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„After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising.“ Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.


Lyubov Melnickowa

"After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising." Interview with the designer of the brand N. Legenda.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will be held in Moscow from October 19-23. PURPLEHAZE magazine asked questions to the designer of the N. Legenda brand, who has been participating in MBFWRussia shows since autumn 2016. The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Interested in psychology and anatomy, the designer of the N. LEGENDA brand creates a faceless cut for the personality, not being afraid to talk about gender.

Thank you for taking time for an interview with us! We are happy to welcome you to PURPLEHAZE magazine. Before asking questions about the brand, I would like to learn more about the designer and founder of the brand N. Legenda.
Tell me a little about yourself. How did your creative path begin and why did you decide to become a fashion designer?
I dreamed to be a fashion designer since was a child. I have graduated from the ST. Petersburg University of Technology and Design as an engineer-constructor of clothes in 2010. Then I did two years of Master’s degree studies and my Masters’s thesis was “An image as the synthesis of dress and body”. My education was not as artistic but more as technical. During studying, I was an assistant stylist and sewed single things for the photoshooting.
Then I worked in different fashion houses like a patternmaker (constructor of clothes) along with created own fashion brand on weekends and evenings, 24/7. It seems… that I had the first month holiday this July for all this time))) In 2013 I sent an application to Fashion Scout (the international platform of support young designers, based in London), taken a grand to participant and could debut at MERCEDES-BENZ KIEV FASHION DAYS with catwalk show. The next three years were continuously saturated with all kinds of competitions for designers in Russia.
In spring 2017 we presented a debut menswear collection “Beautiful Boys” during MERCEDES BENZ FASHION WEEK RUSSIA. Outfits with pink oversize jacket and with monochrome lines samurai jacket were noted a lot of Russian and international press. These two catwalks were the most important and turning events for the brand’s history

What does fashion mean in your understanding?

For me, the concept of fashion has grown into trends, fashion is like a virus, but design is an own opinion. I mean if you can’t defend your opinion, it will be difficult to create fashion brand and to stand up to the competition.

The N. Legenda brand was founded in 2012. How has the fashion world changed since that time?

Fashion in 2012 and fashion in 2021? These figures are very symbolic. I want to believe that fashion world is turned over. Earlier, connections solved a lot. But today in Russia emerging designers have a lot of opportunities, people and press are interested in “a new blood”. Seems that now it’s important such words like individuality, talent and conception. Now it is not shameful to wear the clothes of young designers.

Tell us a little about the brand. At what point did the idea of creating a brand come up?

Most likely the idea born while I was studying at the University. I remember that different people imposed their opinions and said a lot of commentaries how my clothes must be look and which color of fabrics I must use. Then for the first time I thought about what exactly I like. I decided to create an account in Facebook where I will post articles and photos with arts and creativity which I interested in. I gave the account nickname Nikolay Legenda. I find that this was the beginning of the history of my brand.

Few people know the real name of the brand designer. Why N. Legenda?

I did not set the task of hiding my person behind N.LEGENDA. I’ll be honest with you, I consider that name Olga Kapitonova doesn’t fit the clothes which produces brand N.LEGENDA. All my environment waited from Olga Kapitonova women dresses of pastel color. By the way, I’ll tell you a secret, I have another one name stuck in my head, and I want to make it to a reality.

As a rule, a clothing brand is a large team that takes part in the creation of collections. How many people are in the brand team and what are the responsibilities of the chief designer?

N. LEGENDA-a brand of a specific thematic segment. We make our collections in St-Petersburg (Russia) in our own small manufacture. We don’t pretend to produce large collections, we value individuality and the possibility of choice. I design and patter make collections by myself. Even a couple of garments in the collection happens that I sew by myself. Several tailors and a manager help me. If it necessary, we are attracting additional people.

Now many brands are for environmental friendliness and recycling. What materials does the N. Legenda brand use? Are you planning to create collections from recycled materials?

Environmental friendliness and recycling is a very serious problem but it has not yet been fully studied, like the situation with recycle paper cups and cotton shopper’s bags is as eco-friendly as it seems. It is necessary to really understand what is 100% recycled and what is not. To begin with we decided to work at slow fashion, produce limited edition of collections. I cut items myself and know which fabric consumption need, therefore, have scanty waste. Also, sometimes we recycle our items from previous collection or use up-cycle vintage fabric.

In the latest collections of N. Legenda, you can notice that the models who participate in the shows correspond to the main theme of the brand (without gender boundaries). Are there any non-professional models among them? How does the selection of models for displaying collections take place?

Each collection has own character. We work with modeling agency and I’m glad that they have many different types of models now. we also like to give opportunities to new faces. For them, participation in our show becomes their first show, and then it’s nice to see them on the world catwalks.

But I still think that I have a lovely type of guys with „sharp cheekbones that can be used to cut veins“.

The brand exists since 2012. Thanks to the cut and style of the brand, it suits any gender. The brand was created when the topic of gender was not as popular as it is now. What prompted you to create a brand without gender? In your opinion, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic?

When I created brand in 2012, the education taught that there were a lot of style which had clear differences. Also with gender. It was very annoying! I wanted to make clothes free of borders and that it could not be attributed to any style and gender. I

n 2012 I didn’t know that in 2021 it will be so harmonic. Female designer with men name of brand who make clothes without gender sounds so epic.

About question, has the brand become more popular due to the relevance of this topic? I think, no. Most our customers appreciate clothes by N.LEGENDA for brightness and individuality, because it adapts to different looks and styles. Maybe that’s why musicians like to use our outfits in music videos, shootings and at performances.

Who is the N. Legenda brand for? Can you describe its target audience?

During all time customers and influencers of brand are our like-minded people, creative personalities who value individuality, uniqueness and quality. Fans and customers of N.LEGENDA are the younger generation of artists, musicians, stylists and etc.

Target audience – bad guys who in deep of their soul prefer sweet ice-cream))))

N. Legenda is a well-known brand in Russia. Many Russian celebrities can be seen in N. Legenda clothes. Would you like the brand to exist on the world market in the future?

YES, I would. In dreams, to make collaborations with some international painters and illustrators.

The main concept of the brand is a drama in the style of minimalism. Can we say that N. Legenda a reflection of the inner world of the brand designer?

Most likely, Nikolay Legenda can be called my alter ego.

Why do you think there are so few Russian designers on the world catwalk?

We get a lot of offers to participate in pop-up stores and catwalk during fashion weeks from Europe and America. But we just don’t have enough finances to create international professional crew like own crew in Russia and organize fashion show with dignity. What reasons do other designers have?! I don’t know.

How would you describe today’s fashion and what feelings does it cause you?

It seems to me that now is the calm before the storm. After Gucci’s heads in hands, nothing looks surprising. I believe that something interesting is waiting for us in the near future. Today I’m seeing only how Asian idols, Italian music bands and American singers are attracted to promotional fashion campaign.

5 of your favorite designers.

John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Cristobal Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten.

Instagram N. LEGENDA @nikolaylegenda