Russian photographer and fashion designer Gosha Rubchinskiy is well known for bringing thr Soviet look into street culture. In 2016 he also founded the skateboard label Paccbet together with Tolia Titaev. Just recently they teamed up with Carhartt WIP for a 12 piece capsule collection in which they remixed some classic workwear with late ‘80s/early ‘90s oversized styles. We talked to Gosha about his inspirations and why fashion is the new youth culture.
In 2006 I was walking around in Moscow and saw guys skating at a spot. At that time skaters were still rare in Moscow. I thought it was interesting to see the new generation grow up and recognized that something had changed. So I wanted to know more about those kids and a few days later I came to some crazy rooftop party with a miniramp. I met Pasha Kuznetsov who is a famous skater in Russia and we became friends. He involved me into the skate community and teached me how to skate. It was funny for me because I already was 22 years old. I loved that culture for a long time but it was hard to find skaters or a place to skate when I was younger. In the 90s only a few people skated, for example, in my school no one skated, so I never got into skating. It was interesting for me to start skating as a 22 year old with all those kids.
Tolia Titaev & Gosha Rubchinskiy
When I prepared my first fashion show in 2008 I did a casting and asked all my friends because I didn’t want to use models. I wanted to use friends from the skate community but we needed more boys and a friend of mine, a skate photographer, mentioned that he had met a cool guy at a spot. The next day he brought Tolia to the studio. He was 14 years at that time and we instantly became friends and he was included in everyone of my shows ever since.
"The Russian style is to take something from the outside and make it our own by presenting it in our own way"
After the years we spent together it was just logical. There was a group of friends and we all grew together and one day we decided that we need to do our own thing. The Gosha thing is more fashion but we needed something more street, more skateboarding, more them and for them. That’s how we decided to start. We already had a team of people that always skated together and said: “Lets try to do a brand.”
We wanted to create something very Moscow, something about our community. We wanted to put out our word into the world. Nowadays everything is kind of the same cause everybody is connected through the internet or Instagram. Sometimes voices can be overheard because of the similarities. Our main thing is to say something about Russian skateboarding and the scene. To show, that we can do something and something is growing there.
First of all there were this iconic Carhartt advertising images from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s with the oversized Detroit jackets. That was our starting point and then we thought about what was going on in the Russian skate scene at the same time. We found amazing pictures from around the Black Sea that inspired us. During the Soviet Union a skater maybe brought one copy of Thrasher to Moscow and then the whole community looked at it and tried to look like the guys on the pictures. So the Carhartt retro ads and the skaters that tried to wear crazy oversized clothing were the inspiration.
"The kids wait for new drops of their favorite brands like they used to wait for the single of their favorite band before"
It’s funny how information goes around and that Soviet skaters were influenced by the US and made it their own thing and now we try to recreate this and it can inspire people from the rest of the world. I think it’s cool. Our voice can be heard through this. The Russian style is to take something from the outside and make it our own by presenting it in our own way. Now we go the first steps in skateboarding. We’re still just trying things.
I think that came because the older generation is a bit bored about fashion and it’s the kids that are more interested. My theorie is, that they miss something. Teenagers are looking for subcultures. They want to unite. Before it used to be music. They waited for a new album of their favorite musician and were standing in lines in front of the shops to get it. Teenagers nowadays miss that thing because of the internet. You can have music very easy on your iPhone. Now the kids found the same energy in fashion and wait for new drops of their favorite brands like they used to wait for the single of their favorite band before. I think that’s the reason why more energy, more interest and more money is in young fashion, in streetwear. Brands are looking for young customers and skateboarding is very close to young people. Because young people are the main audience now to buy clothing of course the big brands are looking there.
It’s all about the people we meet. Of course, sometimes we’re inspired by some photos, like in this case photos of Soviet skaters from the past. But at the same time we met Anton, the boy from St. Petersburg you see on the pictures, and I was inspired about how he looks like, how he wears some vintage oversized clothes. He was the main inspiration for the collaboration. That’s why we also used him as a model. We don’t want to just bring someone and dress him – we want the real thing.
I think skateboarding is not about trends. What I like about skateboarding are the personalities. Each cool guy tries to be his own personality. How he dresses, how he skates, how he acts. That’s why there are no trends. I never looked at trends and I would be happy if skateboarding would be more different. I think everyone is bored right now because everything is pretty similar and I miss the times when everyone was different. I hope the future of skateboarding is more different. That we see kids that are into hip-hop and others that are into hardrock and others like both. Nowadays it’s very clean and I don’t like this clean image. I want to see more interesting things. I hope we can help to creat something with our brand. That’s our aim.
To grow our skate team, to find a new crew of kids from all around Russia or the rest of the world. We want to find more young talented skateboarders and young talented designers.