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Hungarian fashion designers on the doorstep of world fame

Hungary is not only lucky in terms of its geographical location: Hungarian intellectual heritage and creativity are also this nation’s worldwide trademarks. Looking back on a history of over a millennium, Hungary boasts a rich cultural heritage, the preservation, promotion and visibility of which is a priority task of the Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency.  

The textile and textile clothing industry here is as old as Hungarian industry itself, whose development was attentively followed by the clothing and design shops emerging from the tailoring workshops. In the early days, Hungarian fashion houses would follow the “best Parisian trends”. Founded in the mid1800s, Alter & Kiss was one of the dominant fashion houses of the AustroHungarian Empire in Central Europe. The Fischer Fashion House would be regarded as among the most innovative and upscale clothing brands and a major trendsetter on the Hungarian fashion scene. Managed by Júlia Fischer, the brand put Hungary on the European fashion map, making the front page of the French fashion magazine Femina in 1935. Back in the day, Viennese high society often preferred a trip to Budapest for the latest models instead of the local shops.  

A true pioneer of modern fashion, ItalianFrench fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli discovered the unique Hungarian motifs and embroidery, prompting her to study the collection of the Museum of Hungarian Ethnography in Budapest in 1935. The audience of the fashion shows in Paris that season marvelled at fine models that featured traditional Hussar-style designs with braids!

The Hungarian fashion scene has been studded with great names in the trade – in the 1960s, Klára Rotschild was regarded as the “Coco Chanel of the Eastern Bloc” in Western Europe, and world-renowned fashion designer Tamás Király introduced upcycled models as early as in the 1980s.

Today's Hungarian fashion designers create models made unique through their own stories: their real forte is a penchant for combining elements of cultural heritage and contemporary art, which is essential for brand-building in the 21st century. Some incorporate the image of the glass dome of Gresham Palace, a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture, into their collections, while other exceptionally talented fashion designers have the influence of the Bauhaus movement seep through the veneer in their pieces.  

Budapest Central European Fashion Week (, or simply BCEFW, organized by the Hungarian Fashion & Design Agency, is one of the most significant fashion events in the region, and is increasingly highly regarded by the Hungarian and Central European fashion scenes. Held twice every year, the event features Hungarian brands with their own unique identities – examples include ABODI, a fashion designer born into an artistic family, whose works are regularly featured in fashion magazines around the world and worn by Hollywood celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani or Janelle Monáe. BCEFW also features domestic designers who dress the brightest stars – the creations of Kata Szegedi, for example, are worn by Nicki Minaj and Kelly Rowland! The prestige of the event is further elevated by Hungarian brands such as ALMA, Artista, BORBALA, CAKO, Celeni, Cukovy, DÜSK, Elysian, Katti Zoób, MERO, NINI, Nora Sarman, NUBU, OST konzept, PHILOMÉN, Romani Design, Sentiments, THEFOUR, TOMCSANYI, VENGRU, VIKTORIAVARGA Budapest, VIRAG KERENYI, ZIA budapest and ZSIGMOND DORA menswear.

Items from the seasonal collections of numerous designers can be purchased at the Budapest Select Concept Store (, which has been in the forefront of efforts to increase the international visibility and availability of creative Hungarian fashion collections.