Fifty Years in Riga Fashion

The book is the story of Asnāte Smeltere’s reflection on her long and successful path in the fashion industry, which began in the 1960s at the then legendary Riga Fashion House and the magazine Rīgas Modes (Riga Fashion) well known in the entire Soviet Union. In the 1990s, when Latvia had regained its independence, and Asnāte Smeltere had finished her model’s career, she created a fashion brand called “Salon A”, which was part of Latvian fashion for more than 20 years, representing both elegance and sophistication, as well as maintaining the best traditions of local fashion.

“Fifty Years in Riga Fashion” does not claim to be a comprehensive Latvian fashion history – it is rather a personal story of memories in which the author describes the era and fashion only through her own experience: she speaks only of those events where she was present at and mentions people who have been important in her professional life. And yet the book is also a significant historical testimony of fashion as an integral part of Latvian culture and a mirror of the era, making a valuable contribution to identifying Latvian fashion history.

We are so infinitely different. We have different understanding of what is beautiful, or not, bad or good. We speak different languages, live different lives. But the picture of the time says: You are alike! How? You are like your time. Fashion is the similarity that brings us all together in our time. Even if we have no notion of it.

Asnate Smeltere

The publication is complemented by a rich collection of photographs from the author’s family archive, pages of the magazine Rīgas Modes, and documentary images from museums, archives and private collections.