Milan recently hosted the 7th edition of “Russian Fashion Festival 2014”, the yearly three-day event organized and promoted by Società Italia. Aim of the initiative is to promote and award a selection of upcoming designers from Russia and nearby countries, while involving them in learning more about the Italian supply chain and its apparel and textile manufacturing industry.

The event presented 14 designers (and their collections) from Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Uzbekistan. A honor chamber of Italian and Russian fashion experts announced the winners’ names that included Sasha Kanevski per sasha.kanevski (from Ukraine) as best “International Promise”, Ainur Turisbek (from Kazakhstan) for “Original Design” and Zulfiya Sulton (from Uzbekistan) for “Tailoring Quality”.

Other special recognitions were awarded by Russian e-commerce portal DressOne.ru to Kirill Ovchinnikov + Razgulyaev Blagonravova (from St. Petersburg) and to Ksenia Marchenko and Anton Schnaider for the Ksenia Schnaider brand (from Ukraine). Milan’s boutique N°30Milano, also part of the jury, awarded Vahan Khachatryan and showcased some of its looks in their store’s shop windows in via della Spiga during the festival’s party and for some following days. The store also appreciated Georgia’s designer Keti Chkhikvadze.

The 14 designers were selected by a jury of experts and Sistema Italia, Italo-Russian association aimed at promoting Russian designers in Italy and Milan-based showrooms involved in selling Italian fashion brands in Russia. Società Italia was founded in 1993 by fashion experts Tatiana Souchtcheva and Roberto Chinello.

For this festival’s 7th edition they selected 14 designers out of more than 100 collections, according to criteria such as talent and authenticity, previous significant experience and participation in any Russian fashion week, while being already distributed in Russian boutiques. Common trait for any designer’s collection is their ability to interpret roots, culture and tradition of their countries through an own fresh and contemporary vision, plus a strong, chic and sophisticated message.

Among most interesting designers, reflecting a more sportswear and informal-chic attitude, were for instance, Sasha Kanevski for sasha.kanevski, whose items match extreme tailor-made elements with smart functionality. His pieces are characterized by ergonomic silhouettes, transformable details and high-tech materials.

Rob-Art’s pieces, by Katya Rozhdestvenskaya, present dresses whose prints portray the designer’s own worldwide travels. Also noteworthy is Ksenia Schnaider by the creative duo Ksenia Marchenko and Anton Schnaider whose items are essential, clean and unisex. Moreover, they are also appreciated by it-girls, top models and celebrities including Lady Gaga. Ainur Turisbek, who started working in fashion as a model for designer Gianfranco Ferré, learned from him the secrets of silhouette building and playing with surface effects. Her most recent collection features dramatic clothing pieces that reinterpret the boxing world as a balanced expression of mind, body and aesthetic discipline.