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The new wave of Georgian designers you should know

There's not just Demna Gvasalia, you know

The new wave of Georgian designers you should know There's not just Demna Gvasalia, you know

Demna Gvasalia and I have one thing in common, indeed Demna and my mother have one thing in common, as they were both born in Sokhumi, the provincial capital of the now occupied Georgian region of Abkhazia. In 2021 Gvasalia was the one who really redefined the boundaries and potential of fashion design: at the artistic direction of Balenciaga, the designer went beyond all hypotheses on how to dress celebrities, understand luxury, popular culture and even reality itself. During the pandemic he took the opportunity to immerse himself in the Metaverse thanks to the collaboration with Epic Games, on the Gucci catwalk he signed The Hacker Project, contributing to the collaboration between giants that irremediably changed the rules of partnerships between brands, he directed two of the exciting Kanye West's live listening event and in the midst of all this fervor, he relaunched Balenciaga's Haute Couture. In September he was the absolute star on the red carpet of the Met Gala and Paris Fashion Week, when the show will conclude with a ten-minute short film featuring the Simpsons in a ready-to-wear version.

Problematic countries, or perhaps war, leave something indelible in the sensibilities of those who have lived there and Georgia is no exception in this: the priests in black robes and long beards, the babushkas facing the veranda with the veil around their face, poverty and second-hand clothes. Demna has moved abroad but the memories of his childhood watching the Simpsons on the only TV in the neighborhood are the true poetic material of his collections, from post-Soviet architecture to political riot movements, the imaginary of his homeland is in everything he does, but it emerged mainly with the "underground" collective Vetements, which he co-founded with his brother Guram in 2014. For SS19 Demna Gvasalia presented his latest collection for Vetements - first to finally pass the baton to Guram - inspired by "family and violence", not just a tribute to his home, but a project to educate the rest of the world about Georgia's struggle. Yet, although he is the most famous, Gvsalia is not the only designer who has made himself known in the world for his talent and native influences, here is a list of Georgian designers who have made themselves known beyond the Black Sea and who have made Tbilisi the true fashion capital of Eastern Europe:

Nina e Gvantsa Macharashvili - Mach and Mach

The Macharashvili sisters are the founders of Machandmach, perhaps Georgia's most famous fashion brand as well as a dream come true for those looking for a perfectly Instagrammable fashion moment. Founded in 2012 in the hometown of the sisters, Tbilisi, the brand immediately attracted attention for its sparkling temptations and its glamorous and brilliant pieces, an aesthetic defined by the interested parties as "bright, futuristic, pop", made of perfectly structured blazer dresses, cycling shorts and super high heels studded with rhinestones and huge bows. Given the circumstances, it is not surprising that celebrities including Solange Knowles and Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner and Danielle Bernstein are big fans of the brand that shows every year at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi and is distributed by Moda Operandi.

Irakli Rusadze - Situationist

Irakli Rusadze was only seventeen when she founded her fashion brand, Situationist. The self-taught designer who learned building and sewing from old Georgian craftsmen soon took her brand from the emerging Georgian fashion scene to Milan and Paris fashion weeks, attracting attention especially when Bella Hadid wore the his pieces on the streets of the French capital in 2019. The brand, which takes its name from the creative movement of the Situationists, made up of intellectual avant-garde and political theorists, has a raw, minimalist and rigorous aesthetic that implies the old cultural identity Georgian, memories of the 90s and the Soviet period, together with a new futuristic narrative: strong silhouettes with a subversive soul distinguish the look with a punk vein, in the Sex Pistols style, a fashion that does not accept conformism, against oppression political and cultural.

David Koma

David Koma discovered her penchant for drawing and clothing design at the age of eight and to pursue her interests she studied Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, participating in design competitions from the age of 13 and showing her first collection at the age of 15. Immediately after graduating from Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, Koma launched her eponymous ready-to-wear brand and has since participated in London Fashion Week, as well as having held since December 2013 in December 2017 the position of creative director of Mugler. Her creations, inspired by feminine icons of the 1970s, celebrate disguise with vibrant tones, feather boas and 3D iridescent crystal plumeria flowers embroidered on dresses. A distinctive juxtaposition of contemporary sportswear and opulent evening wear that seems to come from a faraway place of liberation and glamor.

George Keburia

George Keburia is a self-taught designer born in 1990 in Tbilisi, who founded his label of the same name in 2010. His debut collection earned him the "Best Newcomer" award at Tbilisi Fashion Week, and after two years he gained international recognition. through her "Bird Nest" collection winning the Community's Choice Muuse x Vogue Talents Young Vision Award. From Gigi Hadid to Zoe Kravitz, from Hailey Bieber to Kaia Gerber, her Matrix-style graphic glasses have gone viral, while a dress from her SS20 collection was worn by Camilla Cabello for the Don't go yet video. His latest collections combine feminine class and masculine elegance, a mix of overflowing lines and minimal design that make you think of dreamlike atmospheres and the looks of old Hollywood divas.