Riga Fashion Week S/S 2023

The message from the Baltic is about sensitive, conscious fashion

This autumn saw the return of RIGA FASHION WEEK, which celebrated its 35th anniversary. Since its very first edition, the most glamorous of north-eastern Europe’s fashion events has set itself apart because of the increasing focus it has placed on sustainability. This edition’s schedule featured presentations and seminars on the trending topics we all hear about every day: 

sustainability in production, greater focus on the environment, zero waste, use of natural materials.

The event kicked off with an international training seminar entitled “Sustainable Fashion. Stereotypes and Reality”, in which speakers from Lithuania, Poland and Latvia took part. The main subjects under discussion were environmental issues surrounding fashion manufacturing and innovative approaches to be adopted in the industry. 

“This fashion week was noteworthy because, after two years of pandemic, the number of local and foreign visitors returned to previous levels,” said Baltic Fashion Federation (BFF), the non-profit making non-governmental organisation that has been working since 1999 on a number of projects to help boost the region’s fashion industry and promote Baltic designers abroad. Participating brands took the opportunity to proclaim the importance of slow, respectful, cruelty-free fashion. Long-standing local brand Anna Led highlighted the traditional values of comfort and elegance, drawing inspiration for her new collection from Art Nouveau for her reversible pieces in organic cotton alternated with cashmere, mohair and organic denim. 

Natālija Jansone, in her recognisable refined style, showed off her love of natural fibres such as wool and cashmere with a selection of woven outerwear and dresses made exclusively by the best Italian manufacturers. QooQoo, a brand that has always had its own identity, revealed pieces made from fabrics previously used as test material for prints. Leather coats and linen and cotton kimono jackets featured unusual colour combinations as a manifestation of this reuse. Some of the pieces in tableau vivant style were created in collaboration with artist Ilze Isadora.

From Estonia, Ivo Nikkolo invited us to live in the “here and now” and focus on values that really count in a slow, conscious way. Using a modern, feminine style, the brand conveys a universal message through its timeless outerwear, high quality knitwear and a wide selection of accessories in natural materials. In addition to established names, the event saw debut shows from local brand Unattached by designer Una Pūpola, and Zuhra Ignat from Uzbekistan. Finally, a message of respect for nature and people also came from the kidswear sector, from ethically engaged brand Paade Mode and from Lithuanian designer Julija Dremiene, whose ecological fabrics shone a light on positive emotions with a select number of exclusive limited-edition pieces made entirely at her Vilnius base. 

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