18.01.2014 – 26.01.2014
Triumph Gallery, Moscow
Becoming a forerunner and an initiator in street fashion doesn’t happen overnight. Ruslan Karablin has been on the frontlines for nearly two decades. A career filled with trials and tribulations, few regrets, and many achievements.
Ruslan was born in Odessa, but when he was five his family moved to Italy and later to New York. Since the age of sixteen he has been earning his living, be it selling burgers, delivering pizzas, or working as a laborer or a clerk. Though he comes from a creative family, it was an environment where art and fashion were never thought of as a potential career to be pursued. An education and career in art and fashion seemed a fantasy. Art school seemed an impossibility. However, Russ could not stay away from the art scene. When he was 22, he quit his job on Wall Street and instead concentrated on his art, in which he combined Russian folk culture, soviet posters and hip-hop motifs.
The early ’90s is when Russ’s creativity flourished. SSUR, Rebel Ape, Natural Born and The Cut were all conceived in the early ’90s. His breakthrough design earned him his first lawsuit filed against him by an established corporation for adding a few extra details to its corporate logo. Many other brands have tried to appropriate Russ’s ideas, but his role as a trendsetter in pop culture is undoubted. Continuing his experiments, Russ’s attention was drawn to the image of Russia in late ’90s — a time of luxury and opulence. That is how the Caviar Cartel was invented, which led to more mainstream collaborations.
With success come responsibilities and new difficulties. In spite of it all, SSUR’s designs continue to occupy a key position in street fashion.
Russ is focusing more on his fine art these days but will continue to deliver his messages to the masses via pop culture creations and garment design. With flagship stores opening in Los Angeles and Shanghai, Ruslan will continue social disruption in the name of style.
"I’m working hard on giving people quality products that will stimulate their thinking. Content that will beat them in the head instead of putting them to sleep", says Ruslan Karablin.