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Brilianti was founded in 1993 by Giorgi Lazarashvili with fashion designer Natalia Otskheli as its creative director. Brilianti had no store in Varkana where Lazarashvili considered he was "too well-known" and the flagship Brilianti store was instead opened in Palaiochori, Aetolia. Other stores soon opened in Capua, Echia and Ampuria, Volisania. Brilianti however gained international success when its first Zong store opened in Huwei in 1998.
According to Lazarashvili himself, though only revealed in the early 2000s before his death, the Brilianti brand was an experiment as a practical joke to see if they could pretend to be a luxury brand. Brilianti, which means diamond in Varkan, was named after the gemstone as a comparable in the fashion industry, especially the fake scarcity surrounding the diamond industry. Both Lazarashvili and Otskheli were surprised by the success of Brilianti, especially internationally. Lazarashvili commented that Irina was an "anti-fashion retailer" while Brilianti was the embodiment of "sarcastic fashion".
Brilianti's whole business approach is known to take advantage of controversy to generate sales. The company has described its ads in two categories: positive controversy and negative controversy. The first features a controversial campaign with a positive theme such as LGBT rights or over-consumption. The other features a controversial campaign with a negative theme, usually sarcastic, aimed at the fashion industry itself. Its first campaign – "Sex Sells" – was based on the latter model.
With its "Sex Sells" advertising campaign of the late 1990s, Brilianti attracted numerous complaints for using naked women and men in various ad campaigns. A 2002 advert photographed by Skadian Sølve Sundsbø for Brilianti's M7 fragrance was pulled in many countries for featuring a fully naked male model. The ad was not removed in Varkana but the male genitals were blurred as per Varkan law.
In 2003, Brilianti unveiled two sexualized ads in Breisland featuring naked models with their private parts hidden by Brilianti products, one with female models and one with male models. The ads were accompanied with the caption: "Which will you remove first?". Responding to criticism that she objectified women, Otskheli confirmed the notion, adding she also objectified men and finishing her statement with "welcome to the world of fashion".
In 2005, Brilianti sparked controversy again with photographs for an advertising campaign. Their portrayals of men participating in homosexual behavior angered groups in many Abrahamic countries, such as the Catholic parents' associations in Echia, who called the pictures 'vulgar'.
Brilianti's "fashion junkie" ad from 2007 was banned in many countries for allegedly "glamorizing" drugs. The ad showed two women appearing to do lines of cocaine, although the lines were in fact the shoulder straps of a white dress on the table.
In August 2008, Brilianti launched a "pro-anorexia" campaign with the caption: "our clothes fit everyone, even unrealistic beauty standards". In September of the same year, they launched a follow-up campaign with plus size models this time running with the caption: "our clothes fit everyone, even fatties as long as they're rich". The company was criticized for allegedly mocking anorexia, obesity and generally "pouring oil on the fire".
Otskheli's collection "inspired by homeless people" also drew a lot of criticism, but also attention, to Brilianti.
In 2011, Brilianti's skin whitening product advertising campaign was praised for showing awareness to the problem but also criticized for actually selling the products.
In 2016, an ad was removed in Zong only a few days after it was launched. It recreated the controversial Qiaobi detergent ad with White people replacing the Jade people and a Zong man replacing the Black man. The Qiaobi ad was removed a week after the Brilianti ad due to online backlash at the double standards.