Moscow Fashion Week: Are Russian fashion designers impacted by sanctions?

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Moscow Fashion Week is underway and models and designers are converging on the Russian capital.

Over 100 shows will take place during the week, along with talks from some of the biggest names in the Russian fashion industry.

Among the participants are Slava Zaitsev, Valentin Yudashkin, Alena Akhmadullina and Julia Dalakian, as well as many newcomers.

Fashion week arrives less than four months after a wide punishments were imposed on Russia, including hundreds of foreign companies pulling out of the country.

French conglomerate LVMH has temporarily closed 124 stores in Russia, while continuing to pay its 3,500 employees.

The Spanish group Inditex, owner of the fast-fashion chain Zara, also temporarily closed 502 stores in Russia as well as its online sales.

Not content with closing its stores in Russia, the fashion brand Chanel took steps to prevent Russians from buying its clothes, perfumes and other luxury goods abroad.

How have Russian fashion designers been impacted by the sanctions?

Officials say the situation opens new opportunities for Russian entrepreneurs, but some fashion designers are more skeptical.

The fashion industry in Russia is heavily dependent on imported products. Most clothing and accessories are purchased from imported brands.

“Our collections are entirely made of foreign materials, that is, there is nothing Russian except the team. Everything else, from the fuse (materials) to any button, n Any upholstery, sewing machines, there is nothing we produce in our country,” says Olesya Shipovskaya, founder of Lesyanebo.

Her brand is popular not only in Russia but also abroad, worn by Gigi Hadid, Natalia Vodianova and Eva Chen.

However, there are still ways to receive foreign fabrics that cannot be imported directly due to the sanctions, explains Yulia Skalatskaya who presented her new collection on Tuesday.

Sales of her clothing brand have increased recently, so she is optimistic about the future.

Skalatskaya believes that only hard work can help Russian designers survive in the new reality.

“If you just rely on the fact that certain brands have left and someone’s place has been freed up, nothing will change just because of them leaving,” she says. “You must work.”

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