Alena Akhmadullina and Oleg Ovsiev (VIVA VOX) in new jubilee issue of InStyle Russia magazine.
“Is there such a thing as Russian fashion? This question could evoke a lot of arguments about 10 years ago. However, while some were arguing, others were creating this fashion. Alena Akhmadullina established her brand in 2001 and four years later showed her collections at Paris pret-a-porter Fashion week. Complex color combinations, experiments with fur, elaborate prints – Alena quickly found a DNA of her brand and understood that it is possible to become successful in Russia only by combining your skills of a creator and a manager. “Only 10 years ago Russia was treated as a third-world country, - she recalls. – We did not produce any interesting ideas; neither did we enter the world market with serious brands. Today several names represent Russia on the global level”
Viva Vox couture house appeared even earlier – in 1997. But it became closer to people in 2005, when Oleg Ovsiev was appointed a creative director. He has a lot of experience of working in international companies, and the first thing he did was to launch a pret-a-porter de luxe line. Ovsiev’s collections became a revelation – there were few designers who could as masterfully combine black, brown and blue, and as bravely mix fur, leather and silk. And his unexpected combination of linen and silk in his 2008 spring-summer collection was highly praised by Suzy Menkes. “Launching my first collection, I felt very lucky – my clothes appeared in all top magazines, including InStyle, - remembers the designer. – We do not have a developed institute of professional fashion criticism, that is why I view every magazine publication as an appraisal”. Akhmadullina shares her colleague’s point of view: “We are lucky, as Russian magazines – including InStyle – are always very enthusiastic to support Russian designers. Your encouragement helps us to deliver our ideas to the readers and tell the world about the existence of Russian fashion”.