I have always been interested in new and evolving things when it comes to fashion. I believe we need to look beyond the status quo and find new creations and inspirations to watch under the radar, including new cities where fashion is starting to play an important role in people’s lives. The cities listed below are obviously smaller in market scale and more niche compared to the acknowledged fashion capitals such as New York, Milan, Paris or London, but their recent growth and efforts in the fashion field are very impressive.
Being the capital of Georgia, this former member of the Soviet Union has the mission to constantly be improving their affairs, including the breed of young talents and new fashion designers in the country. Trying to combine both their eastern and western influences, Tbilisi’s rising fashion designers such as Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili who works for Materiel, Avtandil, and George Keburia had showcased their collections in Tbilisi Fashion Week and got covered by big international media brands such as Vogue. There are more designers in Georgia now. But as for this moment, many of them don’t own their own websites yet.
Home to the famous Royal Academy of Fine Arts (where the fashion department was also known for their “The Antwerp Six“, a group of fashion graduates who shook the fashion world in 1986 when they initiated a show in London for the first time). Nowadays, Antwerp has numerous independent fashion designers like Wim Bruynooghe, Devon Halfnight Leflufy (LOVE his website!) Christian Wijnants and much more. Antwerp Fashion Festival is also an annual event to look forward to.
Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, has evolved into a local designers’ haven. The homegrown pride is very strong in the city, creating more spaces for young talents to expose themselves to the world. Two big fashion weeks in Kiev (Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days and Ukrainian Fashion Week) are held annually, allowing the participating designers to gain worldwide exposure. Ukrainian designers such as Yulia Yefimtchuk (who amazingly mixes fashion and political influences in her pieces), Anton Belinskiy, and Viktoria Balaniiuk who is now the designer of Flow the Label.
The historical capital of Poland is now becoming a growing fashion hub for local brands like MMC Design Studio, Zofia Ufnalewska, THISISNON, and much more. Although there are many new brands developing, Warsaw has its own market that demands practicality and simplicity that steers these brands towards this direction. More recent graduates of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and other fashion faculties from outside the city is also the reason why the city has so many new creative talents that can compete globally. Warsaw Fashion Week, Fashion Week Poland, Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Warsaw are just some of the events to celebrate the demands of fashion in the country.
Fashion plays a significant role in Korea, where dressing up is now as important as having fermented cabbage (Kimchi) in their meals. Nevertheless, Seoul now has become another Asian fashion capital after Tokyo and Shanghai. Its annual Seoul Fashion Week is one of the most important events in the country. You can find local brands and designers with chic, feminine ideals like Goen Jong, sweet and playful designs like pushBUTTON, to more of the colorful and edgier designs like Kye. Seoul has got it all! Especially when the world’s craze is increasing towards K-stars (or K-food for me), K-Pop and K-dramas, making Korean fashion also stands out among other Asian countries.
In conclusion, these cities are definitely on my list when fashion comes in mind. Do you have any other cities that are worth to watch? Share below!
By Florencia Owen Irena
Pictures via Vogue.com, Goen Jong, pushBUTTON, Kye, MMC Studio, THISISNON, Culture Poland, Anton Belinskiy, Yulia Yefimtcuk, Flow the Label, Devon Halfnight Leflufy, Wim Bruynooghe, and Christian Wijnants.