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In focus: three successful wedding dress designers from Moldova and Belarus

By Sponsor

26 Jun 2020


The CBI's Ready to Trade project, developed in cooperation with ITC, supports various fashion labels from Eastern Europe. In addition to women's fashion and children's clothing, three successful wedding dress designers from Moldova and Belarus are also participating in the project. These companies design and produce beautiful, top-quality wedding gowns. As the design and production activities are all done in-house, they can guarantee craftsmanship and perfect wedding gowns for the most beautiful day of a bride's life. We would now like to introduce these three companies to you.


The three companies, Papilio Fashion House, Sophie and Ilette, have been working hard at developing and preparing their companies for the Valmont Barcelona Bridal Week over the past year. They would have been present with their own stands, but unfortunately the trade fair was postponed. Nevertheless, the companies have continued to prepare their products for the European market. The CBI has been helping them with this, by providing them with a good insight into what they can expect and what requirements they will need to meet. As the trade fair has been postponed and their planned visits have also been cancelled, online visibility is now more important than ever to attract customers. The CBI supports companies with improving their online sales through the extensive use of webinars. And online B2B matchmaking means these companies will still be able to launch into the European market.

Papilio Fashion House

Papilio was founded by Alena Goretskaya in Belarus in 2002. She aspired to a career in designing wedding dresses from an early age. Her husband and three children are all on board and her eldest daughter has even become her head designer. A true family business. In addition to wedding dresses, they have also been producing cocktail dresses, children's clothing and leisurewear for a number of years now. The company is unique because of the many handmade elements that can be found on its dresses. All the prints, embroidery and accessories are made by the company itself. Each collection has its own concept which is reflected in the advertising campaigns. They can guarantee top quality as they produce the dresses in their own factory. Papillio is confident that this top quality and the design of the collections are well suited to the European market. They hope taking part in the programme will attract more customers and allow them to collaborate with boutiques and salons.


Elena Zbârnea is the designer and owner of the Moldavian brand, Sophie. She grew up in an artistic environment, with a father who is a painter, so she developed a passion for art and fashion from an early age. She designs very light and comfortable wedding dresses and evening dresses, designed with passion and an eye for detail. Femininity, chicness and elegance are central to this and the handmade finish adds to the sophistication of each dress. Elena opened her first design studio in 2012, which was so successful that she decided to produce her own line of wedding gowns for 'laid back' brides in 2017. The dresses should match the bride’s stories and personality and should stand out from the more typical wedding dresses. Sophie hopes participating in the project will allow her to create an international network of bridal salons, offering alternative and contemporary dresses.


Ilette was born from the dream of a young girl, but there was no way to turn this dream into reality during the Soviet Union period. Fortunately, this opportunity does exist today and Ilette is making good use of it. In addition to the beautiful dresses they design, Ilette also wants to contribute to the well- being of people and nature. That's why the company offsets its emissions by working together with a company which grows trees and plants on their behalf. Ilette designs and produces bridal and evening dresses which are truly tailored to each individual woman’s body. The collections are well attuned to the market and consumer demand. Ilette’s aim is to conquer the European market, but also wants to create new jobs in its homeland of Moldova.

The Ready to Trade project is financed by EU4Business, an initiative for SMEs in the EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. For more information.

Contact details for the companies and the programme can be found on this page.