The skirt worn by Vlad comes from a former brand called Horace. Working for them in packaging development before becoming a model he feels it was a good opportunity, his first entrance into fashion witnessing a multifaceted creative process. Adding the leggings underneath as a style they went on to use his idea. "It was nice to see my input in that physical sense. Even after the brand died, I always wore it everywhere because that reminded me of my life before modelling, before fashion in that way."
The HBA jeans emerge as his first lavish purchase. "I don't really believe in shelling out money for something amazing. I always went for something simple but nice, this was my first expensive buy, £700. When I looked into HBA and what they did, it somehow clicked with me. I like their style, it's a bit crazy, a bit out there. Their capsule shows in Paris I found amazing. So I thought damn it, whatever, I'm gonna buy this. For about a month after, all I had was beans on toast. I have worn it to a lot of fashion parties, for me, it's a signature piece."
The baseball cap generates a vivid memory "I was on a night out in Dalston a couple of years ago, I met this Russian homeless person on the street. He wasn't begging for money, but I knew he was homeless. We talked, it turned out he was from a village very close to me. I felt that I connected with his story because he was similar, he came from Russia from a small village to try and do his dream. That was kind of what I did. I looked in my wallet I had £50. I was gonna spend it on partying, so I decided to give it to him. He didn't believe me. He didn't want to take it because we got on so well. He was wearing the hat at the time and gave it to me. I kept it since. In Russia growing up, people have a good sense of community, we really stick together. In some ways, we are still together even though we are miles away from our motherland. Still, we found that middle ground. That was an out the blue experience I enjoyed. It reminds me of that one friend I made, that I'm probably never gonna see again. I hope he's doing good out there."
Discussing what defines good style to him "It's a very subjective thing because everyone has their own outlook. First of all, I like cultural impact, when people represent their culture through clothing. I believe that clothing is a way to describe yourself to everyone else without actually saying anything. I also like it when people wear unique pieces that no one else has." Describing an encounter with upcoming Designer Patrick Mason during London Men's Collections sporting a basketball bag "He's got the sickest street style, it blew me away. I haven't seen anyone else wearing it. Even a small thing can make a whole outfit come together. It's a hard thing to do. The ones that take the time to do that are the ones who excel in street wear style."
Considering style within fashion ”I don't believe in following trends, I think that's superficial. Fashion is creativity and I don't think you can box that creativity into what's in right now. People should not be obliged to follow these trends.” Individualism resonates strongly with him “When you do find something unique, it has that sense of luxury because no one else has it, that puts you ahead of others in the game."
Sighting his girlfriend as the biggest inspiration introducing him to the world of high- end fashion and streetwear. “When I got with her my style was an indie kid, chelsea boots, pea coats. I owned no trainers, just skinny jeans.” In functional form, she continues to influence him “I wore her things at fashion week. I actually borrow her stuff.”
Vlad notes Yohji Yamamoto as an industry figure whose style through demeanour he respects. Having met him modelling for diffusion line Y3 “His style fits with his personality, perfectly describes who he is. He has an aura of being complete and sure of himself.” Recognising that comes from life experience he feels Yohji is “A very modest man.” Fashion Week experience has shaped his sense of style further “I walked shows for 12 designers at London Men’s Collection my first season. I saw different collections, points of view, in some ways it confused me. What I gathered was a sense of colour, texture, which has helped me shape my own style.”
Moving to England aged ten opened his mind to excepting other cultures despite the opposition back in Russia. From this grew a love of music that influenced his knowledge of style “NW collective, Easy E, back in the day Hip Hop. They were trying to express themselves against the racism.” Reaching a full circle conclusion he connects to the work of Designer Gosha Rubchinskiy “It blew me away that a Russian designer could break into the western world and make a name for himself.” Cultivating further interest he knew Gosha was translating the influence of religion on their culture. Referencing to recent purchase of scarf with the religious phrase ‘May god save and protect me.’ “Growing up I saw this written in many scriptures. It was a slogan for Russian religion almost. I bought it instantly because it spoke to me in many ways. The usage of Russian font in design is very new to this world. I’m glad people are excepting it so well.”
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