Russia Experimenting with New Fashion Week Format

fashion show

The show must go on – Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia

Russia just wrapped up its 41st season of The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Along with the rest of the fashion capitals of the world, this show had to take a nontraditional format – All due to the unpredictability of Covid-19 and the restrictions that come with it.

The format was a mix of virtual shows and physical shows (with a limited audience or a no audience at all policy), which helped to prevent the spread of Covid, but allowed for a constant stream of all of the shows and their formats. 

“Safety was our priority. It was essential in the production of Fashion Week and in supporting the local and global talents, but the second wave of coronavirus made this mission quite complicated. I want to thank all the designers and guests who behaved with great responsibility this season, resulting in no excesses during the event.” –Alexander Shumsky, President- Russian Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.

This Fashion Week’s experiment came with the opportunity to expand shows to other cities (St Petersburg, Krasnodar, Sochi, and Yakutsk), and open up to a much bigger audience from around the globe.

“All of it made me anxious and worried, first of all, because of the live streaming -that didn’t leave any place for mistakes. At the same time, the festive atmosphere and imaginative inspiration were incredible. This format has become successful because of everything happening, and people outside Moscow found it handy. It enabled them to present their shows to so many viewers without any transportation and accommodation charges involved.” –Nadezhda Belousova, ValNa Fashion.

In total, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia reached ten million viewers in 5 days across all platforms, including social networks and media websites.

Uncommonality amongst the 74 designers who showcased their SS21 collections at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia, much to the pleasure of the viewer’s eye, made for plenty of variety -which made up for an exciting and diverse week of shows.

Here are eight designers that stood out amongst the rest with their creativity and vision.


SVARKA’s collection featured rave-like young vibes but with a chic, edgy twist to it. Elements like big shoulders, funky silhouettes, and vibrant patterns took you on a futuristic and a very stylish journey.


One of the favorites on the list, MAISON ESVE, wowed with their sparkling, roaring 20’s inspired collection. Lavish silhouettes, chain fringe details, and metallic elements brought back the fabulous era of the 20s in a very chic and modern way.


GILVICHYUTE – A young brand from St. Petersburg whose focus is gender fluid shapes and layering. The collection included oversized leather jackets, raincoats, ruffled bodysuits, short shorts, overalls, and unique variations of shirts.


In the new SS-21 season, INNOMINATE designers were inspired by the fusion of cultures. The collection comes off minimalistic, yet full of different African and Asian ethnic motives.


This was a spectacular virtual presentation by NASTYA NEKRASOVA. The collection consisted of oversize jackets and coats, reminiscent of Japanese kimonos from romantic days of old.


The gender-fluid line by KRUZHOK nods to the label’s androgynous aesthetic, featuring elegant pastel colors and tailored silhouettes that appeal to a growing segment.


SXEMA presented a futuristic glitch-art short film, showing off cyberpunk garments via a runway show by holographic 3D models. The virtual collection featured spandex, plastic raincoats, leopard print, and oversized scarves, and urban camouflage.


YANA BESFAMILNAYA, a recognizable brand for her transformer items, like blazers, dresses, and coats, presented a new collection that implemented feminine lines and elements of contemporary shapes and textures that make up this brands identity.

Most of these brands deliver worldwide, so go ahead and explore these outstanding talents.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia was not an option for the foreign traveler this year, but the Russian Fashion Council provided the possibility to view the shows virtually or through Livestream. For the first time, the foreign shopper can visit one of the biggest attractions at the Manege, the virtual Pop-Up shop.

Go ahead and explore The Virtual Showroom here.

Check out previous Fashion Weeks In Russia here.

OIia Kedik
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