- How do you see your development now, after the departure and suspension of international business? Have plans changed after that towards a larger scale?
Despite the departure of global brands and the seemingly free market, the same situation has brought a lot of difficulties for Russian brands. This is the limitation of foreign payments, the need to change logistics and partners in fabrics and accessories, the closure of effective promotion channels. We are daily in a state of solving new challenges due to constantly emerging new conditions.
- How did Russian designers feel in recent years? How popular was the product?
The pandemic dealt a serious blow to retail, we can say that by the end of 2021 we had only recovered from it and reached “pre-quarantine” indicators. Now we have to work with new challenges.
- What kind of support and initiatives do you expect from shopping centers/landlords?
First of all, this is a change in the rental payment scheme: the transition to a percentage of revenue.
- What kind of support do you expect from the government?
Interest-free loans or grants that would help in a situation of shortage of working capital.
- To what extent do Russian designers and fashion retailers depend on foreign supplies? If it is strong, are there opportunities and volumes for full import substitution?
They depend very much, in Russia there is not enough variety of high-quality fabrics and accessories. All brands are now looking for alternatives in terms of materials and logistics.
- What trends should be expected in your industry, taking into account the known difficulties?
The most noticeable trends will be in the design of the collections. When a critical situation in the economy comes, fashion and beauty go by the wayside, and the main function of clothing comes to the fore - utilitarian: to provide comfortable conditions for a person in terms of temperature, protection from precipitation, wind, etc. We are working to enhance these elements in the Akhmadullina Dreams collections with designs and innovative fabrics.
Alena Akhmadullina, founder of the Akhmadullina Dreams brand.
their activities in Russia, the company sees a chance for Russian manufacturers to present their products to a wider range of customers. “We are ready to provide reserve space from 100 to 1000 square meters for a multi-brand project with Russian brands, as well as premises for rent of mono-brand stores. We need to work together to support and develop business in Russia, so we have provided a marketing support package for new tenants from among Russian brands,” says Emin Agalarov.
In general, discoveries continue. Those Russian brands that planned to open stores mostly do not change their plans.
For example, literally recently, the TPS Real Estate company has strengthened the pool of tenants of the Gallery Krasnodar shopping and entertainment center, including Russian brands. Bat Norton fashion store opened its doors in the first quarter. The street brand from St. Petersburg creates clothes for girls and guys who are not shy about expressing themselves through non-standard looks. The popular ORBY children's clothing boutique and the ProSwim swim sportswear store also opened.
In order for more Russian discoveries to occur, everyone needs to unite, experts unanimously say: both designers and developers. However, without the support of the authorities, this will take a very long time. Both shopping center owners and Russian brands expect measures to support business. However, the best measure would be to allocate funds for the restoration of the industry. And only when a full cycle of fabric production and tailoring is available in Russia, then the industry will be able to move forward by leaps and bounds
Text: Alexandra Smorzhevskaya