Can you tell us a bit about the concept and history of Matèriel?
Materiel is the new edition of Materia family-owned fashion house that has operated in Tbilisi, Georgia since 1949. The company opened its doors to young and talented designers from the Tbilisi fashion scene. Today Lado Bokuchava and Aleksandre Akhalkatsishvili are the designer duo behind the brand and now Aka Prodiashvili (the latest edition of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week) has joined the team.
Fashion House Materia was participating in fashion shows during the Soviet Era, what is different now? Is there a different vibe in the collections?
Some of our team members at the factory have been with the company since the Soviet Era and we often hear their stories about how fashion was perceived back in the day. Yet, the concept wasn’t very much different but the collections were. Today, Matèriel represents a feminine but strong woman. The brand uses a lot of tailoring techniques that were used in men’s fashion only. Matèriel woman is still modest but loves to take risks and experiment with new shapes and colors.
How does the history of Fashion House Materia influence Matèriel and where do you see the future of the fashion collective?
We believe that what distinguishes Matèriel within the industry is our collaborative spirit and a constant search of new talents. Tbilisi being super up & coming city where opportunities are rare and financial stability is not easily achieved, it is important that we, as a fashion collective, stay open to the new talents that need our attention and support to succeed.
How are the designers chosen for each collection? How are they influenced by Georgia?
Lado and Aleksandre have been successfully collaborating under Matèriel for multiple seasons now. They have years of experience and vision needed to succeed in the industry.
There is a huge political and human rights movement wave in Georgia and especially in Tbilisi. Different cultural shifts are changing society’s mentality for the better. That being said, it is hard not to be inspired or affected by these events. Our designers too are influenced by the country’s events and the rebellious nature of our youth.
What is the creative scene in Georgia like today?
Very bohemian and very emerging. It can easily be compared to 90s Berlin – with a rising night scene, young artists struggling to survive, the opening of new galleries, gathering spots, etc.
Describe your perfect day.
The perfect day at work starts with a morning gathering with the Matèriel team where we preview the new collection samples and styles and discuss future plans. We drink coffee together and start our day. We are also very much involved with sample making as well as the production. No major issues in these processes definitely contribute to having a good day.
What designer would you love to work with on a future collection?
We have started working on the jewelry and accessories collection with different local and international companies. As Matèriel has emerged into a RTW brand it is important to offer the full look for which we have a lot of cool ideas in mind. We do not want to spoil the surprise by naming the collaborators – however, you will be able to see the final result on our SS19 runway.