Fortochka, Platform and Pop Up Bringing Russian Streetwear To You
A Window into Russian designs.
You hear the country Russia, and what goes through your mind? The revolution? Pretty women and vodka shots? Perhaps Egor Kreed the rapper? The Trump-Putin ‘debates’ (to be as politically correct as one can be)? Money trees and high-end designs? The opposite, counterfeit streetwear brands? Well stereotypes and exaggerations aside, there is a growing streetwear culture roaming around the cities of the vast Russia with contemporary and unique designs. And the podcast turned pop up shops Fortochka gets these new designs outside the country’s borders to new markets, primarily to the US.
Created by two best friends, Olivia Capozzalo and Smith Freeman, who live land and sea apart in Saint Petersburg and Brooklyn, the podcast “She’s in Russia” in which politics, society and everyday life is discussed, birthed Fortochka. It literally means a small window, and its concept is to give space and voice to the emerging fashion aesthetics in Moscow and Saint Petersburg (a witty play on words right there!). The idea came to life through a two-day pop-up shop in the East Village in New York City where they show and sell over 100 pieces from more than 20 brands.
New York, like Milan is known for its channels of fashion, of a mix of sleek look with urban wear. And while the international market has known Russian attire from the likes of Gosha Rubchinskiy—I tried not to mention him, but it is a necessary remark at this point—it has not known the less bourgeois streetwear, yes I am talking about the new cool brands that do not cost $200 going up. These brands include E-404, where streetwear is created from a child’s point of view with scribbles, mixing of prints and subtle designs, and Aloe a brand that mixes vintage outfits with neon everything and glamour outerwear. Goldmans brand created by Siberian sisters Ulia and Zhenya Goldman take part by being unconventional in its use of iconography where the founders do not shy away in their designs, "In general, we just do what we like.", which is a mix of “a little provocation, a little negation and artistic sentiment," as they describe it.
This was just the first event of many more to come, giving an insightful window to the Russian style that the world was not yet familiar with, breaking a new barrier between countries in the celebration of human artistic creation. Seems like a pretty good cause to me. Stay tuned for more Fortochka news and talks, you might learn something new. Do Skorogo (до скорого).