N: Hey Ruslan, it's great to talk with you. Could you kick things off by telling us a bit about yourself, where you're from, your life growing up and how you got into fashion?
R: Hello, nice to meet you!
My name is Ruslan, I was born in the south of Russia, in a region called the North Caucasus.
This is a beautiful region, there is wonderful nature, but the people there are very conservative and the economic development of the region lags far behind the more Western parts of Russia. I moved from my hometown when I was 19 years old to the much larger city of Krasnodar. There I got my first job at Levi's and very consciously discovered fashion from the retail side. After a few weeks of living in Krasnodar, I met Pavel Babak and together we began our journey in fashion as fashion influencers on Instagram.
At the level of the city in which we lived, we achieved huge results during the year as “instagrammers”, at that time we advertised the best shops and restaurants in Krasnodar and collaborated with many famous brands from Russia, Korea, England and many other parts of the world. After some time of living like this as a blogger, perhaps by mistake, or maybe really because such a public lifestyle didn’t seem comfortable to me at the time, I stopped running Instagram as a blogger and focused on regular work, mortgages and other matters of life as a “civilian.”
In 2019, my partner Slava Porozhny, with whom we run Parc Lunaire today and I decided to move to Moscow.
At that time, Pavel Babak was already living there and we rented an apartment together in the city center. The guys immediately began their journey in the Moscow fashion business as a photographer and stylist, and I again got a job in retail, at TSUM Moscow (the largest retailer of luxury goods in Russia). I worked there for about four years, until the opening of Parc Lunaire, and gained enormous experience in working with luxury clients, presenting luxury goods and doing communication.
N: I first found out about you through the brand you creatively direct, Parc Lunaire. Can you tell me more about the story behind the brand ? How did it start, who are the founders, and why the name "Parc Lunaire"?
R: We dreamed of creating our own brand, like many people passionate about fashion. But it seemed like a very complicated and expensive hobby, and that stopped us.
A little over a year ago, when the current crisis hit my work hard and forced me to start looking around, we simply tried to make one T-shirt for ourselves. I wore it to work, went for walks in it, and people constantly asked me where to buy such a T-shirt?
So we decided to launch a very small brand, starting with 2-3 T-shirts (otherwise we simply wouldn’t have been able to afford to create something larger).
The name Parc Lunaire appeared due to the fact that since childhood in my head the phrase Luna Park sounds like something magical, like something out of children's science fiction, I'm not talking about an amusement park (which in reality Luna Park is) - the name itself seems to speak about that this is some other dimension.
Slava Porozhny and I launched Parc Lunaire in August 2022, our starting capital was $40.
It's amazing now to realize how quickly Parc has grown to where it is today and how many clients around the world have found us. I think there is some magic in the name too. In Russia they say - Whatever you call a ship, that’s how it will sail. Looks like it's true!
N: Was there ever a moment when you envisioned a different career for yourself, or has it always been about fashion?
R: I always think of another job and didn't want to work in fashion retail. What I do now is not work, it is not retail and it is not fashion.
I hope that Parc Lunaire in its future is not about a fashion business, but about a lifestyle, views on the world and the mood that we want to convey with our visuals and objects.
I would like Parc Lunaire to seem like everyone’s long-loved television series, in which there will be many seasons and we will grow and change along with its main characters.
Our audience should wait for new episodes from year to year to find out what will happen next? Fall in love with the characters, experience dramatic scenes and remember the funniest moments forever. This is how I dream of Parc Lunaire.
N: What I love about Parc Lunaire is that it feels more like a creative collective rather than a brand.. what do you think about that? What role, if any, do your friends play in Parc Lunaire?
R: You're right! Parc Lunaire is definitely not just a brand. Our friends often participate in our shoots as models, stylists, artists, or simply as inspiration for the world in which Parc Lunaire exists.
N: How would you describe the creative scene in Moscow right now? Recently I have seen a lot of amazing talents emerge from Russia...
R: Despite the fact that a lot of talented and interesting people have left Russia in the last two years, I see everything quite optimistically.
It seems to me that for many guys who did not have time to express themselves before, many opportunities have opened up for this because the focus of attention in creativity has expanded greatly. And for some, the crisis as a whole made them move.
N: This convo has been super fun Ruslan so thank you ! Before we wrap up, can you give us a sneak peek into any exciting projects you’ve got lined up for the near future?
R: Thank you very much for the opportunity to talk! We try to never plan any projects; today Parc Lunaire has no such need and we try to display in it only what is organic and happens in our lives.