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Forget Zara! 7 Local Brands To Shop For In Belarus

In 2017 Belarusians queued at the opening of the first Zara shop in Minsk. Two years later, the arrival of the Swedish retailer H&M caused probably a bigger stir, with shoppers waiting in line from the night preceding the opening. This got me thinking: locals often overlook Belarusian brands, let alone tourists! 

While major European mass-market brands are successfully sold in town, one should not forget about local brands while shopping in the Belarusian capital.

FAQs: Shopping In Belarus And How To Do It Right

There are good reasons for that. First, you can easily find sizes and classical models. Second, Belarusian clothing factories are known for good cuts, so most clothes are likely to fit. Third, you can buy Zara, Bershka, and H&M anywhere else, so maybe a change of racks would be an exciting experience. 

So if you plan to stock up on clothing made in Belarus, there are a few suggestions of the biggest local brands. For shopper’s convenience, I have tried to analog them with the globally known names. 

I hope the fashion police won’t judge me!

Elema aka Max Mara 

Elema is a big brand of women’s and men’s wear, best known for its coats. Coats, jackets, trenches and other outwear are what the brand specializes in, having collaborated with the global players like Marks&Spencer. 

 

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Публикация от Elema (@elema_by)

The company dates back to 1930 and calls itself the brand with perfect cuts and high-quality fabrics. 

Elema has its shops around Belarus and is also sold in big department stores. The company has singled its men’s line as a separate brand named Etelier and has upgraded its flagman shops to make them look like boutiques. 

Mark Formelle aka H&M

If any Belarusian brand has been expanding like crazy, that’s Mark Formelle. Women’s wear, men’s wear, kids, underwear, sportswear are all offered by MF at affordable prices. 

The brand is trying to keep up with fashion trends, renewing its collections several times a season, holding sales, and catering a lot to a younger audience. For example, some of their socks are bestsellers (no kidding!). 

 

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Публикация от Mark Formelle (@markformelle)

So if suddenly you need to stock up on funny patterned hosiery or good-quality underwear, Mark Formelle can be an alternative to H&M and Tezenis.

Conte aka Calzedonia 

Conte is another big clothing brand from Belarus. 

It started as a women’s hosiery brand and is still largely associated with it. I recommend stocking up with more than one pair – besides decent quality, Conte offers hosiery models ranging from classical ones to super trendy, similar to the ones that you would see on fashion ambassadors of Calzedonia on Instagram. 

 

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Публикация от CONTE (@conteofficial)

Besides hosiery, the brand now offers clothes. Conte’s latest collections include jeans and sweaters that are no less trendy than the ones coming from Bershka. 

Conte is also strong in its kids’ line and often bought by Belarusians as souvenirs to foreign friends. 

Milavitsa aka Intimissimi 

Models queueing to castings, bloggers as ambassadors and provocative ad campaigns… No, I am not talking about Victoria’s Secret or Intimissimi, but about Belarus’ lingerie giant Milavitsa.

Milavitsa comes in all sizes and shapes, from basic to fancy lace models. Its luxury line Alizee can easily rival Italian lingerie brands. 

Milavitsa is one of the first Belarusian brands to make a diversity and body positivity statement with the 2019 summer campaign featuring plus-size models and models of color.

 

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Публикация от Milavitsa (@milavitsaofficial)

This is, in fact, logical as the brand exports its products to 25 countries, including six in the EU, and takes steps to enter the UK’s and New Zealand’s markets. 

Serge aka Oysho

Unlike Milavitsa, that’s more about being sleeky and seductive, Serge is more about comfort and coziness. 

 

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Публикация от SERGE (@sergefashion)

They have extensive lines of everyday underwear, both for women and for men, and lots of soft sleepwear. The brand is much loved in Russia, the news says, and once you buy something from Serge, you will understand why their products have so many fans. 

Mattioli aka Furla 

Before you hit the shops, let’s add accessories to the list. 

 

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Публикация от MATTIOLI (@mattiolibelarus)

Mattioli are luxury handbags from Belarus that can easily rival Italian and French designs. The brand is usually very precise about details, so the bags look beautifully crafted. A good investment totally worth the price!

Also, I would say, many models cater to evening rather then daily use, but this is just about personal preference. 

Final note: Luch

To remember your time in Belarus better, take the Belarusian time with you.

 

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Публикация от Гадзіннікі «Луч» | Часы «Луч» (@luch.official)

Luch, which is translated as ‘beam’ or ‘ray’, is the watch brand produced by Minsk Watch Plant since the 1950s.  The brand changes names, expanded, and altogether Minsk Watch Plant has produced over 1,700 models, many of them recognized abroad, and some awarded by gold medals.

The production was modernized in the 2010s when a Swiss watchmaker bought the majority of the stakes of the plant. Fashion design has been added to quality, making Luch watches cater to any age.

For the past years, the brand has been surprising shoppers with models in Belarusian style or models made from wood, and limited edition collections. Why not get one of those as a non-standard souvenir from Belarus?


Do you wear anything made in Belarus? Tell us in the comments 👇

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