Artfully Collective: Exclusive Interview with Los Vladimirovich
Ultimately when a design house presents their line to the industry it is executed as a detailed process–ergo a well-oiled machine with each person and department responsible for their piece of the puzzle until it is complete with label designers taking their final bow on the runway and the PR buzz whirring down to a slight lull.
However this design collective brand, Los Vladimirovich Владимирович Marath & Yurik Menswear Collective (LVM&Y.MC) or Los Vladimirovich (in short) is not your usual men’s couture maison as the mysterious label group, comprised of six define it as a process with no one holding the designer title, they want individuals to know and recognise their design work as a collective not as separate individuals involved. In actuality, the couture line is to be viewed as their artistic expression embodied as a way of life subjectively open to artistic, political, religious or spiritual interpretations yet Los Vladimirovich knows exactly where they stand and what they have to say via texture, design and cut.
Originally formed in 2009, six individuals came together as an extended family to create clothing out of necessity for what they desired comfortable, high quality and different but without attracting attention often seen as “clothing without stereotype”. Los Vladimirovich houses design and business teams based all over the world including Serbia, Ireland, Mexico, France, Sweden and the U.S. seeing themselves as “world citizens – a world without physical territory”.
They have craftily released two collections thus far, A/W 2011-2012 “De Profundis Clamavi” translated “From the Depths I’ve Cried” and S/S 2012 “The Good Son” with stockists in Spain, Mexico and further expansion expected into Europe and the U.S. in the upcoming year.
The label has rapidly gained steam the past few years from word of mouth purveyors, social media communities and yet without a single runway show still the enigmatic six have established a draw from men searching for their original, must-have pieces. Their clothing can be best described as fashionable architectural framework with crisp lines, jutting zippers and mix/match pieces worn as casual ensembles for the discerning man with avant-garde taste. Both collections tend to linger within the neutral colour families of black, white, shades of gray and a splash of slight deep blue-green colour.
Certainly, this couture line should be noticed not only for its artistic merit but for its brand philosophy of joining different cultures together that share an affinity for high-end quality and unbiased design appreciation.
Credits: Giovanni Cervantes – Photographer // Marcel Castenmiller – Model // Manuel Solano – Artistic Director
We had a chance to sit down with the Los Vladimirovich (LV) team to see what influences them, how they became involved in fashion design and a brief snapshot into what makes them the unique collective they represent:
Luxuri8: Who is behind “Los Vladimirovich” and what are your respective roles?
LV: “Los Vladimirovich is a collective brand, which means everyone is included: from the seamstress and pattern makers, all the way through lawyers, interns, webmasters, graphic designers , the girl that stamps the cloth, any person who directly or indirectly reflects its influence in the Los Vladimirovich’s clothing and accessories. We are not really interested in people acknowledging any of us as “ a designer of Los Vladimirovich”, no one has the designer title, we want people to know and recognize our final work as a collective and not as an individual work.”
Luxuri8: Where are you based?
LV: “We are based in the world, we believed in the NSK idea : Everyone as a world citizen – a world without physical territory. *NSK (Neue Slowenische Kuns) – Slovenian collective”
Luxuri8: Where are your favorite places to go in…?
LV: “Mexico City – Downtown & Koreatown; Paris- St. Germain Des Pres & The Catacombs; Dublin- The Cliffs & Kilmainham Gaol; Stockholm- The Katarinahissen & The Kungstrad; NYC – Brighton Beach & Woodbury Common”
Luxuri8: What do you love most about your cities?
LV: “Mexico City – You may see things that are never seen in any other part of the world; Paris- Every person lives their own life, nobody minds others’ business; Dublin- It’s a place so quiet and away from the bustle of people with incredible landscapes, a very thoughtful place; Stockholm- A very inspiring place since there is art everywhere, people are very independent (meaning they are very handy), they know how to weave, do plumbing etc; NYC- The city seems to be alive, everything’s so fast and so easy, anything’s possible.”
Luxuri8: One word to describe your fair cities?
LV: “Mexico City- Contrasts; Paris- Perfection; Dublin- Green; Stockholm- Inspiration; NYC- Dreams”
Luxuri8: Were you always interested in fashion design?
LV: “Definitely not, it all emerged in 2009 out of necessity because we weren’t able to find men’s clothes that were really comfortable and high quality, different but without attracting attention. Clothing without stereotype.”
Luxuri8: If you were to choose two other careers at random, what else would you do?
