Intense interest was sparked in Vaczi’s company, Matyo Design, after she had a T-shirt embroidered for Ervin Nagy, her boyfriend and a well-known Hungarian actor. Urban Hipsters now happily pay $45 for a Matyo T-shirt. Following the opening of a Budapest showroom earlier in the year, Vaczi is hoping to build her fashion design business on Hungary’s communist-era textiles factories’ ruins.
Vaczi has told reporters that she would like to sell internationally through the company, to be the first Hungarian firm to earn a global place in fashion design. In emerging Europe assembly of garments for some Western brands has long been a thriving business; now there is confidence that designs which are local will be successful on the world stage.
Wages in other areas, including Asia, are now much higher than they used to be so retailers are once again moving their businesses to Eastern Europe where wages are still low in comparison. This means an influx of orders, so new investment in infrastructure, say fashion company executives.
There is a huge potential for expansion in Poland, Russia and other domestic markets which are much less saturated than in Western areas, helping local manufacturers. Polish fashion companies such as LPP, which created the brand Reserved, have grown quickly and in some markets have taken on such giants as Spain’s Inditex, which is the top fashion retailer in the world and parent of Zara.
In 2011 LPP almost doubled its annual profit, with a net income of $80.75million (269 million zlotys). The company focused efforts on Eastern Europe, particularly Russia, like others in the region. Pachla said they had been targeting the East for years.