Friday, May 21, 2010

Men of Moscow

I had to save these shots from last trip to Moscow until they appeared in my GQ page.
The thing that impressed me about men’s style in Moscow is that it’s really unlike that of any European city.
This young Moscow generation is really pushing againist the city’s image of blinged-out Versace-ism and is looking to make a new statement for themselves. The haircuts are different in Moscow too, I mean, when was the last time you saw a guy wearing an updated Beatles shag that actually looked pretty cool?

I think this push against bling has most affected the young designers in Moscow. It seems that fleece has replaced cashmere as the primary fabric of choice. I saw it worn colorblocked (as above) and mixed with leather (below). With fleece as a core fashion fabric, young designers can afford to take more chances with design, color, and assortment.

It was great to see the high-end fashion boutiques in Moscow hanging collections of small, local designers next to the big international brands.

It was also funny/cringy to see Amercian West done as a fashion statement in a super cool shop like Kuznetsky Most 20.
I’m betting the Moscow retail scene will become one of the best and most daring over the next ten years. Rents are still low, the people are hungry for fashion and there is a deep history of great artistic expression in the Russian people.

Now if they can just get a few more cool hotels and restuarants.


Close comment

Detach comments


  1. elizar

    May 21, 2010 at 10:05 am

    For the third guy: Nice pants!!!

  2. Carolina Lange

    May 21, 2010 at 10:06 am


  3. The Sluice Box

    May 21, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I don't know that I've ever seen photos of Muscovite street fashion. Great to get a glimpse.

  4. Francesca

    May 21, 2010 at 10:31 am

    love the nestea stand pic. the color breakup of the sweater is very old school

    F <– texas gal bloggin fashion from nyc!

  5. Maxim

    May 21, 2010 at 10:34 am

    It is actually very surprising that you find Russian men looking quite interestingly. Living in Russia for my whole life and in Moscow for 1.5 years I would say that 80% of them look pretty much the same and boring (haircuts especially). And the percentage is even higher if you leave the center of Moscow (go at least outside the third transport circle) or the Moscow itself…

    But there are very impressive exceptions! That's something I would definitely agree with! :)

  6. antwan

    May 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

    i actually think the american west
    "fashion statement" is pretty cool — especially for Moscow!

    And you're right about the Beatles cut, it's on point.

  7. FiL

    May 21, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Looks very good to me and so natural…


  8. FlashFash

    May 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

    That guy with Beatles hair is indeed cool. And love the guy with fleece and leather; pretty unusual combination yes but it works!

  9. Singapore Short Stories

    May 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Good lookers!

  10. proletarian Great Gatsby

    May 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

    When I was 20,I used to wear fleece trousers with white shirt and bow tie.Perhaps it wasn't elegant but it was cheap,funny and that mix of sports and classicals elements were a little disconcerting but not aggressive .

  11. non-no

    May 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Elegant :)

  12. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

    The most interesting thing you've posted in a while. Thank you!
    Shows true style to counter the oligarch bling.

  13. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I think Demetri Martin pulls off the updated Beatle shag… maybe not as well as this guy. :-)

  14. Khatiya Chelidze

    May 21, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Oh the oligarch bling. The problem with fashion in Russia is the counterfeiting, and overall poverty of the general population, who cannot afford high end fashion.

    Kuznetsky Most is one of the best streets in the world.


    May 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

    fantastic post,,,Moscow is another world…great photos

  16. Sniurk

    May 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

    je prefere le 3ieme style :)

  17. Consignatie Strada 41

    May 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Things are a bit different there. I come from an eastern european country but fashion here is very .. not russian. They have there own style, quite different but very interesting (overall). I have been there and I do agree with you on that.
    The Beatles guy has actually a Plushenko haircut if you want, very common .. and in the end, everybody loves New York :)!

  18. Shutter

    May 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

    oh God! Is first men from The Star Wars?
    Actually in Saint Petersburg is more fashionable people than in Moscow!

  19. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Scott, thank you for posting more pix from Russia!!!

  20. kerry

    May 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Mr.'I heart N.Y.' is beautiful.

  21. Rachel H-G

    May 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The first guy definitely has a Yevgeni Plushenko haircut.
    The third guy is beautiful, although I'm not keen on his pants.

  22. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I agree, very disconcerting to see Western wear beside high end stuff. I'm sure you're right, that the retail scene in Moscow will emerge strong and interesting. Good luck to the Russian people.

  23. justine a.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    lost my faith in russia since 1918… here's hoping i can get it back :)

  24. Ania

    May 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    3rd guy! yum.

    more photos from Russia, please.

