‘There’s more to Russian fashion than just Gosha Rubchinskiy’: Wear? Magazine interviews Kollektiv

The world’s view on Russian fashion has been tarred since the breaking of the Gosha Rubchinskiy ‘scandal’, yet, one platform is aiming to shed light on the vast and evergrowing streetwear scene in Russia, and to prove there is more than just Gosha.

“That scandal has given Russian brands the opportunity to show that there’s more than just one man. When people think Russian fashion, they immediately think Gosha Rubchinskiy.”

Kollektiv, founded in 2018, want to put Russia’s new creatives in the spotlight.

“Any new Russian brand will always be compared to Gosha, so it’s an incredibly hard mindset to get out of.

“The scandal will have given people outside of Russia a motivation to find alternative Russian streetwear brands and designers, who have a real chance to use this attention to show that the scene is more diverse than most people think.”


And that diversity is exactly what Kollektiv showcase on their site. The founders, Tom Waugh, Emil Martyr and Joel Venson, discovered this variety during a year abroad whilst at university. Upon graduating, they emersed themselves into Russian culture fully by moving to Moscow.

“We believe Russia is a hotbed for creativity – in fashion and further afield. Its complex history following the collapse of the Soviet Union has given birth to a generation of young people that seek change and progression, using various forms of creativity to portray their vision.

“We want to show that there’s more to Russia than Putin and what you see on the news. There’s an active, creative youth movement and through fashion, we can create positive connections between Russia and the West.”

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The brand aims to do that by collaborating with Russian designers and labels, highlighting their creativity, showcasing their collections and providing fans with the opportunity to get hold of unique pieces.

Wear? Magazine can vouch for that last statement, receiving an alternative media-inspired scarf from Kultrab, one of the six brands Kollektiv have partnered with.

Kollektiv believes that all six of the labels they have teamed up with are leading the Russian scene at the moment. One of their partners, Volchok, have just expanded across the European continent with a shop opening in Kiev as well as featuring in showrooms in Berlin and Paris.

And, it seems the rest of Europe could learn a lot from Russian creatives.

“It seems there’s a real focus on creating a unique fit from quality materials here and we’ve found that Russian brands are ready to step beyond the confines of what is commonly branded as “streetwear”.

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“Over the past year alone, we’ve seen a range of unusual collections: from brands collaborating with fast-food giants KFC, to an entire collection based on chess, a game that’s still massively popular among young Russians.

“We have witnessed international collaborations with other independent European brands and designs that have encapsulated current social and political problems.”

Now, with a dedicated service collecting the latest and greatest of Russian fashion on one platform, Europe, and the rest of the World, can finally get the education they so badly need. People will instantly realise there is much more to Russia than just Gosha Rubchinskiy.

Tom Waugh, on behalf of Kollektiv, speaking to Wear? Magazine

Images courtesy of Kollektiv (@kollektivmsk).

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