Kyiv is experiencing somewhat of a cultural renaissance. The city has adopted the nickname of ‘the new Berlin’, perhaps for its affordability and popping underground scene, but the city exists outside of, and beyond these comparisons too. Part of Kyiv’s appeal and reputation is its thriving creative scene, often overlooked. From musicians to interdisciplinary artists, the city is producing some serious talent – and m0d44 is no exception.
The label, based in Kyiv, self-describes as a “future workwear brand”, and vows to design clothes that are both elegant and casual, reflecting the urban shift towards more flexible working cultures and the move beyond formal office attire. M0D44 was founded in August 2019 by Anton Abo and Oksana Rysovana with the mission of creating clothes for Kyiv’s young creative professionals. The brand already sells its clothes online worldwide and in stores in Kyiv, Odesa, Tokyo, and Helsinki.
We caught up with the creative duo behind the brand to find out more about the label, their inspirations and delve into the design process.
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If you had to describe your main points of inspiration, what would they be?
It would be technical aesthetics, electronic music, and utilitarian design.
How does Kyiv’s underground culture influence your designs?
Kyiv has been actively developing within the last couple of years. We have many cultural events, raves, new cafes/restaurants, and concept stores opening in the city. All of this influences and inspires us. On our website, you can find materials about people from the industry and mixtapes from our friends – DJ, musicians, and sound producers – the creatives who we see as our community.
It’s great to see sustainability is a big consideration in your process. Can you talk a bit about this, and how m0d44 is adapting to the current eco-conscious climate?
We founded M0D44 in 2019, however, we’ve been working in the fashion industry for 11 years already. We have always been trying to make pieces of a good quality which can be worn several years and not change them every season. When we decided to set up M0D44, we realised that we can do more with a sustainable approach. We’ve started experimenting with upcycling, cooperating with companies that produce recycled and organic materials, and at the same time, we focus on the hardwearing/durability of the clothes we make.
The first problem of the fashion industry is not environmental pollution, but overconsumption culture. People still need clothes, but perhaps not in such large quantities.
Can you talk us through how you got started?
After 9 years of work in a streetwear brand, we’ve decided to launch a new project and put focus on workwear aesthetics and a sustainable approach to production. We’ve gathered a small team and after half a year of preparations, we’ve launched our first collection as m0d44.
What do you think are the key elements of your brand and designs, and why?
First of all, it’s our graphics. We’re surrounded by a large amount of visual noise. This is partially what we’re trying to rethink through technical aesthetics. We’ve even made up a term for it – visual recycling. We are interested in rethinking workwear in terms of changes in professions in our modern world.
What’s next for m0d44?
We’re planning to develop our upcycling line and make several collaborations.
Check out the Kyiv-based label on their website.