Meet Three Russian Designers Who Featured Their Work At Fortochka In NYC

An ongoing series to prove Russian fashion is more than Gosha.

Part of an ongoing series created by Oyster faves Olivia Capozzalo (St Petersburg) and Smith Freeman (Brooklyn) of She’s In Russia, Fortochka aims to bring new Russian designers to NYC and beyond because “Russian fashion isn’t just Gosha Rubchinskiy.” And in light of recent news, thank god for that.

Over the weekend, Olivia and Smith wrangled over 20 designers from all over Russia, extending their reach beyond St Petersburg and Moscow, and put their best pieces inside a pop up. Below, we meet three of our faves to learn a little more about what they do and what it means to them.

GOLDMANS

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Tell us about your brand. How would you describe the label — who is it for and what urged you to start it?
Our brand is a duet of two sisters from Siberia, formed in 2010. We want to share our ideas with the surrounding world. Ulia created paintings and Zhenya came up with the idea of transferring these images onto clothes. Not everyone can afford a painting, but clothing is more accessible. Oriented towards people and animals, any age, for people simple and complex, for everyone who understands.

What does the name mean, or where did it come from?
Goldmans. We didn’t think long about the name, our last name is Goldman, we added an ‘s’ since there’s two of us.

Which parts of your Russian heritage influence your brand’s aesthetic?
We often use Russian speech, and we’re also inspired by Russia’s rich natural landscapes, traditional food and music. In our look book we try to not only familiarise people with our products, but also to give them a sense of the spirit and aesthetic of contemporary Russian life

What were you doing before you started your brand?
Ulia graduated from the British Higher School of Art and Design and tried to find work in her field. Zhenya travelled a lot around mountains on a snowboard.

If you could have anyone in the world wear what you make, who would it be?
We would want Yeltsin, the former president of Russia, to wear our t-shirt.

What are you working toward next, after the pop up?
We have a new collaboration with a very cool local punk group. We made them merch and a short video, and there will be an installation during their concert. Generally, collaborating with different creative collectives and configurations is probably our main plan for the future.

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ALOE

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Tell us about your brand. How would you describe the label — who is it for and what urged you to start it?
Aloe isn’t really a brand, it’s more about the people who make clothing because they like it. But they also make disco parties and photoshoots. It’s about “who”, not “what”. But clothing can be art, too. Clothes are a really important way to express yourself. Who are you? What are you thinking? Do you like retro? Good. Do you like something more interesting than a t-shirt and sneakers? Well hello there! We like to explore woman’s body. To explore Russian language. We love colourful people. We love freedom. Clothes can combine all of it. And clothes are what everyone in the world is using. What do we tell the world, when we put on something unique? What do we tell the world when we put on horrible single-use jeans from h-and-m-alikes, made of crap material by slaves? We are trying to resist all that. Buy the least, but the best. Real luxury and beauty, your favourite piece that last several years. Who are we doing it for? I think, for our kind, stubborn outsiders, who are willing to follow the beauty while lying on their back watching dust dance in rays of sunset. For the brave, the fierce, the sexual, the delicate, who love animals, and the beauty of our world.

What does the name mean, or where did it come from?
The word “Aloe” [Ah-lo-EH] sounds really beautiful in Russian. It’s an amazing plant. It feeds on itself. It can survive in conditions in which almost every other plant dies. Aloe is gorgeous, bitter, but very very useful for thousands of things.

Which parts of your Russian heritage influence your brand’s aesthetic?
I was born in the USSR and it’s really hard to imagine and understand. It was a totally different country back then. The 90’s, crazy but fun years. The story of all our clothing and our disco parties and our photoshoots is intertwined with the history of our country. We have been through some crazy and unbelievable times and we always analyse, remember, recreate those times in our heads. USSR, crazy 90s, rich 00s, one president for 18 years. So it’s about that part of Russian history that still influences us.

What were you doing before you started your brand?
I was always just getting ready for that. Waking up.

If you could have anyone in the world wear what you make, who would it be?
Taika Waititi, Yo-Landi and Ninja of Die Antwoord, Vivienne Westwood, Noel Fielding, M.I.A. And maybe Madonna. All the street cleaners in the world. And animal rights fighters.

What are you working toward next, after the pop up?
I’m going to make my first upcycle collection, open a store in Berlin, a store for princesses in St Petersburg, Russia, and also start a pop band.

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MURMURIZM

Tell us about your brand. How would you describe the label — who is it for and what urged you to start it?
I think that for me the word ‘label’ means love, art and emotions. Since childhood I always enjoyed creating something new. For me the creation of new clothes is the best way to express myself!

What does the name mean, or where did it come from?
The name of label ‘Murmurizm’ came from my own name ‘Timur’. Nothing special.

Which parts of your Russian heritage influence your brand’s aesthetic?
The aesthetics of the Russian parties of 2000s made influence on my label.

What were you doing before you started your brand?
Before I started my own label, I was a doctor.

If you could have anyone in the world wear what you make, who would it be?
It would be a cool girl, that loves traveling, dancing, and being bright.

What are you working toward next, after the pop up?
We’re preparing a fascinating surprise for New Year and now we are working on new collection for Spring 19/20

Images: courtesy Fortochka

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