Thirty four fashion brands from Moldova and Belarus are eager to enter the European fashion market through their participation in the Ready to Trade project of the European Union’s (EU) Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and are receiving assistance from sector experts.
The Hague-based CBI initiated the project two years ago, when the Moldovan and Belarusian fashion brands with the most potential on the European market were selected.
The 34 brands are diverse, from ladies fashion and bridal fashion to children’s clothing and industrial clothing. They are successful in their own countries and have done well in neighbouring countries as well.
The brands needed assistance because of several reasons, according to Afke van der Woude, the project’s programme manager. Conducting business in Western Europe is different from the same in Russia. The requirements and tastes vary as well; for example, the fit in the Netherlands and Germany is different from that in the Eastern Bloc. The collections often also feature different colours, explains Van der Woude.
The Ready to Trade project offers training to entrepreneurs in the skills they need for export. The brands recently received help from three Dutch fashion experts with developing their collections, as well as the ins and outs of corporate social responsibility, according to a British media report.
The plan was for the brands to have their own stand at a trade fair this summer, but the corona crisis threw cold water on that. Coaching and training sessions continue online.
The brands from Moldova include Alina Art (company is Alina Bradu), Etnika, Vistline, Maxikids (company is Zivax Maxi), Sophie (company is Sophie Design), Julia Allert (company is Allet & Co), Premiera Donna and Georgetta Mir.
The Belarussian brands include Belarusachka, Balunova Fashion Design Studio, Lakbi, Lea Lea, Nelva, Panda, Vladini, Bell Bimbo and Vesnaletto.
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