If you’ve been keeping tabs on what’s hot in the more underground aspects of skate fashion then Russia has certainly come up. Amongst terrible worldwide political press there seems to be some cool shit bubbling up in the wilds of Russia. Youths truly running wild. Thrasher ripper-offer Gosha Rubchinskiy is only the poster child. There is a whole scene ready to pop.

 

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If a decade ago, anyone in the fashion industry or media had predicted 2017 to be something of a watershed apex of skateboarding’s influence on high fashion and that this push would be coming from Russia of all places, few would have believed them. Yet, here we are and while skateboarding for so very long has been deeply associated with California, it is its foreign manifestations which have governed its fashion recently.

The United Kingdom’s Palace Skateboards, on a stratospheric ascent since their inception in 2007, have defined what it means to be exclusive in streetwear while young Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy has gone from being a fledgling force in Russia to collaborating with American skate brands in 2012 to now being rocked by rappers and other celebrities the world over and selling out entire collections in the span of a day or two.

The success of these designers and their innovative marketing which has capitalized on social media exposure, extremely limited runs of product “dropped” in between four to eight seasonal yearly collections, and the nexus of streetwear, skate-punk aesthetics, and couture (Gosha’s t-shirts are even manufactured by Comme des Garçons) has provided inspiration to smaller, upstart, designers. No longer must one wait to work in a hallowed fashion house but small brands such as Anti-Social Social Club, Stray Rats, and even tonier, more esoteric, ones like Helder Vices are reaching out via the social media-propagated tactics that Palace, Gosha, et al have used so very effectively. It’s a sea-change and a timely one at that in streetwear.

 

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