The vast territory of Siberia, nested within in a slightly larger Russia, occupies most of North Asia. It stretches east to west, from the Pacific to the Ural Mountains and north to south, from the Arctic Ocean to the borders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. This vast land represents 77% of Russia’s territory; with 40 million inhabitants, it accounts only for 28% of its population.
On the Western Siberian plains, the Omsk province shares a border with Kazakhstan. Panning 600 km north to south and 300 km east to west, its population is close to 2 million. Omsk, the administrative capital of the province accounts for 1.15 million of them. The second city of Siberia, it ranks seventh for population in the Russian Federation.
Omsk climate is dry and continental, with 300 sunny days a year. Temperatures experience dramatic swings; they average +20 °C (68 °F) in July and −17 °C (1 °F) in January but in summer can go as high as +40 °C (104 °F) and as low as −45 °C (−49 °F) in winter.
Omsk Economic Development
The city is first of all a logistic hub; its development was spurred in the late 19th century, by the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and culminated pre-revolution; with the Siberian Exposition of Agriculture and Industry in 1910. This exhibition established Omsk’s image as the “Chicago of Siberia“.
Since the city has known many ups and downs. After the October Revolution and until 1919, Omsk remained under the control of the anti-Bolshevik White forces and proclaimed itself, during that time, the capital of Russia.
Eventually Omsk integrated with the Soviet Union only to see the city of Novosibirsk chosen as the Western Siberia administrative centre. Naturally Omsk lost a lot of its influence until The Second World War when its distance to the battlefronts meant that it was a more secure and better location for the Soviet industry.
For most of the Soviet era the economy of Omsk remained focused on the exploitation of natural resources and heavy manufacturing. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Omsk has made efforts to help small enterprises and light industry grow. As a result, between 2008 and 2010, Omsk’s rank in Forbes listing of best cities in Russia for business improved from number 20 to number 6 – just behind Novosibirsk.
Forbes explains Omsk success by mentioning in 2013: “the large number of skilled workers and available infrastructure,” “the city is loyalty to investors” and a “budget dedicated to small businesses.”
Fashion Education in Omsk
This environment should prove supportive to the textile industry. Certainly in the area of fashion designing, Omsk has gone from strength to strength. Much of the credit is due to the Omsk Fashion Design School, started in 1977 as part of the wider Omsk State Institute of Service and the first school of fashion Western Siberia today providing both scientific and creative education excellence.
Two facts become apparent when reviewing the school production: its unique approach to fashion design and the effect of the regional cultural and ethnic mix which sees Russian, Kazakh, Ukrainian, German, Tatar, Belarusians and Armenian populations share their destiny.
For 17 years now Omsk Fashion Design School and Omsk State Institute of Service have been running in partnership with other institutions and under the patronage of the local and federal Ministries of Education, what has become a three days festival and an international fashion contest: “Fashion Formula: East – West.“ The festival welcome not only participants from ‘neighbouring cities such as Yekaterinburg, Astana, Novosibirsk and Chelyabinsk, but also from further afield Alma-Ate, Saint- Petersburg, Shakhty and Kostroma.’
MODECONNECT’s COVERAGE OF OMSK FASHION