  25. Mumei

    May 21, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    love the first and second picture. the third not so much but he looks darn comfy.

    as for the nouvea beatlesesque cut, i see it all the time here in toronto. it would be nice to see less messy, 1980s inspired rock fashion in this town but it won't happen until it's cool in new york and london first.

  26. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    The guy in the I <3 NY shirt is hot. Don't love the pants, but the leather jacket and tee (I'm from NYC) make me swoon :-).

  27. Kathleen

    May 21, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Good for the Russians! I love these beautiful young men with their unfettered wide open faces, how fresh and comfortable they all are facing your camera. I can only imagine how tough it could be for "middle of the road" people to strive for "their look" with limited income and resources as well. I think they all look great and are working what they have to create a great personal style.

  28. a:n

    May 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Wow! I'm pleasantly surprised and impressed.
    Last time I went to Moscow, all I saw were velour tracksuits, tight AX t-shirts and ill-fitting black leather jackets.
    Good to know my demi-kinsmen are evolving.

  29. Emma Howard

    May 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I would like to hear the stories behind the eyes of the man with hands in jeans pockets.

    He reminds me of an old friend, a Bulgarian cab driver living/working in California, who grew up under extremely harsh Communist rule.

    This is one of my favorite pictures shown on your site.

  30. Sophia

    May 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I love the fleece pants with the "I <3 NY" t-shirt! Very boy-you-meet-on-the-subway… but in Moscow. Your photos make me want to run away to Europe (or erm… Asia?)!

  31. Irina

    May 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Actually I agree with Maxim :) I'm from Moscow too. Girls are much more pretty there!

  32. Kristina

    May 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    re: the Beatles cut. A visit to Silverlake or any other Eastside hipster musician's outpost of Los Angeles will confirm that the shag is in full effect internationally.

  33. rebekah

    May 21, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Wow, what cool pictures! Totally, spot on, the guy's haircut is half beatles, half sword and the stone. So fresh!

  34. Soviétique

    May 21, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I <3 NY guy is gorgeous, and I dig the color block outfit!

  35. Julia, the Thanksgiving Girl

    May 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    And now if we could get more STYLE oriented people rather than LABEL oriented ones, and if people could just really relax and go out to have a good tike instead of showing off… I find myself liking Moscow more as a city to visit rather than one to live in, and this kind of makes me feel bad – I was born here, after all. But I have to agree with you, it will all get better in 10 years or so.

  36. Anonymous

    May 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    People surprised to see western wear merchandised in a high end shop must be forgetting the fashionable craze for western wear from 2001-2006. Everyone had a pair of cowboy boots and every young man had a closet of vintage shirts that are now unwearable. I have a pretty "frozen in time" pair of Vuitton western riding boots from fall 2002.


    May 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I love the first guy in blue. His hairstyle is so different. x

  38. Akia

    May 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Actually there's plenty of cool restaurants and cafes in Moscow, well hotels probably not so much. The problem with tourists, especially foreigners, is that they just follow beaten tracks, which lead mostly (surprise!)to toneless kind of places. I'm sure Moscow has more cool places to hang out in that you give it credit for.

    As for the American West display at the high end store, I wonder if the price of the displayed items is any lesser than for other outfits presented. I think it's clever to break the monotoness wih such a trick. For sure it has some "wtf mixed with wow" factor.

    As for the boys, the all look cute. The funny thing is that seeing them on the street I probably wouldn't find their looks at all remarkable, but you make them look darn special. I figure you have much fresher eye for coolness in Moscow street fashion.

  39. The Purple Boot

    May 21, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Being an American with Russian roots, it's exciting to see their fashion center burgeoning! Maybe I'll finally be excited to take that family trip to Moscow…

  40. BobKentNoVa

    May 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Again, I have to go against the crowd, regarding the forth guy wearing the gray fleece sweatpants as casual wear. Jerry Seinfeld said it best in one episode of his show: "You know the message you're sending out to the world with these sweat pants? You're telling the world: 'I give up. I can't compete in normal society.'"

  41. Lali Cristina

    May 21, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I wish I can move there as soon as possible! I'm making my post-grad on Russian Suprematism and they have always been ahead of us; proof that they still are is this article with lovely evidence.

  42. Addict

    May 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    The third guy is cute. I always heard that the girls in Russia are high fashion, never heard about the guys. Cool pics.

