Take a break from France and Italy: Russia is the new source of everything fashion and design. Now based between Shanghai and his native St. Petersburg, Artem Shumov has rapidly become one of Russia’s favorite designer and his talent has gained international attention; you’re about to find out why. His collections are a trip through a tremendously creative mind:
I’ve wanted to become a designer since I was 4. I had a crush on a girl in a kindergarten and her doll had no dress, so to impress the girl I made a dress for her Barbie. Besides, my grandfather was a shoemaker during the World War II, but I never met him, unfortunately.
Never for a second do I think about another profession.
Comfort is the DNA of my brand. That`s why sport style can be noticed in my last few collections. But it can easily change to something else with time.
You mix modern, classic, extravagant, casual, dressed-up… Is it part of your concept to dress the man in all his styles / moments?
You’re right, it is! I am trying to mix styles. Our life is super-fast now. We have no time to change our clothes for office, dinners, dates, etc. We wear the same clothes all day long. I think that the best kind of an outfit is the one suitable for any lifestyle and occasion.
The first time that I saw my clothes in the runway I ran away. Literally. I was so embarrassed and petrified to see people’s reaction that I ran outside to the street.
Have you felt forced to adapt your style at times to fit in the fashion scene/business?
Sometimes it happens. For the past 2 years I’ve been trying to make my collections more commercial. But after Paris Fashion Week I understood that I just need to do what I like. It works better this way.
How’s the fashion scene in Russia? Are they more into foreign or national brands?
Well, the situation has changed so quickly. Russian people want to buy Russian design now. Actually, Russian designers make better quality clothes now and the design is better too. Market is growing up. Costumers trust to Russian designers more and more.
I am opening a corner in Shanghai. I hope I will have more stores beyond Russia. It takes time and investment.
What type of man wears Artem Shumov’s clothes?
He is a bit creative and he wants to show he knows who he is.
I do women’s design occasionally. But I am focusing on menswear design. I think it’s just about being honest. I know my body well and I know how to make clothes more comfy for men.
What designer did you look up to when you started your career?
Russian designers with whom I was lucky enough to work. Also, Hedi Slimane, Kris Van Assche and Thom Browne.
If you were to live and design in a past era, which one would it be, or would you rather choose a future era?
Definitely Madeleine Vionnet’s era. She was a genius as never before and after.
I like female vocal and simple lyrics, so I’d listen to whatever is on my playlist. Right now, there’s a lot of Lijia Bloom, Nelly Furtado, Natalie Imbruglia. But before the show, I’d listen to only runway music.
Finish the sentence: a life without fashion would be…
Who’s the most renown person who’s ever worn your clothes?
I usually wear my design, because I need to understand if it’s comfortable or not.
What model would you like in your runway?
How about Tom Farrelly?
The most rewarding part of my brand? My team.
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