Almanac of Bulgarian Fashion

* Trends, Dynamics and Contradictions


Lubomir StoykovNo great miracle happened in the Bulgarian fashion design in 2004. Anyone who had been expecting a thing like that can be reproached with being illusory or naive. The last fifteen years made us witnesses of a lot of examples of overestimation or overreaching on behalf of designers or pseudo designers, fashion houses and fashion “cottages”, tailor’s ateliers and garage boutiques. We have had enough of competitions, and pseudo competitions, ceremonies and “tiny” ceremonies, awarding of prizes and receiving of awards of any sort, kind and value. We are also tired a bit of the flamboyant tone in most of the cases of fashion references and comments in the mass media about the “huge” achievements of our design. For most of the designers and the journalists it was really hard to admit that the national fashion as a whole has not yet overcome its backwardness, the deficiency of professionalism and the achieving of actual swing in the creation and the distribution of original and of high quality garments and accessories.
It would have been a demonstration of pessimism, nihilism and certain paranoia to neglect what actually happened with the Bulgarian fashion, with its manifestations at home and abroad. As a whole, the fashion year of 2004 was a year of reason, relaxation and a little anxiety. Why? Because the sense of realism gradually became dominant as a result of the increasing foreign competition, the new credit policy and the sense of reality that started prevailing among our designers and fashion houses. The analyses of the modern Bulgarian design may be extensive and profound but in this case I will only deal with two trends and three contradictions in them. The first trend is about the bigger commercialism and market orientation, which as a whole demonstrates striving at adaptation to the European and the world marketing processes. The second trend is closely related to the change of the players in the area of the fashion creation, design and textile. Our famous fashion names (with some small exceptions) not only started to fade away but actually disappeared from the horizon of the Bulgarian fashion events. Their place was occupied a little by little or in a more arrogant manner by powerful industrial configurations for textile and manufacture of garments, whose experience is acquired in outsourcing to Bulgaria by their work done with materials supplied by the client, and in the production or trade schemes and designs they have taken part in. In brief, the general impression is about serious restructuring of the national fashion industry, design and the fashion business which does not always happen smoothly, in a correct manner and with the necessary transparency.
With respect to the contradictions in the Bulgarian fashion at present, the serious discrepancy between wishes and possibilities is in the first place. The excessiveness of fashion shows, both big and small, presentations, either bigger or smaller organized for and by natural persons or legal entities of doubtful competency or of openly mercantile character, which are ready for any compromises in the name of the fast success (especially regarding the image or financial success) destroy the authenticity and the genuine nature of the fashion processes in Bulgaria, thus causing and fostering disbelief in the future development of the Bulgarian fashion. Last but not the least is the serious discrepancy between the increasing awareness and exigency of the fashion fans and consumers, on the one hand, and the outdated and of low quality fashion goods offered in the shops, on the other hand. The third contradiction refers to the conflict between the taste and the aesthetic attitude of a big part of the fashion goods consumers in Bulgaria and their financial possibilities and limited budgets that do not provide them with the opportunity to buy what they like, what they mostly value among the creations of the Bulgarian and the foreign (importing) fashion houses.
Will the work of the new generation of fashion designers make us more serious optimists? What is for example the development of the fashion students at the National Academy of Art?


1. Introduction
2. Bulgarian fashion design in 2004
3. The new generation
4. The almanac premiere 2003-2004
5. Successes abroad
6, Golden needle 2003
7. How fashion journalists evaluate the last fashion 2004 year?

Bulgarian Fashion Directory

1. Lubomir Stoykov
Photo: Stefan Tambouev

Copyright © 2005 Lubomir Stoykov

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