Fashion and beauty à la russe: domestic brands for ladies are gaining popularity globally - Information portal

Fashion and beauty à la russe: domestic brands for ladies are gaining popularity globally

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27.07.2017 Количество просмотров 277 views

Standardised_portraits_CHRIS_2.jpgChris Cleaver, Strategy and Planning Director, Identica

An encouraging economic context

The latest economic performance data coming out of Russia is encouraging.

After almost two years of recession, Russia has entered a path to recovery. With global growth and trade starting to strengthen at the end of 2016, Russia’s economy showed signs of overcoming the recession caused by the shocks of low oil prices and economic sanctions.

Despite the recent difficult economic climate, which has seen the closure of retail outlets in major cities like Moscow, the many fashionable cafes of Russia’s capital are still filled with glamorous women. At first glance, you might think that these are women who are simply rich enough not to have to work. However, such a view is over simplistic and reflect an old view of Russia being a deeply patriarchal society.

A new guard of Russian businesswomen has in recent years been developing, and some have been developing a nurturing environment for female entrepreneurs. And despite its traditional culture, some of them believe Russia could become a model of gender equality in the workplace.

Russian career women still benefit from the legacy of seven decades of gender equality legislation, and Russia is considered by some to be a global leader in gender equality in the workplace. Many have made their mark in the financial sector. Elvira Nabiullina who, appointed to head the Russian Central Bank in 2013, became the first woman from the G8 group of nations to head her country’s top monetary authority. However, oil, gas and metals, however, are largely a male preserve. Women are also vastly outnumbered in politics.

Russian women’s relatively strong performance in business is partly explained by demographic factors, including the country’s gender ratio that favours females by 57 per cent to 43 per cent. Russia also has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, leaving many women with no choice but to be breadwinners.

Although female participation in the workforce is higher than in many developed countries, Russia has a gender income gap, with women paid on average 30 per cent less than men, according to the World Bank.

Russian brands for Russian women

Despite the Russian economic crisis, the beauty sector (cosmetics, make-up, neutraceuticals, professional beauty treatments) has proven to be recession-proof.

Russian attitudes towards cosmetics and their hunger for new products and technologies have translated into a lucrative market. Traditionally this has been the preserve of western brands but we are beginning to see Russian taking the stage.

Market experts estimate that Russia is entering a new stage, and predict a 6-8% rise in the beauty sector by 2018. Experts also expect that consumers will return to buying more expensive premium cosmetics brands starting in 2017. Beauty products are the last goods that Russian women are willing to give up. Russian women are very image conscious and strive to have a “perfect look” 24/7. This cultural peculiarity drives the sales of beauty products.

Leading domestic brands such as Natura Siberica, Barkhatnye Ruchki, Cherniy Zhemchug and Chistaya Liniya, Teana, Kleona, GreenLab, Organic Shop, Agafia, Planeta Organica and Green Mama are all riding this wave.

This focus on women is sweeping the country. Our recent work with drogerie chain Optima is based around a core idea of creating branded environment specifically for women. The focus of the project aimed the brand squarely at women, creating an experience to truly serve women and enable her to satisfy herself, her family and her friends.

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Customer service is fast becoming a discriminator for women in Russia. Today’s consumers in this part of the world require a service-led approach. Helpfulness and convenience are demanded, greater connectivity is expected, and greater excitement, warmth and thoughtfulness in the retail experience is desired.

We created an environment that appeals to a broad cross section of women, making it local, accessible, warm, honest, friendly and trustworthy. Our concept revolved around four facets of women’s’ lives (the woman herself, her family, her career and her friends). To reflect these facets, we took the letter O from work Optima and created a unique icon in a flower shape, with four petals representing the four sides of our target customer.

This iconic detail was then carefully integrated into the design of retail space and communication. Identica further expressed the idea of warmth and friendliness through the choice of a new signature colour, and used it to create a unique style for photography and graphic language. We even tailored the merchandising units to accommodate the average height of Russian woman, to make shopping as simple and stress-free as possible.

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Our long-standing relationship with Taber Trade, owner of the Podrujka chain, also reflects this drive. We have been helping develop their Lady Pink brand to meet the requirements of the modern Russian girl-about-town who likes to look beautiful and stylish and update her look affordably.


We created the image of the brand on the basis of the duality of the brand’s characteristics – its refinement and its daring side.

Russian luxury brands for women are also thriving

Our general tracking of global trends in branding has shown that Russian consumers are echoing those in Asian economies, notably China. Our research found that in this volatile economic climate, some are no longer so impressed by brands just because they are Western / foreign, and are questioning the traditional model that the West should be regarded as the arbiter of what is to be regarded as stylish and quality. This trend is driven in part by a move away from ‘show-brands’ to ‘show-you-know’ brands generally, a parallel rise in national pride, and the boundary-less on-line world in which we all participate daily.

We don’t need to look very far for evidence of this in categories that will be of interest to this growing cohort of economically independent Russian women. Here are just a few of the brands we’ve been keeping our eye on who are making waves in Russia right now.

Void Shoes

void-topimage.jpgYegor Nudgin, founder and creative designer of the brand, started his career as a stylist for glossy magazines. Later he was invited to work for fashion house PIROSMANI, where he created his first footwear collection. The collaboration lead to the founding of his independent brand VOID SHOES that now produces original shoe designs using leather from the same Italian factory where American fashion designer Rick Owens buys materials. Each pair of shoes is crafted by hand, and Yegor carefully controls every stage of the process.

Alexander Siradekian

After leaving design studio “Fresh art”, Alexander Siradekian graduated to making elegant shoes for women. His own-name brand makes classic quality shoes that all have a touch of the unusual. In the space of five years he has made a name for himself, becoming the designer of must-have pumps and tasselled-loafers for Russia's wealthy trendsetters

Outlaw Moscow

Designed by Dilyara Minrakhmanova and Maxim Bashkaev, the brand has only been around since last November, but you would never guess that by looking at the well-made and street style-ready outerwear for both men and women, inspired by the works of Russian artist Nicholas Roerich.

Cap America Studio

This is the brainchild of former artist Olga Shurigina. Shurigina is inspired by the intersection of art and technology, incorporating new fabrics and techniques into her collections. She mixes electric colours with black and grey, using folding techniques to mimic the look of fabrics carved in stone to create pieces that could be layered together many different ways.



This is a young brand from Moscow created by a couple from Moscow. The distinctive features of the brand are blunt shapes of gold and silver pieces, patina, blackening, enamels, the naturalness of rough stone

Russian fashion brands go global

In a recent high profile fashion event here in London, emerging Russian brands Artem Shumov, Naidal, Lumier Garson, ZA_ZA, Saint-Tokyo and Turbo Yulia took part in the International Fashion Showcase (IFS).

IFS is an exhibition established by the British Fashion Council aimed at supporting young designers from all over the world. The show is on from February 17 to 21, 2017. The annual IFS project is one of the key platforms of London Fashion Week which reflects the symbiosis of fashion trends and contemporary art.

For the main theme of IFS exhibition will be local/global. In accordance with this theme every country is invited to study the influence of local traditions on fashion trends and examine how emerging designers can transform their local culture into a global language. To present the subject Local/Global the Russian designers have turned to stylistics of folk artistic crafts, imaging going back to the Russian historic background and traditions with the view to identify the Russian fashion in the global arena.

Identica monitors the development of Russian brands, and with pleasure participates in their development. The positive trend in the emergence of Russian players on the world stage is encouraging. We will continue to monitor developments in the world of design and fashion, and if you need expert help, you know who to ask.


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