Couture Catalyst: Moldova’s Light Industry Redefined

Moldova’s Light Industry is a vital contributor to the nation’s economy, holding a coveted position among the top three export industries. The sector predominantly engages in two key activities: providing sewing services to international clients, which make up 70 percent of its operations, and crafting clothing, footwear, and accessories under its own brand, constituting the remaining 30 percent. However, a new vision has emerged, aiming to tip the balance towards a greater self-branding—a move that promises increased profits, job opportunities, and economic prosperity.

Shifting the Balance

The primary objective of Moldova’s Light Industry is to pivot towards producing under their own brand. This strategic shift not only promises significant profit margins, but also envisions a future characterized by substantial job creation and a thriving economic landscape. At the heart of this transformation are local fashion events that play an important role in promoting and consulting locally made fashion products, fostering national pride, and elevating the sector’s competitive dynamics. The United States Agency for International Development Economic Development, Governance, and Enterprise Growth Activity supported in this shift.

Moldova Brands Runway 2023

Enter Moldovan Brands Runway 2023, an inventive fashion event dedicated to propelling the “Made in Moldova” label onto the international stage. What sets this edition apart is its pioneering approach—the fusion of human creativity with artificial intelligence (AI). The collaboration promises a unique and original experience, marking a milestone in the evolution of the country’s fashion industry.

Designer Julia Allert (not pictured) is redefining elegance with a fusion of tradition and innovation. Allert's brand is known for its well-defined geometric shapes, minimalist color palette, and expressive details. Credit: Egor Tetiushev
Beyond the Runway:

Credit: Fault Magazine

Moldovan Brands Runway 2023 wasn’t just about fashion presentations; it was a holistic experience. The event featured:

  1. Fashion Talks: Engaging discussions on the future of fashion, smart fabrics, and the evolution of digital fashion. Topics spanned AI-assisted design creation, applications like Cala, Designovel, Zmo, Vue, and more.
  2. Digital Fashion Expo: A showcase of cutting-edge works by both local and international designers, featuring traditional formats and immersive experiences with mirrored rooms and audio-visual shows.
  3. Interactive Elements: The incorporation of visual/AR effects in fashion presentations, virtual trials of digital clothing, Instagram filters featuring local brands, and other augmented reality elements—all developed in collaboration with AI.
  4. Pop-Up Shop: Complementing the runway was a pop-up shop featuring 14 local brands. Each brand had its own booth to showcase and sell a diverse range of products, from clothing to handbags and jewelry. This retail component allowed consumers to engage directly with the brands, fostering a deeper connection and appreciation for Moldovan craftsmanship.








Intercentre Lux collection featured vibrant jackets and bags and sleek puffer jacket material garments. The intricate designs and innovative use of materials evoke the high-fashion brand Moncler, serving as a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship and creativity. Credit: Egor Tetiushev

Beyond the main runway, the event featured ‘Fashion Talks’, which included designer facilitated dialogues from industry CEOs such as Kateryna Biakova and Maxim Holub, founders of FINCH.; Cai Felip, the CEO and Co-Founder of Union Avatars; and Nirmala Shome, Head of Marketing and Growth at The Fabricant.

Love these designs? Take a closer look at the images and explore the essence of Moldova’s changing fashion scene.