Russian designer Andrey Artyomov began his career in editorial and styling before founding his womenswear label, Walk of Shame, in 2011. Combining streetwear and feminine elements in a way that reads more modern than grunge, Artyomov's pieces range from beaded gowns to cotton sweatshirts - and manage to form a cohesive collection.
Drawing on his Russian heritage, Artyomov grew up being influenced by cultures near and far via films. Today, he continues to discover new inspirations globally, be it in the departures hall awaiting a connect flight or on visiting a museum in New York.
With a clientele as diverse as its inspiration, the brand's following is growing rapidly. Here, Andrey shares his brand's story and addresses misconceptions about Russia.
Type of brand:
Women and Men ready-to-wear
Where did you grow up?
How do Ufa and Moscow differ?
Moscow is different from every other city in Russia; it's an enormous capital and the people there are what make it stand out. The rhythm of life is much calmer in Ufa.
What inspired the name of your label?
The nightlife in Moscow is loud and buzzing so I thought Walk of Shame described it well.
How does the political climate of Russia influence your designs?
In my opinion, fashion is more social than political. It's unique and individual to each person - his or her tastes and preferences. Social change and pop culture have had immense influence on my designs.
What else inspires your designs?
It's always different. From one collection to another we are trying to mix masculine shapes with feminine fabrics, or vice versa. Art and film are always inspirations for me, whether it is classic art or contemporary. My collections are based on a personality, a message or a story, that can be always seen at my shows. Some of my past inspirations include Princess Diana, Georgia O'Keefe and Yunhee Min's artwork presented in Hammer Museum in 2012.
How do you choose the words that you incorporate into your pieces?
All the words we choose are part of the aesthetics of the collection. "Sorry" was inspired by the Sony logo, which was popular with teenagers when I was growing up. The word itself is very Walk Of Shame - it goes well with the logo style. "The Camel" comes from a packet of cigarettes which I find beautiful. The word "visitor" was taken from an image of Hillary Clinton wearing a hard hat during one of her visits to a factory. Our "I am a luxury" jumper was was inspired by one Princess Diana's wore.
There are always strong contrasts within your collections. Where does this come from?
It comes from everywhere. I see it in street style all over the world; that's why I like flights with long connections because you can see people from all different cultures mix together in the airport. There are people wearing dark and reserved clothing while others are showing their love for brighter clothes and crazy styling.
How does your background in editorial influence your design?
My editorial career at L'Officiel Russia and work with Evelina Khromchenko (the editor-in-chief of the magazine at that time) has given me a lot of very important experiences and knowledge of the industry. I work on my collections as a stylist, just the same as when I was styling looks during the shoots when I was an editor. My experience really helps with that because I always try to create a story behind the collection. First, I create my moodboard. After my moodboard I determine the different styles. I always pull from masculine wardrobes; I just love seeing men's clothing on women. I used to always style Dior suits from Hedi Slimane collection on models.
How did your NYFW debut affect the perception of your brand?
I had no expectations when I was going to New York. I was surprised by how well the brand was received. It was nice to see how attentively people listened to the story about our lookbook photoshoot in Ufa and the photos by Aleksey Kiselev. For most of those people, Ufa is a place in the middle of nowhere, so it was good for me to share my thoughts and images of my hometown with them.
How should we spend 24 hours in Moscow?
Simachev Shop & Bar is my second home. It is the only place that seems to be here forever - or at least since I moved to Moscow. You can eat there 24/7, whether you want to breakfast, dinner or pizza at 4am. Their music is the best too. I also love Remy Kitchen & Bakery and Cutfish. In summer, I like to go to Ping Pong Club Moscow, where you can sit, drink wine and watch young people playing ping-pong in the yard.
Definitely see all of the popular "tourist" places because they are incredibly beautiful - Red Square, the museums and key cathedrals. Walk around Tverskaya street and Hitrovka street near Kurskaya station; all those secret lanes where you can find the Moscow described by Vladimir Gilyarovsky in his books.
Garage museum is my favourite contemporary museum in Moscow and of course the Bolshoi Theatre is a must see. For shopping, I'd recommend TSUM х Natasha Goldenberg. It has the most daring and outstanding choice of brands and clothing. Also visit GUM; it was the first department store in Russia and you can try the best ice cream while taking in Red Square.
Any additional recommendations?
It is better to go in spring - April and May are my favourite months in Moscow. Go in winter and you'll find yourself in a true snowy Russian fairytale.
What is the most surprising part of Moscow that foreigners don't expect?
People are kinder, funnier, more beautiful and relaxed. We like to dance, have fun, drink and welcome our guests. Moscow is not like all the stereotypes.
Where else in Russia would you suggest we visit?
Saint Petersburg, of course, and all the surroundings of the city. Karelia's forests and old wooden houses and untouched rural life is a special place.
What's next for Walk of Shame?
Our next step is develop the brand even more and go further in the world, although we do already have 70% of the sales in foreign shops. I'd like to live in Paris or LA - they are my two favourite cities - it would be nice to have a WOS HQ in one of them.