5 Russian Streetwear Brands That Should Be On Your Radar
Drawing inspiration from the underground scene and rave subcultures, we take a look at 5 Russian streetwear brands that should be on your radar.
Over the past decade, Russia has developed into a streetwear hub by introducing many trends and styles that trickled their way from the runway onto the shelves of trendy Western retailers. Russia wasn’t internationally recognized for fashion until Moscow designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and Soviet Demna Gvasalia (Creative Director of Balenciaga, Co-Founder of Vetements) burst on the scene. Rubchinskiy’s collections drew inspiration from his hometown’s cultural and political history, by incorporating aesthetics and textiles that existed during the cold war. These collections popularized uniform-like outfits that included T-shirts with Cyrillic slogans, football scarves, cropped jeans, and sportswear brands, worn together with higher-end items. The success of Rubchinsky and Demna Gvasalia of Vetements brought huge attention to the so-called “Post-Soviet”style. As the current Russian streetwear scene draws inspiration from its successful predecessors, underground music, skating, and rave subcultures we take a look at 5 Russian streetwear brands that should be on your radar.
A streetwear brand that stems from an interesting background in St.Petersburg. Bat Norton started out as a webshop in 2011 and within 3 years, became one of the top Russian clothing brands. Started by Dmitriy and Valeriy who met at the Batste Norton in 2009 which influenced their name and overall brand. Their collections resemble a minimal monochromatic look, giving off a ghetto gothic/cyberpunk aesthetic.
Under the leadership of Di Minrakhmanova and Maxim Bashkaev, Outlaw Moscow has gained international popularity since its first launch in 2014. Outlaw’s skiwear-themed attire features a sophisticated, wintery minimalism that rejects the flashiness we associate with high-end gear, specializing in high-quality bomber jackets, boots, military vests, and coats. Their sporty and sleek avant-garde designs stand as an expression of the Russian streetwear scene and have grown into something larger than a retail brand. Outlaw’s most notable collaboration was with Puma in 2019, consisting of bomber jackets, tracksuits, accessories and even a double-sided kimono. The Trailfox Graphic sneakers were the release’s main attraction, and immediately sold out. Even the London Grime MC, Skepta, is a fan.
Everyone loves a brand with humble beginnings, whether that be screen printed graphic tees to a classic DIY feel. Founder Sergei Pahotin started producing T-shirts out of his friends basement, but as the brand took off moved to his own workshop, allowing him to expand his collections into more than graphic t-shirts. Sputnik relays abrasive and ironic statements in each of their collections such as “the city is a scary force”, giving it a rebellious youthful aesthetic.
Pahotin believes that the main appeal in his designs is the practicality. His past collections consisted of comfortable t-shirts, shirts with extended sleeves, shorts, and hoodies in classic colourways of red, blue, black, white and khaki. This affordable streetwear brand serves as a great entry level streetwear brand with most of their T-shirts costing just 1,500 rubles ($22). Needless to say, Sputnik 1985 is for the people.
Moscow-based label Turbo Yulia by Yulia Makarova, has gained international recognition with workwear collections inspired by digital reality and futuristic dystopia. The brand first drew attention when Opening Ceremony stocked her helmet hats in 2015. Since then, Turbo Yulia presented her 16/17 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and continues to collaborate with other Moscow-based designers. This brand is great for anyone.
Fusion was created in 2012 by a team of three from Ukraine and Russia, each of the members provides their own direction and insight which makes the collections quite diverse. This team of creatives believes that fashion is fusion through diverse influences and subcultures, bringing like-minded people together whose “youthful energy moulds the future.” Fusion hopes to develop a “streetwear cure; a universal outfit for every day” through this relentless pushing of limits.