LV: “Well most of us do more than Los Vladimirovich, we have people who study full-time or part-time: art history, international relations, economics, law, high school online, etc. The Collective is more like our approach to art.”
Luxuri8: How do you find inspiration for your work?
LV: “Feelings, consciously or unconsciously everything comes from them, and specific situations that obviously relate to feelings.”
Luxuri8: How would you best describe your current line including fabrics, structural design and emotion conveyed behind the individual pieces?
LV: “The collective reflects about the invisible wall that separates us from reality…Family. The Collection consists on: jackets, pants, shirts, suits and sportswear. Based on the idea of the search for an outside family as a social group…Friends…Groups that weave brotherhood bonds…Any group in which the individual violates the ideas and moral values of its nuclear family…shows he is worthy of belonging. All these applied in deconstruction of pieces through zippers and garment superposition, shadows, patterns and geometrical cuts.”
Luxuri8: Who would be the quintessential “Los Vladimirovich” connoisseur?
LV: “Marath & Yurik”
Luxuri8: What is your artistic statement with your most recent line?
LV: “The deconstruction of pieces.”
Luxuri8: Do you have any special routines or preparation before a show?
LV: “We are never present, we don’t see the show.”
Luxuri8: In leaving your mark within the fashion industry, what would you like to be known for?
LV: “As a group that really created comfortable and quality clothing for real men without stereotypes.”
Luxuri8: Who are your favourite designers (other than yourself)?
LV: “Boris Bidjan Saberi, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Denis Simachev, Rei Kawakubo, Yōji Yamamoto, Odyn Vovk, Kris Van Assche and Consuelo Castiglioni.”
Luxuri8: What current trends would you like to see disappear?
LV: “There are a couple of things that we do not tolerate: white pants with white shoes, tight clothing for men: simply unbearable, those skinny pants and…(pause) men wearing pink.”
Luxuri8: What current trends are your favourite?
LV: “Color blocking and blue marine”
Luxuri8: Which fashion trend would you consider timeless?
LV: “Black and oversized”
Luxuri8: Which person (or people) has influenced you the most?
LV: “Groups–pressures groups, gangs, hate groups, mafias, clans, sects, organizations, paramilitary groups, power groups, religious groups etc, any group where members lose their individuality in their eagerness to belong.”
Luxuri8: What is the most valued piece of advice you have ever been given?”
LV: “Be happy and do not hinder. Pray but never stop rowing and….(pause) Sometimes we have to get our way.”
Luxuri8: If you could have anyone from past or present sit in the front row of your show, who would you choose?
LV: “Josip Broz Tito, Rammstein members, Bruce Lee, Quentin Tarantino, Vladimir Putin, Stanley Kubrick or Stephen King”
Luxuri8: If you could collaborate with any one person (or group) in the entertainment or fashion industry, who would it be?
LV: “Clint Mansell (the music of Pi movie changed our life) or Henry Darger”
Luxuri8: Which song (or songs) could best describe “Los Vladimirovich”?
LV: “Incubus- Drive; Bloc Party- The Prayer; Alexy Goman- Russian Guy; Elbow– Grounds for Divorce”
Luxuri8: What can we expect next from “Los Vladimirovich”?
LV: “Next year… we begin our expansion into Europe and the U.S.”
Luxuri8: Which countries can we find “Los Vladimirovich” thus far?
LV: “Mexico and Spain”
Luxuri8: If you could change something in the world to make it a better place, what would you do?
LV: “We would change women’s new “attitude” it sounds pretty weird but a good part of today social problems come from this “attitude”. Many of them have taken cover under the good idea of equality, using it to deny the right of breeding and mostly educating tomorrow’s citizens, not realizing that they are making a big mistake, they are so obsessed with equality that they have forgotten their primitive responsibilities.”
Luxuri8: On a global scale, where is your favourite city and why?
LV: “Paris is an important city for us because it was where it all happened. Why? : the snow, the musicians outside the churches, candy sellers, onion soup, Seine sound at night, the view of the city from sacre coeur, walking the streets all night.”
Luxuri8: What do you do to wind down and relax?
LV: “We play cards and listen to Mr. (Frank) Sinatra.”
Luxuri8: What is your most treasured possession?”
LV: “Common sense and life”
Luxuri8: What do you love to “Luxuriate in…”?
LV: “A library and each book cover inside it.”
Luxuri8: What is luxury to you?
LV: “For us luxury is more about personality, in one word: confidence.”