Following the 5th drop of РАССВЕТ (RASSVET) brand (translates as “Sunrise”) on ITK's website, we have made a decision to re-release our interview with one of the ideologists behind Russia’s No. 1 skate brand, Tolia Titaev. Below you will find the summary of the talk which dates back to October 2016.
Information about RASSVET, Hi-Tec and Russell Athletic collaboration is available here.
It is the first time we have interviewed a skater, so we will try to stick to the existing tradition of starting with formal questions. Where were you born and raised? When did you start to skateboard? What was your first skating spot? What was you first board? What was your very first pair of skating shoes?
I was born in Moscow, this is where I grew up and where I still live. I started to skate at the age of 11. The first spot was the Victory Park in Moscow. My first board was a standard mass market one made in China and bought in the market. As for the shoes, it was an authentic DC pair, given to me by my elder sister.
Speak about the story behind RASSVET. When did the concept start? How long did it take to turn it into reality? Who are the people behind the brand and what are their responsibilities?
We came up with the idea two and a half years ago keen to do something meaningful for skateboarding and the local guys doing it. But, as you know, any idea, however great, needs shaping along the way. So two years later, after a series of hit-and-miss steps we finally have a clear vision of what we want to achieve. All the members of the team have been involved in implementation of the concept. Gosha and I are behind garments design. On the skateboarding side we have our camera man Oleg Kulev who made the video featuring our skate team.
The functions they perform, as you would imagine, are the most challenging ones: to skate and video the tricks!)
- Skateboarding/Lifestyle/Fashion. Now that the boundaries between them have become so vague, being a niche subculture brand is a challenge to meet. So how do you see the brand’s evolution? Where would you like to take it and who is it for? The answer “Friends” will not be accepted, as the DSM presentation event suggests somewhat greater ambitions.
- RASSVET is first and foremost a skate brand. As such, we make out garments for skaters. However, skateboarding as a subculture is gaining momentum outside the skateboarding community. Bearing this in mind, much as we should like to have it as a core skate brand, it will be worn by anybody who likes it. As for the future…. we would love to see RASSVET in skate shops as well as in a couple of other decent streetwear destinations.
- Is RASSVET work or a hobby?
- It is a lifestyle as well as skateboarding is.
- Is RASSVET about a collection of basic items or sophisticated garments? Where do you place RASSVET in terms of the specifics of your products?
- It is a combination of the two, and new skateboards.
- Which comparison appeals to you: the Russian Palace or the Russian Supreme?
- the Russian RASSVET
- Now you will not be able to avoid questions about clothes as such. So speak about your preferences, style and favourite brands.
- I am generally into a classic style. Most probably, I have taken it after my granddad. I love jeans and traditional trousers. Converse and classic style shoes are my choice. I rarely wear trainers. I love shirts, cardigans, polos. My wardrobe is a mix of brands: Stussy, Supreme, Fred Perry, Gosha. Lеvi’s is one of my favourites. Uniqlo has a great collection of basic items. As for footwear, it is Converse, Converse, Converse, Clarks, Loake.
- You are a skater and now you are designing clothes as well. Being part of the skateboarding community, what is your idea of skate aesthetics filtering into the fashion/lifestyle segment? Do you support the “FAKE SHIT” concept? Do you see it as a positive trend that skate culture is no longer confined to skateboarding scene only, having gone beyond it? Or would you better favour the status quo with skateboarding for skaters only?
- Mmmm, it is a difficult question given the time we live in. But I am for sticking to the roots! I dislike people who have not even tried skating and have never suffered the pain, which comes with it and still wear the Thrasher garments. They do not even realise what is behind the brand name! My advice to them is: Thrasher Hall of Meat, Google it!
- As various cultural phenomena get popularized and vanish in no time owing to the Internet, is there any room for new subcultures to emerge and develop?
- Perhaps, yes. These two-wheel things, gyroscooters, if I am not mistaken, have overtaken the streets!
- How would you define the way the subculture has influenced you?
- It only makes me a better man.
- How do you see the not-too-distant future of skateboarding?
- Well, I hope skating on wires will be a reality one day! As it is in the Tony Hawk game. Skateboarding is pushing forward day by day and there are no limits to it!
- Name 1 photo and 1 track record, which inspire you at the moment?
- The Chameleons - Perfume Garden