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Brands

5 Minutes with RUKI-KRYKI

by , September 8, 2014

RUKI-KRYKI is the name of a Russian carry brand which when translated literally means HANDS-HOOKS. The founder, Vladimir Kovalev, explains that inspiration for the brand’s name stems from the Russian saying RUKI-KRYKI which means a person does not know how to do something by hand, or does it very badly. However, his brand strives to be the opposite of this, creating quality goods crafted by hand with attention to detail. In order to discover more, we grabbed five minutes with Vladimir to discuss insights, inspirations and the Russian carry industry…

RUKI-KRYKI

What key insights drive your stuff?

I have always believed that only the hands of makers can put the soul into the product. In the production I use a minimum of tools: awl, thread, needles, pliers, a metal ruler and a knife. Everything else is doing things with my hands. No sewing machines, no cutting press. So every product I produce by hand. Yes, it takes a much longer time, but the result is justified. When you do everything by hand you cannot repeat the previous wallet. Sometimes I specifically add small changes in the next wallet. This makes the product unique. And buyers like it.

When I first started producing wallets, I immediately decided that I would use only Russian materials. But it is not easy. Now however the only Russian materials I use are Russian leather, cotton and paper for packaging. No hardware and no thread – these are from Italy and Greece. This is very sad.
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RUKI-KRYKI

Tell us about the Russian carry industry

Over the past 5-6 years Hand Made in Russia has become very popular. Small workshops are opening, workshops are being organized for children and adults. It’s all very cool! People express themselves through arts. The problem is that all the materials have to be ordered from abroad. In our country, almost nothing is produced to facilitate handmade goods.
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Of course there are some workshops for which it is just business. Copying famous brands, without adding anything of their own or anything new. I do not understand this kind of work. It’s pointless.
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Recently in our country it has become popular to produce traditional Russian products with national and historical significance, such as hand embroidery, wood carving and traditional Russian clothes. I was very inspired by these products! This is our heritage, our history.
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RUKI-KRYKI
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Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry and why do you think they’re important?

My favorite maker is Barrett Alley. Each of his wallets is unique because he uses antique fabric. Every product is full of history. This is amazing! In times of mass consumer goods such products are like a breath of fresh air.
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RUKI-KRYKI
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Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?

MAKR, Tanner Goods, Friday & River, 1924.us, Red Wing, ColsenKeane, Wood&Faulk, Stitch & Hammer, Tailfeather, Corter Leather, Killspencer, Draught Dry Goods and of course LAYERXLAYER. These makers do the best work ever!
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My first encounter with these workshops began with Jason Gregory of MAKR. The aesthetics of the products and the workshop really inspired me.
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RUKI-KRYKI
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What’s next for you?

I love the city where I was born, grew up and am working at the moment. I have a photo project called Wooden Barnaul which is dedicated to the old wooden architecture of my city. Just the other day I printed calendars with photographs of old wooden houses. Now I’m developing notebooks. As for the leather, a lot of ideas and plans! All the latest news is in my Instagram.
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RUKI-KRYKI
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What do you carry daily?

RUKI-KRYKI
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Studio shots: Elena Getmanskaya
Product shots: Vladimir Kovalev
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