It all started with Vetements own Demna Gvasalia, probably the most well-known man in fashion right now. Emerging from the former Soviet state, Georgia. Gvaslia’s pioneering work paved the way for new and exciting designers to appear on the global fashion stage such as Tbilisi’s own wunderkind George Keburia.
A self-taught designer, Keburia has singlehandedly heralded the return of a nineties fashion thought long since gone miniature glasses. Celebrities from Gigi Hadid to Solange Knowles have been seen wearing them, which has given Keburia the type of high exposure that designers can only dream of. Alongside his new SS18 season of seductive retro wears, which has been described as ‘late-’80s prom chic’ Keburia took time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about bringing back new trends and what Georgia is actually like as a creative epicenter.
How would you define the kind of person you envisage wearing your designs? Your clothes are very feminine but have that sense of strength like the 80s power suits did.
I usually don’t have a specific type of person in mind during the working process. I envisage person wearing my designs as rather confident and risk-taking.
Your sunglasses are what have caused the biggest sensation. Are there any other 1990s trends you are exploring and would love to bring back?
While working on the sunglasses, I wanted to mix iconic cat eye style and futuristic aesthetic. I wanted shades that are equally classic, edgy and modern. I am not exploring any specific trends from 90’s, at the moment I am more into 80’s and my SS18 was partially inspired by its vibes.
You are a self-taught designer. What’s the environment like for an emerging fashion designer in Tbilisi – is there a lot of support and opportunity?
The fact that I am completely self-taught, helped me to come where I am today. I have been learning fashion design from my own mistakes, I did not have to think inside the box and fixed standards.
In general, it is hard to work as a creative in Georgia. The fashion industry in Georgia is going through a moment of development, so the infrastructure and commerce are not as well established as local creatives would wish for. We struggle to find high quality and a good assortment of materials. I would not say that there is lots of support and opportunity locally either. Though thanks to the increasing international attention towards Georgian fashion scene, there are many international opportunities for emerging designers.
Would you say there is a growing creative scene there? Who are some other Georgian talents we should check out?
In Georgia, there are many artists and creatives, who are truly amazing and talented. From photographers, I like Louisa Chalatashvili, Nata Sopromadze, and Gregor Devejiev.
My favorite stylist is Giorgi Wazowski, who is also my close friend and often helps me with styling collections and lookbooks. Giorgi Qochiashvili is a very interesting Georgian painter.
Can you talk to us about the current collection you are working on, any similar themes to last season or a new approach?
I would say that FW18 will be more masculine and sharply tailored than the SS18
Do you think the global spotlight on ’New East’ designers and Georgia as a fashion hub has had an impact on the street style/interest in fashion at home?
During the recent years level of international interest and attention towards Georgian fashion scene was raised dramatically. This had a big impact on the street style and interest in fashion in Georgia. The style has changed and evolved a lot in the recent years, more so in the younger generation.