When we attended Riga Fashion Week, in 2023, we analyzed in the article how each country was pursuing, season after season, the construction of a unique narrative in fashion, a story with personality and a way of doing things different from the others, as well as the magic that comes from this very tough process. Now, two seasons later and coinciding with the celebration of its 38th edition, we travel to Latvia again to learn more about its biggest fashion event, how it has evolved in the last year, and what elements are positioning this Baltic capital on the international map.ith personality and a way of doing things different from the others, as well as the magic that comes from this very tough process. Now, two seasons later and coinciding with the celebration of its 38th edition, we travel to Latvia again to learn more about its biggest fashion event, how it has evolved in the last year and what are the elements that are positioning this Baltic capital on the international map.
As we said in the article we published highlighting the best collections that were shown at the Latvian event a year ago, it’s always fashion week somewhere in the world. The major events in the sector are piled up one after the other, making it almost impossible to keep up to date with everything that is happening in an industry as broad, diverse, and global as fashion. In fact, this latest edition of Riga Fashion Week, which said goodbye last Thursday, coincided on the schedule with 080 Barcelona Fashion, whose shows we have been featuring these days in METAL. 
Riga Fashion Week has once again opted for a calendar that is not excessively broad, thus being able to give attention to all the participating brands and avoiding oversaturation of stimuli. A successful decision that was crystallised in seventeen brands that come along with another of its great missions: internationalisation and attempts to make the Latvian capital a meeting point for Eastern and Northern European fashion. 
It is no coincidence that in its last Spring season, which was held from April 8 to 11 under the motto “fashion is art," not only Latvian brands participated but also Estonian, Lithuanian, and even Finnish labels. But if there is something we’ve seen in this latest edition that we should not overlook, it’s the search for collaborations with big companies in the sector to continue promoting the talent of young brands or local projects.
A good example of this was the alliance between Stockmann, the Finnish retailer established in the mid-19th century that offers the latest fashion, trendy cosmetics, world-famous Scandinavian design, souvenirs, and much more, with the also Finnish brand Miia Halmesmaa. The best collection resulting from this interesting collaborative format was the one presented by BAE by Katya Shehurina together with Adidas Riga. Putting the finishing touch to Riga Fashion Week, this was undoubtedly one of the best moments of the edition, proving that huge brands are closely watching some designers’ works determined to support them through high-impact creative synergies. 
Leaving aside the alliances with large companies in the sector and focusing on the local brands that have participated in the event, we highlight Una Berzina, a project that, through minimalism with experimental touches, seeks to offer “prêt- à-porter fashion for women.” After Selina Keer's presentation, it was the turn of Riga-based fashion brand Iveta Vecmane, which offered one of the most complete collections of the entire season. Their way of understanding fashion is coherent and seems to be connected to the commercial reality that every brand needs without giving up creativity and design. 
A large part of the collections that have been shown in the Latvian capital are very connected to everyday reality, not forgetting who the end customer is. Far from what we can see in other fashion weeks where originality and the search for formulas never seen before prevail over practicality or commercial vision, in Riga, many of the garments presented on the runway could be easily integrated into clients’ wardrobes. We miss a little more risk, experimentation, and the surprise factor, although some brands do dare to come up with collections designed for special occasions and pieces not thought of for everyday wear.
Moel Bosh is precisely one of the brands that takes the most risks; it has personality, and the garments are the result of a very laborious artisanal process of creation and manufacturing. The Uzbekistan-born Latvian-based designer is certain about the identity of her brand, the values, and the importance that savoir-faire has in the DNA of her project. Theirs is one of the most complete and colourful collections that we’ve seen in this latest edition, offering perfectly executed embroidery and a showcase that ultimately makes a lot of sense.
In addition to Moel Bosh, on the last day of the Spring edition of Riga Fashion Week, we also witnessed the collections of Natalija Jansone, Dobrzanska, Ivo Nikkolo and the aforementioned BAE by Katya Shehurina in collaboration with Adidas Riga. We cannot overlook the extensive exhibition programme featuring visual, textile, and decorative arts that the Latvian fashion event has offered this past season. Not only were we able to visit the exhibition Age at Play by textile artist Edite Pauls-Vignere at Ola Foundation, but we also had the chance to visit Le Chevalier Boutique by Akcenty.
We say goodbye to Riga with a good feeling after having confirmed that the event continues working to gain a foothold in the international fashion scene, but not before noting the lack of diversity in the castings. Although the majority of collections seem to respond correctly to the needs of the public and the desires of the brands' followers, we feel that the profiles selected to wear the garments on the runway do not respond to the diverse, plural, and multicultural reality that current times demand. We will continue reporting about Riga Fashion Week's next steps!  
BAE by Katya Shehurina
Iveta Vecmane
Moel Bosh
Stockmann x Miia Halmesmaa
Una Berzina