The FINANCIAL -- Leading Georgian designers Teona Tavartkiladze and Avto Tskvitinidze plan to become more oriented on the retail market, as the mass market is far more profitable for companies compared to exclusively produced clothes. Teona Tavartkiladze plans to occupy the mass market in the upcoming future, while Avto Tskvitinidze and Nino Ioseliani already made an attempt at producing mass market clothes under the G-Mania label in the summer 2007.
According to Avto Tskvitinidze, designer and owner of the Avtandili chain, the last fashion show was a success; where summer clothes and swim wear were presented. “Most of them were sold out in a few days,” says Tskvitinidze.
“Clothes produced by mass market standards are profitable for the company, but there is a great chance that the Georgian population is not ready to purchase mass produced items. Massive fabrication of clothes means that one dress or shirt would have duplicates. However therein lies the issue as the segment of the Georgian population who buy clothes from Georgian designers’ stories would prefer to buy clothes unique from anyone else’s,” Teona Tavartkiladze, the leading designer of Materia store, declared to The FINANCIAL.
According to Tskvitinidze, Georgian designers are not able to sell their mass market collections at very low prices, like Mango and Zara do.
“Mango and Zara are the best example of mass produced clothing. These companies are producing only modern clothes and supposedly change their collections four times a year. Mango and Zara are companies, especially Zara, which take details from the leading designers’ collections and simply adapt them slightly for their clothes. If G-Mania continues down its chosen course, it will resemble neither Mango nor Zara. G-Mania will not take components from the worlds’ leading designers’ collections.
According to Tavartkiladze, it costs about USD 10 000-15 000 to hold a fashion show in Tbilisi. This contains the main expenses connected to producing material as well as the technical side: lighting, venue, music, etc.
“As a rule fashion shows do not continue for a very long time. It takes about 40 minutes to demonstrate a whole collection. So a fashion show’s organizing is really very expensive in today’s Georgia. Such fashion shows do not provide great profits for designers; they are mostly done as a promotional event. A designer can organize fashion shows for the same amount of money in Europe, for instance in Moscow and in Ukraine, but with greater success in terms of immediate profits. Such shows are always profitable for designers. As a rule, designers have the chance to demonstrate tendencies of the upcoming season, even year’s, fashion. Buyers are always ready to purchase from a trusted designer’s collection at once. However unfortunately today the Russian market is closed for Georgian designers because of political reasons,” Tavartkiladze declared.
According to Tskvitinidze, stores united under the name Avtandili are represented in different countries: on Madison Av. in New York, Modern Showroom, Galleria del corso - Milan, Kolokotroni str. Athens, Greece, Washington str. Paris, France, and Paliashvili str in Tbilisi.
“I am not interested in organizing fashion shows in Tbilisi, as the existing standards in Georgia are not acceptable for me”, Tskvitinidze says. “Healthy criticism is not refined yet in Georgia. Not to mention the technical side. My collection is mostly suitable for European standards. We regularly take part in Russian Fashion Week, Moscow Fashion Week, Ukraine Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week. I try to cooperate with foreign models as Georgian girls don’t always satisfy international standards. Organizers of these fashion weeks try to create comfortable circumstances for the designers. So designers do not have to worry about the technical sides of the show on top of their collection,” Tskvitinidze said.
According to Tavartkiladze, a fashion show’s popularity and success is mostly dependent on the characteristics and quality of the collection.
“High quality materials, well made clothes and good models are a part of that success. I mostly import materials from abroad. Our aim is for a customer to not be able to find a similar material anywhere in Georgia. Although the imported products do make the clothes rather expensive,” Tavartkiladze declared.
“However customers can purchase desired cloths at very low prices in discount periods, for instance for GEL 30, 70, 120. The prices of the clothes which are not in the sale are approximately GEL 250-700. As a designer I always try to not leave a customer discontent because of a lack of sufficient money. In this case I try to choose a material from an old collection, so as not to make the construction difficult. Though these must be acceptable for the customers as well. Anyway, my overall aim is to leave them content with their purchase,” Tavartkiladze added.
According to Tskvitinidze, customers can purchase clothes from approximately GEL 200-700, it mostly depends on what they are going to buy.
“Clothes made with MiuMiu material are far more expensive and such clothes are only accessible to the higher classes of Georgian society. High class clothes have their restrictions but are rewarding because of loyal customers. Such clothes are certainly not appropriate to mass market. In an Avtandili store a client can buy a coat for GEL 250, really it is not an expensive price for a coat according to today’s scales,” Tskvitinidze added.