Tallinn Fashion Week is an annual fashion event held in Tallinn, Estonia, that showcases the latest designs by Estonian fashion designers. I’ve been attending it since 2010 every single season for the past 9 years, before the relocation. I even planned my short trips from Zürich to Tallinn to be able to see the latest collections of my favourite brands knowing the specifics of the whole thing. However, there’s been a certain tendency towards the presented collections and the brands, and it’s hard not to notice even for an observer.
The Tallinn Fashion Week event is mostly geared towards a local audience and provides an opportunity for fashion enthusiasts in the community to experience the latest fashion trends and designs firsthand. Instead of catering primarily to industry professionals, the event has been focused on engaging the local community through fashion shows that allow attendees to connect with designers and brands in a more personal way.
In general, these types of fashion events may prioritize inclusivity and accessibility, with a diverse range of designers and models represented on the runway and in marketing materials. The events may incorporate cultural and social elements that resonate with the local community and promote a sense of belonging and shared identity.
But there’s a big BUT.
With all these endless opportunities and potential of a small country, Tallinn Fashion Week doesn’t work in that direction. Even if the event is focused on the local audience and the end consumer to create a more democratic and engaging fashion experience, it lacks a clear vision of how to unite all the creatives, rather than split into different groups.
I position myself as a huge supporter for emerging brands, especially when they come from the countries I relate myself to ( Estonia, Armenia or Switzerland), but a poorly curated event may leave people feeling disappointed and uninspired, and it can create a negative perception of the industry and the designers who participate. I’m following the event online, and must say that the recent shows left me speechless. It took me a while to select the most decent looks to showcase to my small community on social media. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, but this careless approach damages the reputation of the country’s fashion industry as a whole, making it more difficult for emerging designers to gain recognition and support.
To prevent this from happening, it’s important for fashion week organizers to carefully curate the designers and collections featured in the event, ensuring that they represent a diverse range of styles, aesthetics, and perspectives. Get a head stylist, or even several ones to curate each look. It’s important to prioritize quality and creativity over trends and commercial appeal.
As someone with humble professional experience in the fashion industry, I would advise organizers to prioritize creating a clear concept and mission for this big fashion event, with the goal of representing the industry at the highest level possible. This means carefully selecting designers and collections that represent the best of what the industry has to offer, and ensuring that the event is well-organized and executed. Gather the feedback, and work on fostering a sense of community that is extremely important for all creatives.