An Exclusive With Russian Designer Vika Gazinskaya

Moscow-born designer and staple on the street-style circuit Vika Gazinskaya talks to Stacy L. Troke about the business of fashion in Russia, and her spring 2015 collection.

Stacey L. Troke: You run your business in Moscow without headquarters in New York or London. How do you stay connected with other fashion markets?

Vika Gazinskaya: The internet helps. Without it, [staying connected] wouldn’t be possible at all. The blogging era changed a lot for brands that are far away from the main venues of fashion like Paris, London and New York. I was always told that making fashion in Russia is like growing an orchid in the North Pole—it’s near impossible. Fabrics might not come in on time, deliveries might be delayed, and you risk losing buyers. Russian designers also have zero support from the government, and organizations like the CFDA or British Fashion Council do not exist here. Our country has yet to realize that fashion can be a successful business and is worth investing in.

Prior to launching your brand in 2006, you worked at L’Officiel Russia for three years—as an intern and then as a junior fashion editor. What did you learn from the experience?

It was like my second school. The editor-inchief at the time, Evelina Khromtchenko, was (and still is) a strong woman and fashion professional. She taught me how to create the best on small budgets, and I realized that everything is possible no matter what others say.

Photo by Liviu Stoica.
Photo by Liviu Stoica.

What type of woman do you have in mind when you are designing a collection?

She’s someone who wants to stand out amongst a crowd. She knows what she wants and maintains a unique sense of femininity. She is a true lady.

What was the inspiration behind your spring 2015 collection?

This collection is about the moment in history when Europeans began travelling to India and started mixing colonial suits with the Eastern clothing they discovered on their voyages. This season, it’s extremely chic to dress in a silk, Japanese-inspired robe or to pair a turban with a casual look.

Is there a particular accessory you would suggest to wear with this collection?

Shoes with a low heel. A 1.5-inch heel with a pointed toe is very 1940s and makes your whole look more refined, stylish and less overdressed.