After two years of successfully bringing diverse designers to the European market, Veronica Sheynina talks about the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.
Russia native, Veronica Sheynina founded The Fashion Curator as a vessel for Russian designers to be introduced into the European market.
Before founding the company, Sheynina was already working in the fashion business as a journalist. One day, a colleague of her’s asked if she knew any Russian designers. “I thought to myself, why not try scouting? That’s how I brought my first client from Russia to Monte Carlo,” says Sheynina. After showing at Monte Carlo Fashion Week, opportunities opened up for runway and trunk shows in Rome and Milan. “My clientele expanded to Arab, Brazilian, Kezahs, and now Italian emerging designers.”
The Fashion Curator—while only two years old—has made a lot of progress and recently created the Fashion Insider Master Class, a unique opportunity for emerging designers to have an introduction into the Italian fashion market. Participants learn about Italian tailoring techniques by working in the ateliers and tailoring houses side by side with artisans and craftsmen. Upon completion of the program, participants attend a private cocktail at the Bulgari Domus Museum, which holds a collection of high end jewelry that was once owned by Hollywood stars and royal families.
As February fashion month feels like a decade ago, the next question is how COVID-19 going to affect that future of the fashion industry. “Social distancing is an absolute must during this pandemic. Many brands are already canceling or postponing their upcoming shows,” says Sheynina.
Although February fashion month was able to happen in the traditional markets: New York, London, Milan and Paris; other markets such as Moscow, Shanghai, Melbourne, Seoul and many more have completely canceled their fashion weeks.
“If the industry needs to reinvent fashion shows, live streaming may be a solution. Still, we can’t do things that fashion shows can.”
Sheynina sees streaming as a temporary fix, not a permanent solution. As a former fashion journalist, she understands the importance of the live show for a brand. “Live-streaming may be a solution but what about the emerging designer who won’t have the capacity to stream or shoot moving images like the bigs?” says Sheynina. Seeing a collection live is super important for designers, especially for emerging designers to get in front of editors and buyers. “A journalist watching a show is living two completely different experiences and will probably write two different reviews.” Along with this missed experience, it also poses a problem for buyers who wouldn’t be able to make an accurate assessment of fabrics and wearability of each garment. Without live action involvement, it could also skew social media’s place in the process.
There’s a lot of anticipation about the coming years for Fashion Curator Agency and the industry in a post COVID-19 world. “It’s clear that the industry will not be the same. I think fashion houses will move onto the quality, not on the quantity; on the responsibility and sustainability—which is positive.”