  43. littleharves

    May 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    its interesting you should talk about fleece like that, over here its jersey, layers of it, jersey leggins, skirts shirts, dresses, wraps, tube scarves. its so comfortable and snuggly and stretchy. if i could afford it, it would be silk jersey…… alas, cotton will have to do for now xxx

  44. I V E S T I T I !

    May 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    This is very observational…like it, looks like the guys have an original style going on…

  45. the nickel fit

    May 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    sweats are probably such underrated pieces.

    you can pair with so much more beyond what one conventionally thinks of them.

  46. Armond

    May 21, 2010 at 8:22 pm


  47. kathrynnova

    May 21, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    i am so SO excited to see Russia waking up. (And Ukraine, but it is not happening as quickly as Russia). And your post delights me so much further to see them stepping away from their now stereotypical aesthetic – as you put it so well – "blinged-out versace-ism" (i would've called it euro-trashy, but that's offensive and not creative).

    russia is a country that is incredibly rich is culture, history, pleasure and unfortunately pain. But these are all elements that will make their creativity very strong and i simply cannot wait to see what will happen in the next few years.

    isn't globalism so exciting??!?

  48. May Brady

    May 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Oh wow, I love it – superb masculine style and such gorgeous colours. Nice.

  49. anthony

    May 22, 2010 at 2:26 am

    I really enjoyed your comments, thank you.
    I like the beatles haircut. He looks like a Russian navy Seal. But the guy in the third photo really oughtn't to wear long underpants in public..

  50. Tiana

    May 22, 2010 at 3:58 am

    I'm currently studying in Moscow, and it's an incredibly interesting place from a style perspective. There are several prominent "types" and it's obvious that the majority of the population pays A LOT of attention to their appearance–a much high percentage than in any US city I've been in. (This is fascinating to me. Clothing is MUCH MORE expensive here than in the States, or at least there's a serious lack of affordable clothing. I haven't bought anything new since I've been here save a pair of shoes.) The young women–I think most women under 50, really–overwhelmingly wear high heels every day, and the men generally wear nice shoes. But the haircuts! Oh, the haircuts. I wish I could say that the young men in the pictures were the rule rather than the exception. I've seen so many mullets in this city.

  51. Marcela

    May 22, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I've been wanting to go to Russia for some months now, but reading the post and the comments made me so much more interested about it! I think it really must be different from everywhere else..

  52. Masha

    May 22, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I haven't been home (Russia) for three years, and boy, it changes so fast. I like that Russian style is different from other Europ, but isn't Paris and Florence photos easy to recognize because of the difference in style? I think that is facsinating!
    I would hope that not only Moscow and Saint Petersburg was so creative but other cities and towns too. People are afraid to express themselves and wear safe boring outfits.
    I'm in US right now and when yeasterday I came to school in pink harem pants people admired them but said that only I can pull off something like that. Instantly I thought "why not the others? why only me?".
    I'm not saying that everyone should wear pink pants but rather be free and wear whatever people feel like.

  53. eleanor

    May 22, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    love the third guys outfit, and his attitude.
    great pictures, as always


  54. Marie

    May 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I love the second guy's look. The contrast between the shoes and the sweatshirt is awesome.

    I loved what you said about Russian artistic expression, too. I've been studying art history for 3 years now so when I read that it made me happy. I don't think people realise how much we owe to Russia, culturally.

  55. Anonymous

    May 23, 2010 at 4:25 am

    I love the way you chose to frame them. The Beatles cut with the skivvy is too perfect. A coincidence – I wore fleece pants on the street today for the first time ever, and with a leather jacket also. Pure laziness. I was amused to be getting looks from people. I'm not nearly as cute as the blond in the picture. Did Stallone wear that combo in the first Rocky film?


  56. Philip Acharon Lapinid IV

    May 23, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I love how that guy with the "I <3 NY" shirt match the jacket with the shirt. however i'm not feeling the sweat pants.

    Fashion Toy Gun

  57. Anonymous

    May 23, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I would say they have a long road to walk…

  58. Anonymous

    May 23, 2010 at 6:28 am

    You should definitely visit Warsaw one day. As I live in a post-communist country, the fashion sense of Poles is still developing. But Warsaw with its unique mixture of old and modern architecture is worth visiting.
    Also, a great street style Polish blog:

  59. Niki Cheong

    May 23, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I think the I <3 NY guy totally rocked that look!

