Interview Volga Volga. Conceptual menswear designer



Volga Volga; Launched by Russian Designer Mikhail Panteleev, each collection is handcrafted in his Tokyo atelier, creating meticulously designed pieces by combining luxury fabrics with three dimensional cutting to ensure each piece has its own identity and texture. We took some timeout to catch up with Mikhail and get a deeper insight into the designers world.

Read the full interview below.

Shop the available items from Volga Volga HERE.


Interview Volga Volga. Conceptual menswear designer


UnconMikhail, were you a curious person during your youth? Tell us a little bit about yourself as well as any others who may help to create each collection?

Volga VolgaI am and always was very curious about life, especially learning new techniques and ways of creating things in different types of media. All the team in the creative studio helps me to create a full collection, it is about team work and family.

UnconHow did you develop your initial urge to create?

Volga VolgaMy parents worked in the textile industry. When I was young, I always made clothes for myself but it was during my two years with the Russian army that i started to design garments. When I came out of the army, I was determined it would be my true vocation in life.

UnconIn it's solemn purity, what can inspire you to draw / create a new pattern?

Volga VolgaWhen I feel new fabrics, in my mind I already imagine a silhouette which I then draw, and from that a collection evolves. also constantly look at new photo's, movies, street style etc, it is a life walking inspiration.

UnconYour work is also about a calm connection to the fabrics you use and their origins. What shapes the surface study of your work?

Volga VolgaI choose fabrics depending on which season I work on, but also in Japan it is very humid therefore I try to find fabrics that people will feel comfortable in as well as having textured patchwork. But mostly depending on the human body. On the elbows and knees I will add a strong fabric for protection. With the underarms a lighter fabric selection allowing for air flow and comfort. I like to mix stretch and non stretch fabrics to create a better sensation and feel.


Interview Volga Volga. Conceptual menswear designer


UnconWhat is most important to you, in the development of your work?

Volga Volga: The 'Ideas' without these nothing else can evolve.

Uncon: Originality and authenticity are important factors in a highly competitive industry, How do you maintain you stay at the forefront?

Volga Volga: Russian shops are very supportive of my work. Japanese shops have very interesting fabrics and high tech fabrics that don't exist in Europe yet, therefore I am lucky to use them for innovating my collections.

UnconWhat music do you surround yourself with during your creative process?

Volga VolgaMusic is around me all of the time, it charges me with emotions and gives me energy, some music I currently listen to for example is EBM electro body music, Nitzer ebb music band and front 242. But I never forget the legends such as Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison (the doors) and Boris Grebenshikov.

UnconThe finishes on your pieces can be considered experimental, what drives you to push the limits of fabrication boundaries and the way they interact with the wearer?

Volga VolgaI see finishing not only as a detail but as design as well. The wearer will feel different by looking at those small details, and will therefore have a special connection with the garment that only they will understand.


Interview Volga Volga. Conceptual menswear designer


UnconWhat emotions do you commonly associate with your work? How do you believe your pieces help to physically represent those emotions?

Volga VolgaWhen I make clothes I don't make them on the mannequin, some designers forget that its for a human body. I always think about comfort and being warm in winter, being able to have both of these while wearing a garment that is not too heavy. Same for summer with light and breathable tech fabrics. I myself move a lot, bike, walk, therefore I think that clothes should interact with the human body as a second skin and let the body do anything it needs.

UnconWhen we look at your homeland and its natural habitat, do you see a connection to this with your work?

Volga VolgaI personally don't see any connection with Russia and my clothes, at the beginning there was a strong connection but it has evolved into its own volga identity.

UnconAny new chapter needs new input, what would yours be?

Volga VolgaWe will see on the next collection. . .

UnconNext to design, do you find time for other interests and developments?

Volga VolgaI don't have enough time to do my hobbies that I love. Music, family, three kids, bikes, remixing music, climbing mountains, the list goes on, I try to fit as much in as possible to freshen the mind.


Interview Volga Volga. Conceptual menswear designer