Meet 404 Not Found - Provocatively Romantic
Helmed by designer Alyona Feliksova and creative director Anton Rudzat, 404 Not Found is based in St. Petersburg, Russia. The brand is influenced by literature and cinema, most notably Dangerous Liaisons and Basic Instinct, with a nod to Sharon Stone in many of its pieces.
Hi 404 NOT FOUND! Where are you from?
We are from Russia, based in St. Petersburg.
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Our signature design can be described in five adjectives: advanced, trendy, qualitative, provocatively romantic, absolutely wearable.
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
Our biggest source of inspiration is women and everything related to them: love, sex, emotions, their rich inner world, etc.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
We are on the verge of great innovations in fashion! 3D printing, interesting solutions in modeling, nano-textiles, and this is only a small part of exciting innovations still to come.
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
This is an interesting question. It's 2019 and it is important to understand that a fashion brand is a difficult structure. People are interested in quality products that meet current trends and that are wearable at the same time. We are well aware that the design should still be distinctive, and of course the brand should have a pure artistic DNA!
What other art forms inspire your collections?
We are inspired by different types and forms of art: cinema, music, painting. Art and fashion photography are also very exciting.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
Work is always created in stages. We have a strong team, where each person is responsible for their unique part of the process. The designer creates a mood board, at first completely abstract. This board is always closely connected with one of the trends of the next season. Next, we choose one of the trends for the next season that we will work with. Then, we create a more detailed mood board, with specific images and prints. We think about how to show the trend and connect it with several inspirational themes. The collection can have several different directions, but not more than 3, it's a rule, and at the same time they are all united by one general trend.
The collection thus begins to appear, step by step. Some outfits are easier to create than others. This is a normal process, some looks in the collection can take a lot of time. This is really a very difficult stage.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
We are absolutely visual people, so of course, aesthetics for us is always in the first place. But as we said earlier, the fashion brand is a very complex structure. Thus, we prefer aesthetics, but we do not forget about functionality and wearability.
How do you think the fashion industry is going to change as automation takes over?
We believe that the fashion industry will change as everything progresses. But it is important to understand that this is absolutely normal. Designers need to understand that new perspectives are opening up for them. So they need to respond to what is happening and be open minded.
Are your designs connected with or inspired by your heritage?
We use different things for inspiration. Yes, our brand is interested in some Russian cultural codes, but it is important to understand that we are not limited only by our country's heritage. The whole world is our inspiration.
Are art and commercialization irreconcilable?
We think that art and commerce are closely related now. Back in the days of Andy Warhol and pop art, this rule worked fine. Nowadays, it is also related to the influence of social media.
Do you work better alone or in a team?
We always work as a team. Me, as a designer (Alena Feliksova) and my creative director (Anton Rudzat). We are a perfect match!
What is your favorite film?
We are huge movie fans, so this is a difficult question. For the Fall/Winter '19-20 collection we were inspired by “Blade Runner”, from 1982, the original one. The costumes in this movie are absolutely incredible!
Do you have any rituals when starting a new design?
Yes, maybe we smoke a lot of cigarettes :)
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
More than anything, we want to relax. To watch great movies, go for a walk, go to an exhibition, or just silently lie in bed.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a new collection, who would it be?
We would like to collaborate with Hedi Slimane and Jacquemus, for sure!
What is your spirit animal?
Our spirit animal is an Owl because we love to work late.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
It’s impossible to live without love, absolutely.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would like to heal people, especially from serious diseases...
Check out 404 Not Found new collections here