When pairing fashion with Russia, you may think of model Natalia Vodianova who exudes effortless beauty and a unique fashion sense. Although she isn’t from Moscow, she is a perfect example of Russia’s progress as one of the world’s most stylish countries. Its capital, Moscow, is particularly shining. It’s shedding its intense history and emerging vibrantly into the world of luxury and fashion. Moscow’s sophisticated success has caught the eye of Stella McCartney who has opened a store there. Named for the second time as the world’s most expensive city, could Moscow be the world’s next fashion capital?
Despite Moscow’s present triumph, the city hasn’t always been so bright. With a history of war, plague and conflicting politics, Moscow became the capital of the Soviet Union following the Russian Revolution in 1917. Between then and the end of the USSR in 1991, Moscow experienced consistent war, gained a new metro system and hosted the Summer Olympic Games. Coming far since then, Moscow is recognized for its global influences in education, politics, media, and fashion.
Today, fashion is a big deal in the lives of Russian men and women alike. Along with New York City, Paris, Milan and others, Moscow has experienced the excitement of a steady, twice a year Fashion Week since 2003. It showcases both up-and-coming and established designers and invites big time media from magazines around the world. Compared to today’s Fashion Week starting early this century, the Fashion Week that was known before began in 1994 and showcased haute couture. Presently, Fashion Week attracts close to a hundred thousand people including media, designers and spectators, all interested in one thing: fashion. Many boast that Fashion Week in Moscow is an opportunity to build on the city’s fashion industry. Unfortunately, fashion has already made a huge impression there with big time designers showcasing their collections at Fashion Week including Daria Razumihina, Andrew Sharov and Natasha Drigant. Now with Stella McCartney’s new store, the booming industry seems that much more successful.
Many attribute the success to the elegant Russian consumers who flock the streets in stylish ensembles, impressing many who remember the times of grim poverty and gray streets filled with Communist banners. Though nobody will forget the past, Russia, especially Moscow, has become a sophisticated and chic city. With a growing middle and upper class, Moscow is booming with social activity. Museums, theatres and parks fill the city, and most are well educated because of the advanced educational system.
Fashion is certainly making its way full-time into the minds of Russian society. Alongside the Alexander McQueen boutique sits Stella McCartney’s new store. Carrying the designer’s full collection, most think her unique approach will fit perfectly into the lives of Moscow’s elite. Others have noticed Moscow. Coach plans to open fifteen stores in Russia within the next five years. Many will be in Moscow. Many others will probably follow pushing Moscow up on the list of the world’s fashion capitals. It will probably see number one.