential, growth opportunities.”

What methods should be used to find partners and investors? Obviously, this has to involve a collaborative effort: special events, recommendations, dedicated conferences, collaborations, and strategic alliances. All of these are important to overcome barriers. But there are challenges, too. You have to understand a new market, your showcasing options are scarce, and you have trust issues. To deal with these, you must rely not only on your business acumen, but also have a deep understanding of the diverse African fashion market. And most importantly, the African fashion industry is ready to expand into new markets. It’s boiling with energy, bursting with creativity, but it needs your support.’

Creative consultant of the Afro Fashion Association and Brand Manager of NATIV Nana Brenu announced some factors that can help the brands be successful in the African continent: ‘Tips that will help brands with opening of their stores are here. Collaborate with local brands that operate in the same market segment. Use local feedstock and materials to avoid high tax rates. For investing in our raw materials, you can get support from the state. Brands need to invest in local infrastructure since some of their aspects in Africa can’t yet match the global standards. Understand the economic situation and your target audience. Working with local content makers to create an image and for advertisement, since the content you do in the West won’t do in the local market – just because our cultural practices are so very different.
In conclusion, the founder of Fashion Forum Africa Makeba Boateng summarized: ‘African fashion isn’t separated from the rest of the world. Our fashion is inspired by local music and musicians, who influence this industry.’

5.  TED Talks Series
Decolonization of fashion. Consumption culture
This speech was primarily focused on the importance of culture and diversity in the fashion industry.
Founder of Dakar Fashion Week and African Fashion Council Adama Ndiaye outlined that the clothes we wear are not only a fashion statement, but also a historical testimony of our culture and heritage. Our clothes tell stories that are always there with us. Our traditions are also passed on thanks to the design and production of clothes, and all of it is an integral part of our communities and cultures.
‘Before we become citizens of the world, we are the children of our mothers, in the first place. We are the product of the environment we were born in. We are the pride of our people. I believe that in Europe people tend to leave this behind in their attempt to be a citizen of the world. It’s a pity, really, because the differences between us are very strong, and this empowers me. Understanding who you are gives you the opportunity to be more open to the world. And all this heritage can be transformed into fashion.’
However, the cultural significance of fashion is not limited to the historical aspect only. Diversity also has an essential part in the industry. Inclusion and diversity are key values that fashion brands must embrace to remain relevant and follow the changing consumer demands. Brands must encompass the diverse perspectives within their teams and create marketing campaigns that reflect everyone's interests.
‘Modifying the narrative and representation is very important. Because when you see someone who is similar to you, you kind of try it on and think that this is a good example. Like girls who grow up in Africa see me as a role model, and they think: “Wow, I can be like that.” Or you can come to my catwalk show and see absolutely amazing people: albinos, overweight girls, and skinny girls. I think this kind of diversity is what brands need if they want to have a connection with the next generation and open up to the world.’
Adama Ndiaye also spoke about the importance of more eco-responsible consumption in fashion. Fast fashion has much impact on the environment, it depletes lots of non-renewable resources, causes greenhouse gas emission, and consumes huge amounts of water and energy.
 For example, it takes about 700 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt while producing a pair of jeans requires 2,000 gallons.

6.    TED Talks Series
From a craft producer to the global market leader – a story of the Indian jewelry industry
India, with its rich history and culture, has an old tradition of decoration which can be traced in classical texts, epics, myths, and chronicles. Ornamentation and decoration has become an integral part of Indian culture, a symbol of wealth, luxury, and high status. India managed to find a use for that tradition and made it the basis of its economy. The Indian gems and jewelry market was estimated as US$37.25 bln in 2022, with the total revenue expected to grow by 21.35% to reach the level of US$144.37 bln in a 5-years perspective.
The Indian jewelry industry has lived through an impressive transformation, turning a local thing into a global phenomenon.
A combination of aesthetics and economy, it has become a powerful player on the international stage. Indian jewelers now offer a wide range of products – from traditional to contemporary, from classical to experimental styles.
Actress and entrepreneur Anusha Viswanathan spoke about this and shared a unique story: ‘What is the meaning of a precious item? For example, my mother and grandmother had some jewelry that I have inherited. According to the old Indian tradition, jewelry is inherited by daughters from their mothers.
When this tradition emerged, women weren’t entitled to own anything. The only currency we had was jewelry, which we got from our mothers when we got married. Therefore, jewelry is an important part of Indian fashion.’

BRICS+ Fashion Summit takes place in Zaryadye. The Fashion intensive course, B2B showroom, and catwalk shows by international designers are held in the Parking Gallery art space of Zaryadye Park, which was opened in September 2023 and has a total area of almost 3000 sq. m. Parking Gallery is equipped with technical means to accommodate exhibitions, concerts and summits, too. It is easy for guests of the BRICS+ Fashion Summit to attend an event. Part of the underground area is still left for vehicles. Moreover, the Parking Gallery can be accessed from anywhere in the park.

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