DALLAS — Russian designer Katia Gomiashvili is hoping her street-conscious sportswear will translate well with American shoppers.
She is making a concerted push to wholesale the two-year-old collection in the U.S. to complement the growing roster of international specialty stores that already carry her line, which is called Mia Shvili.
Gomiashvili showed 38 spring and summer styles at last month's Miami Fashion Week, including Eighties-inspired, neon-bright tracksuits; beaded, embroidered and appliqued T-shirts and jackets; textured miniskirts and HotPants; curvy embellished jackets, and bohemian tunics over sexy satin dresses.
The collection includes two components: an item-driven sport line and a trend-inspired sportswear collection. Wholesale prices range from $22 to $320 for the sport line and $15 to $1,248 for the sportswear.
Gomiashvili has headquarters in Moscow but is making frequent trips to the U.S. to start her American outreach, including showing the line at New York's Fashion Coterie and at FashionCenterDallas in the World Trade Center here. She also has showrooms in Berlin, Milan and Paris and is actively scouting a permanent New York Garment District showroom.
"I think American women will appreciate my design approach, which is all about texture, trends and wearable luxury," said Gomiashvili. "I focus on intensive handiwork, such as beading, embroidery and batik prints, and bright, fun and sometimes zany color combinations that are sure to get noticed. I think younger women who are sophisticated but have a sense of humor are going to understand my line."
Gomiashvili, who is 26, takes inspiration from her artistic upbringing: Her father is an actor and her mother is a ballerina. After studying decorative arts and fashion design in Moscow, Geneva, London and Los Angeles, she returned to Moscow and opened a studio offering party dresses, embellished sportswear, wedding dresses and costumes that quickly caught on with Moscow celebrities, especially actors and singers. The wholesale business was opened in 2003.
Mia Shvili is carried by a cadre of North American specialty stores including Oggi in Bay Harbor Islands, Fla., and Vetrina in Vancouver. Global accounts include Imarika and To B, both in Milan; Martha Co. Ltd. in Tokyo; Ayer in Lisbon, and Cashmere Concept in Madrid, among others."People are surprised to hear about a Russian designer offering a line such as Mia Shvili, which is all about young, sexy and sporty clothes with a sense of humor," said Gomiashvili. "The Russian design scene is growing in importance each year and attracting buyers from all over the world. I know that it will take some time, but I'm really optimistic about selling in the U.S."
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