Georgian clothing brand Shavdia, famous for its inclusion of elements of Georgian culture in its collections, is expanding by moving to a new fashion atelier. These new premises will be in the Bagebi district of the Georgian capital city Tbilisi and will enable the clothing brand to increase its production volume by 50 percent.
Spread over 300sq.m. Shavdia’s new atelier and showroom will be located on the top floor of a penthouse-type, stained glass building in Bagebi, from where visitors will be able to take in the extraordinary views of Tbilisi.
The new atelier due to open next year will combine the production of shoes, clothing, and bags.
In her interview with Glossy magazine, Elene Shavdia, founder of the Shavdia clothing brand, said that the idea of expanding came about to meet the increased demand they have been experiencing.
“We have already started to purchase new equipment for the atelier and add new employees. This will give us the possibility to engage in different types of business, which we do not yet want to disclose. Most importantly though, we will be able to work on individual orders,” Shavdia said.
The Shavdia brand is expanding, which is very exciting. In addition to the new atelier and showroom, are you going to add any new branded stores as well?
We have recently opened a new store in Georgia’s third largest city of Kutaisi. The new store is located in the Karvasla shopping centre. We are going to add a second store in the Black Sea resort town of Batumi, which will be situated in the Metro City shopping centre.
Currently, we have five stores of which three are located in Tbilisi: at Galeria Tbilisi and City Mall shopping centres, and on the Bambis Rigi street in old Tbilisi where the stores of many different Georgian designers can be found.
Today we are talking about the expansion of the Shavdia brand, while it was only four years ago that you started this business from scratch. How have you managed to grow from nothing to being a famous and successful Georgian clothing brand in such a short space of time?
The level of competition between Georgian brands is quite high, but we have our own style, vision, and niche which we are loyal to. It’s interesting to note the number of people imitating our style not only in Georgia but abroad as well. We are seeing large countries such as Turkey and China patent our products and you can find many of them being brought into the Georgian market.
As I mentioned, today we are already represented with five stores in three cities across Georgia while one new store will be coming soon. We offer men and women’s clothing lines and want to introduce a children’s line as well. We also want to add a sports shoe line.
Your collections are dominated by Georgian motifs, be they Georgian inscriptions (the alphabet) or the paintings of famous Georgian artist Pirosmani. Why did you decide to use elements of Georgian culture in your collections?
Firstly because it is thought-provoking, and secondly because it is immensely beautiful. As you know, traditional Georgian clothes are not used in everyday life nowadays, so the idea arose to produce clothing that would not only be made in Georgia but would also be obvious at first glance that it is Georgian. Therefore our clothing is ‘MADE IN SAQARTVELO’ [Saqartvelo means Georgia] and is a part of our history and culture. We decided to produce a product that would inspire thought and mean that your little Georgia would always be as close to you as possible. Our message is: ‘Carry your share of Georgia’. We also have many foreign customers who really like our collections and have as a result become interested in Pirosmani or wanted to learn more about our alphabet or another element we use in our collections. Therefore in our own way we are contributing to the development and popularization of our country.
Many foreigners buy Shavdia’s clothing. We see your collections being exported to the US, Kazakhstan and Armenia. How did you manage to initiate cooperation with these countries and do you plan to enter any new markets?
The interest actually originated from these countries, and fashion buyers export our clothes there. Despite the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic, we have not had to suspend export to these countries. Entering new markets is more difficult given the current situation, again due to the pandemic. However, I hope the Shavdia brand will continue to successfully grow, not only in Georgia but in foreign countries as well.