In the Western world, Gosha Rubchinskiy has risen from a niche streetwear designer to one of the most talked-about names in the business.
In his home country, Rubchinskiy is much more than just a hyped fashion label – he’s a local hero. To leap from a city as remote, both geographically and culturally, as Moscow to the Paris Fashion Week schedule is no mean feat, and Gosha’s patriotic collections have shown the world that there’s much more to his country’s style than clichéd stereotypes of tacky oligarchs and fur coats.
Given that Gosha’s photography and fashion shows constantly shine the spotlight on a rotating cast of stylish Russian youths, it’s hardly surprising that the Muscovite designer has a huge following among his own people. Rubchinskiy is so popular in Russia, in fact, that many of the country’s upcoming musicians have started writing songs about him.
18-year-old rapper FACE, aka Ivan Dryomin, dropped his tune “Гоша Рубчинский” (that’s Gosha’s name in Cyrillic) back in January. The song’s lyrics reference many of the motifs that have defined Gosha’s recent collections – Tommy Hilfiger, the Russian and Chinese flags and “рассвет” (that’s “dawn” in Russian) – over an airy cloud rap beat, while Ivan’s squad hangs out in a disheveled urban setting that looks like something straight out of one of Rubchinskiy’s lookbooks.
“Look at me / The most fashionable trend / Gosha Rubchinsky / This is my best friend”
Our good friends at Moscow destination store KM20 hit up FACE via VK (that’s Russia’s version of Facebook) to ask him a few questions on our behalf, and to translate his answers.
“My name is Ivan Dryomin. I’m 18 years old and I live in Ufa – a city in Russia. I’m creating music. Apart from that I would really love to try being a model and a fashion designer.”
“I wrote a song about Gosha Rubchinskiy because he inspired me with his example. I can’t think of a lot of people from Russia who achieved anything that big and worthy by doing what they really love to do.”
“My main inspirations from the rap world are A$AP Rocky and Kanye West. I also like the vibe of young performers Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert. Apart from rap I love all sorts of music, like Marvin Gaye, Best Coast and Nirvana.”
“My favorite fashion labels are Gosha Rubchinskiy (of course), Palace, Supreme, COMME des GARCONS, Raf Simons, Vlone and Polo Ralph Lauren.”
The rest of FACE’s tunes follow a similar pattern, as he raps in his native tongue over floaty cloud rap beats, albeit without the Gosha shoutouts. Like the many stylish youths featured in Rubchinskiy’s work, Dryomin seems to have absolutely no desire to live the high life like his American counterparts.
He’s drinking cheap booze, hanging out in ugly tower blocks and wearing the sort of normcore-flavored streetwear that is so popular in Russia right now – embracing his surroundings rather than pretending he’s “made it.” Some other Russian youths have even made a parody video of Ivan’s tune.
FACE is just the tip of the iceberg, though – there’s tons of other young Russians paying tribute to their favorite label through song. Here a few more musical homages to Moscow’s favorite designer. Quick note: if you use Google translate on these lyrics, it will bring up a lot of AIDS references. Don’t worry, we’re not promoting any homophobic rap tunes, it’s simply a mis-translation of “спидами,” which is Russian for “speed/methamphetamine.”
ZAMAY’s tribute to post-Soviet streetwear features a bittersweet autotune melody, juxtaposed against some husky vocal lines.
Petar Martic’s song takes a more upbeat turn, with some cheery beats accompanied by some lethargic vocals.
Pond (or “Пруд”), meanwhile, drops a rowdy vocal line over some twinkly guitars and thumping drums.
- Cover Image: Instagram