Georgia May Jagger in the clothes of Alena Akhmadullina, Dita von Teese in Sergeenko, Kate Hudson in Yanina
JB Lacroix, Andreas Rentz/Getty Images; Legion Media
Lady Gaga, Gigi Hadid and Ariana Grande are just some of the fans of these Russian designers.
In 2014, aspiring designer Olesya Shipovskaya, having divorced her husband, was wondering how to feed her daughter. She set up an Instagram account through which she started selling fitted suits with skirts, dresses with flounces, beaded brooches and veiled hats.
Within several years her niche brand had grown into a successful business, the best-selling models being the basic oversize suits in different shades.
In 2019, the brand’s clothes were first worn by Gigi Hadid, who was followed by Heidi Klum, Tina Kunaki, Natalia Vodianova and other stars.
2. Ulyana Sergeenko
Dita Von Teese attends the Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 20, 2020 in Paris, France
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images for Ulyana Sergeenko
This fashion designer from Kazakhstan founded her eponymous brand of ladies’ dresses with a “Russian flare” in 2011, and just a year later she presented her collection at the Théâtre Marigny on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Prior to that, she found the time to graduate from the philology department of St. Petersburg State University, become a star of Russian street style and marry (and divorce in 2013) billionaire Danil Khachaturov, former president of Rosgosstrakh Group.
In 2015, the brand was Russia’s sole official participant in Haute Couture Week in Paris.
Not only Russian celebrities are attracted by her outfits with Vologda lace and ancient Russian hand-embroidery inspired by folk ornaments and Soviet aesthetics.
Clothes by Ulyana Sergeenko have been worn by Lady Gaga, Dita Von Teese, Beyonce and many others.
3. Yanina Couture
“Fashion lovers go to Yanina Couture for what Parisians in the 1950s went to the great Dior for – beautiful dresses wrapped in luxury and devotion,” reads the website of this brand of airily romantic embroidered gowns, also popular among Hollywood stars.
The fashion house started out as a regular small studio in Saratov, founded by designer Yulia Yanina in 1993.
As a child, Yanina adored dressing up dolls that her dad brought her from abroad. Now her dresses adore the likes of Gigi Hadid, Emma Roberts, Meryem Uzerli (star of Turkish TV drama Muhteşem Yüzyıl) and dozens of other famous people.
A native of Abkhazia, Rasida Lakoba wanted to become an architect, but after school her parents sent her to study economics in Moscow.
After graduation in 2012 she set up her own mini-studio, which soon gained a following among Russian celebrities and, after a showing at Paris Fashion Week in 2016, across the globe.
“This is evening fashion in its modern sense: ours is a highly complex yet laconic cut, due to which the products do not look classic. We always follow our DNA: aesthetic beauty, femininity and sexuality in an elegant rendition,” says Rasida about her brand.
Her sophisticated bustier gowns, sequined dresses, crinkled fabric and open shoulders are appreciated by Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum, Katy Perry and Ariana Grande.
5. Walk of Shame
The morning after a wild night is how you can describe the style of designer Andrei Artemov from Ufa, who launched his own clothing brand in 2011.
Prior to launching the brand, Artyomov worked as a fashion editor for the Russian version of L’Officiel magazine and as a stylist at Russian fashion shows. His first presentations were attended exclusively by friends from the socialite scene, some of whom bought his stuff and spread the word. Soon the Moscow in-crowd was wearing Artyomov’s clothes, then foreign stars followed suit, quite literally.
Walk of Shame is most popular of all in Japan, while Rihanna, Katy Perry and actress Elle Fanning are among the Hollywood stars who wear the brand.
6. German Kabirski
German Kabirski from Dagestan has been making non-standard rings, bracelets and earrings with rough stones since 2016.
His childhood dream was to become an artist, but a hand injury in youth meant that he was unable to draw. All his designs are cast directly in metal or wax, and he cites Wassily Kandinsky as one of his main inspirations.
“I love finding beauty in ugliness, surrealism in mundanity, dreams in reality. I don’t separate them,” German reflects on the concept of his jewelry.
The artist’s work is worn by Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner, Lady Gaga and Nikki Minaj.
7. Alena Akhmadullina
This most “fairytale” Russian brand was founded by the designer back in 2001. All her collections are based on dresses inspired by Russian and foreign fairytales, including Mukha Tsakotukha, The Nutcracker, Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird and the Gray Wolf, etc.
“Nine years ago , we tasked one of the world’s top marketing agencies with shaping the brand’s DNA. They researched the brand, did polls about favorite artists, books and films <…> As a result, they suggested using Russian fairytales and throwing out images of Soviet culture, because these are associated with the mass market. The concept fully matched my ideals,” Akhmadulina explained in an interview with Vedomosti.
Already in 2005 Alena presented her collection in Paris, thus acquainting the whole world with her abstract prints. Since then, she has designed costumes for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, costumes for Cirque du Soleil’s Joel show in 2015, and a clothing collection for Barbie.
Akhmadullina’s clothes are worn by Mick Jagger’s daughter Georgia May, actress Jessica Williams, Naomi Campbell, Eva Green and Patricia Kaas.
8. Gosha Rubchinsky
Sweatshirts with Cyrillic inscriptions, loose checkered Burberry-style shirts and long-sleeve tops with a Slavic flavor have made this former hairdresser from Moscow globally famous.
Before finding fame, Gosha worked as a costume designer for the movie Playing the Victim by Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, then created images of skaters for the film Indigo by Roman Prygunov. Having decided he wanted to dress “real guys from the block”, in 2008 he presented his first clothing collection at the Sokolniki Arena in Moscow. The models were his friends, skaters, hipsters and just guys from the neighborhood, all with shaven heads, as if they’d just stepped out of a 1990s rave.
The show attracted the attention of foreign media, and Gosha’s brand was taken under the wing of the Comme des Garçons label, becoming the only Russian brand in the Comme family.
Rubchinsky collaborated with Burberry and Adidas, and devoted part of his collection to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. In 2018, he closed the Gosha Rubchinsky brand and founded a new one under the name Rassvet ne za gorami (Dawn Is Breaking), designing not only clothes, but skateboard artwork as well.
It is not only skaters who wear his gear, far from it. Among the brand’s most famous fans are Justin Bieber, Rita Ora, Ryan Gosling, Rihanna, Kanye West and many others.
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