Monton, Ivo Nikkolo and Baltman presented their spring/summer 2017 collections during Washington DC Fashion Week
An outstanding delegation of 22 Estonian design brands, including Monton, Baltman and Ivo Nikkolo, participated at the DC Fashion Week in the US. The International Couture Collections Show of DC Fashion Week, Washington DC, on September 25 included the show “EFBA Presents: The Best of Estonian Fashion Design” with almost 80 outfits by Estonian designers in one stylised whole. It was the very first time that such a high number of top Estonian designer brands, including Monton, Ivo Nikkolo and Baltman, appeared together on the catwalk. The show was well received by the Washgington fashion audience with the Estonian designers given standing ovations.
Estonian fashion design brands were invited to the DC Fashion Week by Ms. Maria Contreras-Sweet, Barack Obama’s cabinet member, during her visit to Estonia. The visit was guided by Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship, Ms. Liisa Oviir.
According to Ms. Liisa Oviir, Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship, the potential of Estonian design is high. „So far only a few Estonian designers have managed to enter the demanding, but interesting US market. However Estonian design is worth introducing. Once on stage our brands will speak for themselves and I hope very much that this high-level fashion event will bring some mutually beneficial agreements”, said minister Oviir.
„Estonian fashion should be seen on catwalks around the world. We have already proven ourselves in Europe, where for instance the Monton brand is sold successfully at Peek & Cloppenburg. US fashion market is difficult, but we believe we have something unique to offer—our very own design handwriting and very good quality. We would also like to promote our online shop Andmorefashion.com, which already today delivers fashion to customers in more than 44 countries,“ said Maire Milder, Branding and Retail Concept Director of Baltika Group who owns and operates five fashion brands, including Monton, Ivo Nikkolo and Baltman.
“I learned that there may be considerable regional differences in the US market and every major city has its own style that is strictly adhered to. I was also surprised that the mid-range fashion – where we also find Baltman – tended to be rather classic and conservative; there were practically no brands with a contemporary approach, although there is a clear need for it,” said Aivar Antonio Lätt, Baltman head designer. The models appearing in the show and potential clients came to shake Antonio’s hand on several occasions and thank him for the cool design and high-quality materials that have clear potential in the sizeable business and political world of Washington DC.
“In addition to the success of the show, our showcase had the highest number of visitors for a DC Fashion Week opening event and was also one of the most widely covered collections by the local media and bloggers. It is important that the designers were assured that there is a market for our design in both the US and Europe; they got a good initial overview of the US market and also made their first actual sales and cooperation contacts,” said fashion designer and stylist of the show Oksana Tandit and fashion communication expert Evelin Ojamets from the Estonian Fashion Brands Association.
In addition to the fashion show, the Estonian fashion and design days in Washington included a round-table discussion organised in cooperation with the Estonian Association of Designers (EDL), Estonian Fashion Brands Association (EFBA) and Washington fashion hub, which provided an initial overview of the characteristics of the US market and the possible entry strategies, the Estonian design showroom & pop-up at the Estonian Embassy as well as the presentation of the Estonian design book “Woods and the Sea: Estonian Design and the Virtual Frontier”.
The Estonian fashion and design days project represented the following designers: Ülle Pohjanheimo, Riina Põldroos, Reet Aus, Tiina Talumees, Kristina Viirpalu, Oksana Tandit, Monton, Baltman, Ivo Nikkolo, Gvido, Birgit Skolimowski, Tanel Veenre, Kadri Kruus, Uncle Paul, Elmet Treier, Stella Soomlais, Andres Labi, Karl Annus, Piret Loog, Mare Kelpman, New Vintage by Kriss, Estonian Design House.