Hanging Out With... Anouki Areshidze
Georgia on my mind seems to be the collective mood of the fashion industry right now, with a crop of exciting new labels appearing on the global stage. One of these is Anouki, whose playful elegance has made the brand an instant hit with its international audience. On a visit to her home in Georgia, Browns hangs out with founder Anouki Areshidze to discuss the innate appeal of Georgian style.
Where are you in these photos?
Most of these photos were taken at home, early in the morning - the usual call time for me as a mother of four! My house is located fifteen minutes away from Tbilisi, in Tskneti. Both the atelier and the Anouki flagship store are located in the center of Tbilisi in one of the most famous districts of the city, Tarkhnishvili street.
How would you describe what you do?
Everything that we create at Anouki is mirrors my personality, which is bright and fun.
How did you begin your brand?
It was 2013 when I started Anouki here in Tbilisi. I lived in Milan for several years with my family, but then we moved back to Georgia and I decided to realize my dream of creating clothes, shoes and accessories.
You work a lot with faux leathers. Can you talk a bit more about this?
I won’t lie, I wore leather and fur and used it a bit in earlier collections, but at a certain point I understood how cruel it all was. We searched hard to find a supplier that develops high quality faux materials, and this season will be the third season that we’ve only used their products in our Anouki ready-to-wear collections.
Can you describe the energy of Georgia’s fashion scene? What do Georgian women like to wear and how do they wear it?
Georgian women’s style is really unique and always has been. Ladies from our neighbouring countries have always looked to Tbilisi - what the locals wore, how they were styling regular pieces, what accessories they used - and this is still the case. I think Georgian women have impeccable sense of style; they make themselves look fabulous by mixing unusual garments and accessories.
Why do you think Tbilisi is suddenly having such a moment in fashion?
I can’t say anything new to this, because really all you need to do is to look at the designers coming out of Georgia to understand how fantastic they are. What I like most is that you can clearly see each designer’s personality behind their creations. I think that makes Georgian fashion special in the international landscape.
What is the creative community in Tbilisi like?
I’m amazed that almost every day I hear about new creative individuals from different areas - contemporary art, music, cinema or even digital. I love how they all think globally but still maintain their local Georgian individuality in everything they do. I get goosebumps every time I hear about another Georgian having success on an international level – and it’s been happening a lot lately!
Where do you go for your ideas?
This may sound banal, but travelling is the biggest inspiration for me. I love to sit in small cafes and just look what people around me are doing – how they walk, talk and what they wear. It often becomes the source of my inspiration.
What is your favourite place to hang out in the city?
What do you do to relax?
I love to sleep, but going out in the forests and spending time with my kids in a nature is the best relaxation for me.
Do you travel a lot? Where are your favourite places to go and why?
I have to travel often. I recently visited London for the first time and I loved it so much! As for other cities, Milan is like my second home, but still, I always want to go to Paris.
Who do you look up to?
I look up to every woman who is shaking things up in the 21st Century.
What’s next for Anouki?
If you mean me as a person, I would really like to do more to protect the environment. As for the brand, this year has been very exciting - we had a great season in terms of sales and visibility, we did our dream show at Tbilisi Airport and introduced a new logo.
What do you want to see more of in the fashion industry?
More technological development, less pollution during production, and equality for everyone.