  60. Liya

    May 24, 2010 at 1:11 am

    its about time russian men stepped up to it! otherwise we'll be forever known as the nation with pretty women and "not-so-pretty" men… very impressed

  61. MatiuGordon

    May 24, 2010 at 7:19 am

    I dont like copying people looks but I will grab the fleece and leather jacket combo with no axiety for plagiarising another idea……dammm it works

  62. Anonymous

    May 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Am I wrong or did the GQ page say something about Berlin?

  63. Anonymous

    May 24, 2010 at 10:34 am

    The top guy looks so "Lovin' Spoonful." What a chuckle!

  64. lovefool

    May 24, 2010 at 11:34 am

    bangs!!!! i love the guy's bangs on the first picture. and the shape of his face is awesome. and that guy on the third picture, marry me please! :D

  65. Anonymous

    May 24, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    In the uk the trackie bottoms are bedroom attire… those worn in public are promptly banned from supermarkets…. say no more.

  66. Oksana

    May 25, 2010 at 12:45 am

    It's true, Russian fashion really is different from the rest of Europe. I can't really describe how, though — it's grungier, earthier, more unpretentious but at the same time very deliberate.
    It's a sensibility that has always been there, with the exceptions of the noveau riche both there and in the US. That's where you see the yellow tracksuits and head-to-toe Versace : )

    I'm curious, did you notice that most young women wear stilettos just to go to the store? I can't understand it, but it's awesome at the same time.

  67. Polin Dudique

    May 25, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Russian guys are very fashionable!

  68. Anonymous

    May 25, 2010 at 8:56 am

    What impressive russian guys you've caught! The first one's appearance never goes out of fashion here and girls with plaits like them.The second has self-irony and artistic soul maybe but if I meet him on the street I would never thik of what he wears. There is a subtle connection between the NY T-shirt and John Bon Jovi'c face of the third guy,isn't it?

    Love your daring advanturesque research and personal view.


  69. nainai

    May 25, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    liked the fact that his personality and attitude totally shined through the outfit he wear. love people to express themselves in a very free and brave way.
    wish i could do my shopping in Moscow!

  70. Lisa

    May 25, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    but but….fleece pants guy looks like he is just wearing sweatpants. Is this the new Derelicte?

  71. Just me and my bon genre!

    May 26, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Forget about the beatles shag.. Men, take note! No NIPPLES on this guy right here, very good role model!

    visit my blog…

  72. Little Lovables

    May 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

    The blonde has some great style, love the jacket over the ny tee and those comfy pants. meow

  73. Jack Daniel

    May 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    How odd to see such a little amount of comments because I loved reading this post.

    It's refreshing.

  74. Anton

    May 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Moscow men are indeed dressing differently these days. However, you've seen nothing if you haven't been to Arbat…

  75. Anonymous

    May 30, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Does anyone know the designer of the third guys leather jacket?

  76. Steven

    May 30, 2010 at 7:38 am

    Does anyone know the designer of the leather jacket the third guy is wearing?

  77. Izzen

    May 31, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    First guy = cool surfer chic, non?

  78. Bluespana

    June 1, 2010 at 6:18 am

    Looks a walk down Kuznetsky Most. I grew up in New Jersey and live in Moscow. You can't swing a cat without hitting a mullet in these parts. And the Beatles cut is not really a Mod cut. It's some excuse to hide individuality which I've dubbed the 'comb-down'. I mastered this when I was an awkward 14 yo.

  79. Anonymous

    June 1, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    no offense, but how can anybody in the world find Moscow men stylish/well-dressed… These three are just the typical range from struggling pseudo-intellectual look to a borrowed sloppiness in t-s like "love NY". I have lived in Moscow for two yeas now, never came across anything "Wow, that is nice" on a local man.

  80. Däään

    June 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm


  81. Tiffany

    June 15, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Very nice looking gentlemen and clothes! Love it!
    Online Credit Score

  82. Melanie

    July 4, 2010 at 10:52 am

    I have never commented on your blog before, although I have read it for years, but this man from moscow is beautiful. His style is so different and simplistic. His sort of star-wars-like outfit is risky but very cool. I loved this post.

  83. Andréa S.

    July 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    The second look seems inspired on a very modern version of Piet Modrian's paintings.

  84. BonBon

    September 14, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Merci for these pics Scott.))I'd love to c photos of russian women on the streets AS WELL))

  85. Julia

    November 12, 2010 at 4:17 am

    actually lots Moscow youngs-male and female-wear such jersey pants outdoors. and not only with leather…how do you like it paired with Ugg's and natural (it's important)) fur vest?

  86. alexandr

    September 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Do want come to Kiev? Here are allot looks to see…

Leave a comment

Related posts