Gosha Rubchinskiy

MILAN Following the launch last March at Dover Street Market of his new artistic project, called GR-Uniforma, Gosha Rubchinskiy flew to Milan on Thursday to celebrate the opening of the new Modes flagship.

For the occasion, the Russian designer, along with his band Gruppa, took over the Modes store with a photo and video installation and organized a concert at Milan’s Cinema Arti to unveil the third GR-Uniforma collection. The line focuses on sartorial interpretations of uniforms with late Eighties silhouettes, as well as patchworking and sporty touches.

Ahead of the event, Rubchinskiy sat down with WWD to discuss his new artistic project, his current take on fashion and the reason why discontinuing the Gosha Rubchinskiy line was something he owed to himself.

WWD: Gosha, why did you decide to team up with Modes and launch the new GR-Uniforma collection here in Milan?

Gosha Rubchinskiy: First of all I always wanted to come to Milan more often and this was a perfect occasion. But the real thing is that it’s just great to team up with friends and have such a great place to sell the collection. However, we decided to not open just a corner, but to start with a pop-up space and make an event. I wanted to meet people from Milan, to see customers. That’s the main reason why we decided to organize a party, make a concert, engage them, put them in Gosha’s world and at the same put Gosha’s into Milan’s world. It’s about an exchange of energy.

WWD: How do you see Gosha’s world now?

G.R.: Gosha’s world now…I think it’s about uniforms. Not only in terms of clothing but also in terms of different forms to present yourself. And early this year we started this music project. Our first uniform collection complemented the music album of Gruppa, who will perform live for the first time tonight. Everything is very interconnected and linked with music…music as a record, music as videos. Tonight in the store we will play a music video I directed for the event. And then, the live performance. The fashion collection is a complement here. The band can wear the uniforms, but you can also wear them if you like the music or even if you don’t like the music at all. But at the end, it’s just one energy.

WWD: How do you think fashion is evolving? And how are you evolving?

G.R.: I think fashion itself is something changing every day, every season. For me fashion is about today. Not only visually, but about how do you feel today. Talking about myself, for me I want to try new things, challenge myself. Everything around changes, and fashion is changing.

WWD: How does this line differ from the Gosha Rubchinskiy collection?

G.R.: I think this line is all about experiment with uniforms and it’s more complicated than it used to be. I think the Gosha collection was more commercial and now this one is more special. It’s more about people who find themselves in the story. It’s more about tailoring, special shapes, less streetwear. It’s more special.

WWD: Where do you produce the collection?

G.R.: We produce in different places across Europe depending on garments…Eastern Europe, Turkey, Italy.

WWD: In terms of presenting the collection in the future, what types of formats are you considering?

G.R.: We want to try new ways for us and music is the main thing now. We try now live performances. We think about a tour. We do this thing with the Modes friends in Milan and then we go somewhere else. The band will perform in other locations, including Moscow. We start here with the first concert and then it’s going to be a traveling tour. It’s a story, a process. It’s not the usual scheme: we have a collection, we make a show.…No, it’s about different ways of presenting the collection. Today in Milan there is a pop-up store with the installation and the music concert. Tomorrow it can be something else. We are also preparing a new song…everything is in progress.

Gruppa performing live in Milan

Gruppa performing live in Milan.  Courtesy Photo

WWD: You have been one of the kings of collaborations. Are you still into them or do you think it’s over as a phenomenon?

G.R.: It’s kind of over. I prefer to collaborate with people in music or stores like Modes, than other brands. But really it depends on brands and products. For myself, if I collaborate, it needs to be special. For example, for this collection, we teamed up with a French brand called Mephisto and I liked it since it’s unexpected. I cannot do what everyone does. There is a story behind this collaboration: a member of our team used to wear vintage Mephisto shoes all the time so we said, “Why don’t we do a collaboration with them?” We contacted them and we went to the French countryside to work with them. It needs to be authentic and personal.

WWD: Do you still believe in the power of digital to spread the message?

G.R.: Yes, but it’s changing. Before it was all about “show as much as you can.” Now you need to find your community, your way of presenting things, find the people you like and you want to be with.

WWD: Do you think that your fans are evolving with you or are you finding new ones?

G.R.: I do not know. I think it’s both of them. I’m changing friends, the people around me are changing. Some people change with us, some not, so we will find new people following us. The main thing now is that in the past it was about sharing a lot and I got a bit tired of overexposure and attention. Now I want to be able to hide and just be with the people I want to be. That’s why more than a year ago we decided to stop the Gosha project and start something different. It was too much attention and too much going around.

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