Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia goes Digital

The COVID-19 pandemic has given fashion presentations a much-needed push towards digitization. It may be months before fashion weeks resume as normal, but for many, ‘normal’ wasn’t working. The fashion industry, with its incessant seasons and relentless calendar, is long overdue for a revamp. With Coronavirus forcing closures and prohibiting public gatherings globally, many establishments are taking advantage of this much-needed pause to rethink how fashion is presented and consumed.

Among them is The Russian Fashion Council. Today, the organization, in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, have launched Global Talents Digital, a new way to present the work of emerging fashion designers to the public. Real-life designer collections will be presented alongside digital ones. Fifty participants from 20 countries will showcase their works using video presentations, digital avatars, and augmented reality technology. For two days (June 10-11) the streams can be followed on participating social networks and over 100 websites throughout the world—including Electric Runway. Watch below for the live stream.

You may remember MBFW Russia from Electric Runway’s visit to Moscow in 2016 when we reported on how the event is incorporating emerging technology like virtual reality into showcasing collections. For their 2020 season, augmented reality will take centre stage. Using smartphones, viewers will be able to view fashion looks from the comfort of their own home. A digital artistic team from ЯZAT in collaboration with graphic designers Bayat Akerov, Viktoria Kobelkova, The Digital Mary, have made some digital versions of participating designers’ works, which will be also available in AR. 

“Global Talents Digital is an online version of our continued efforts to support up-and-coming talent,” says Alexander Shumsky, President of Russian Fashion Council and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia. “Dozens of fashion talents from around the world have debuted their catwalk collections at MBFW Russia. Now, we’ll bring together real and totally digital catwalks,” he says.

Participants include designers from South Africa, Japan, USA, Australia, and more. “Moscow is the connection point,” says Shumsky. “We have been systematically supporting and promoting emerging talents for many years. The global lockdown situation prompted us to look for new formats, and Global Talents Digital in June 2020 is going to be one of our experiments. It is a contribution to a vibrant global fashion scene, full of great talents.”

The list of participants includes the Peru-based brand ANNAISS YUCRA, who prepared a collaboration with a virtual model Ivaany from France. Another collaboration on the online event’s schedule is the joint presentation by the Be.Li.Ve. brand and Australian digital models from the Klubb Visuals Agency, Candice Klubb and Bambi. Kim Zulu, a virtual model from South Africa (RSA), is going to deliver her debut personal digital collection. Aliona Pole (Russia), a well-known digital model. 

The list of other participants includes CHAPURIN, VARVARA ZENINA, into|into, Not for sale, duet.by.me, SAMSHIT, AMARIN jewelry, OLA OLA, BEINUNISON, DANIIL KOSTYSHIN, RABBITHOLE, BAYARTAEV, ophelica, GIDROPLAN, ALKHANASHVILI, Be.Li.Ve. (Russia / France), Sushchenko (Russia / Iceland), CHAIN, VANESA KRONGOLD (Argentina), JAKE LIU (Australia), Florentina Leitner (Austria / Belgium), FEMME DE MARS (Belgium), Juan de La Paz (Bolivia), GUIDO VERA (Chile), TOMMAZO Studio (Cyprus), Svoboda Ravenstvo Bratstvo (France), NS GAIA (India), VIVIANO (Japan), ANNAISS YUCRA (Peru), 13/7 (Poland), Också (Spain), AFTER WORK STUDIO, RAHEL GUIRAGOSSIAN (Switzerland), Anciela, LINUS LEONARDSSON (UK), Shell (USA).

Amanda Cosco
Amanda is a freelance journalist and consultant focused on the intersection of fashion and technology and the founder of Electric Runway.

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