If you follow menswear, there’s a good chance you’ve come across Vladimir Gurev on Instagram. Prefacing each post with a “Good Morning!” or “Good Day!”, Vladimir and his bold, sometimes unconventional but always well-tailored outfits add a touch of color to men’s fashion in Moscow. A doctor by trade and a gentleman by design, he puts his own twist on the modern classics. We caught up with Vladimir one snowy afternoon to learn a little bit more about the man and his style.
The way you dress is quite different from the typical menswear prevalent in Russia. How would you describe your style and how has it developed over time?
My style, namely the bold color combinations, was influenced by a trip to Italy in 2007. I was struck by how people were able to make a multitude of bright colors look tasteful. Little by little, I started to incorporate this into my own outfits. My style relates most closely to smart-casual. It doesn’t follow a business dress code, as it’s more of an everyday look. I take a casual outfit, potentially without a sports jacket or tie, change the conservative colors to bright ones, and use a slimmer, more modern fit. Nevertheless, it’s still classic menswear, just a less formal interpretation of it. It seems to me that what we now call classic menswear has borrowed a lot from more casual styles. Professional attire has remained fairly strict and conservative whereas modern menswear has been able to incorporate informal elements, fabrics, patterns, and colors.
Have you always been so attentive to how you dress?
I have always been very conscious of how I dress, but as I mentioned earlier, a lot changed after I visited Italy. I started paying more attention to details, color combinations, and fit.
You often travel to Western Europe and the United States. How would you compare men’s fashion in Russia, Europe, and the U.S.?
I would like to visit more often! Russia, Western Europe, and the U.S. are all absolutely different, including in fashion. If you take Europe, then the Italians are above everyone else, followed by the British, and the Spanish. In the U.S., I’ve been to Washington DC, Boston, and New York. They all differ from one another as well. People dress very well in New York, although this also depends on the neighborhood. Russia lags the aforementioned countries for a number of reasons. In the past 10 years, though, Russia has certainly made strides forward.
Many people say that the weather in Russia makes it difficult to dress elegantly. The most important thing is to be warm and comfortable rather than to look stylish. Do you agree with this?
Warm and comfortable doesn’t have to mean grey and boring. You can now find great winter clothing that’s both functional and refined.
What do you think is the most important part of an outfit? The shoes? The shirt? The jacket?
An outfit is only complete when all of the elements and details come together. No one piece is most important.
You like to wear a lot of bold colors and patterns. How do you go about putting together an outfit in the morning?
I usually decide what I’ll wear the night before. This doesn’t take me more than 3 minutes. Much more time is spent ironing, which is something I truly dread!
What would you never leave home without?
I try not to leave the house without a good mood. A good mood changes everything.
You recently met Nick Wooster in New York. Are there any people that you consider to be personal style inspirations or icons?
Yes, I did accidentally run into Nick Wooster, although they say that there’s no such thing as an accident. Really, there are many very well-dressed people and they are all different. I try to base my style on my own personal preferences and tastes, even if they aren’t perfect.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Unfortunately, free time is hard to come by when living in a large metropolis! When I do find free time, I like to exercise, read, and go to the theater. Most of all, I like to spend time with my favorite person. When it’s warm, we take strolls through the park and when it’s cold, we spend time chatting over a cup of coffee.