Meet Otocyon - Inspired by a Bat-Eared Fennec Fox
Otocyon is a Russian fashion brand that studies the ideas of modern femininity, aiming for their designs to “frame the wearer”. Launched in 2015 in Moscow by Lesya Volchok-Rusakovich, the collection combines architectural lines and abstract forms with a chic neutral color palette that is beloved by its international clientele of it girls and fashion influencers. As a media darling, it has been featured worldwide in publications such as Vogue Italy, I-D, Vice, Vogue Russia, ELLE Canada, The Fall London, Harper’s Bazaar Russia, and InStyle.
What's your name?
My name is Lesya Volchok-Rusakovich.
Where are you from?
I was born in the small city of Ayaguz in Kazakhstan, but when I was only 2 months old I moved to Taganrog, Russia, and for the last 8 years I have been living and working in Moscow.
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Minimalism, nuance, femininity, artistry, architecture.
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
Women and art.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
Yes, it seems to be possible. Technology is progressing, the political agenda is constantly changing. And the fashion incorporates everything and quickly responds to changes. A while ago we could not imagine clothes made using a 3D printer, and now there are many garments made that way.
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
It seems to me that it poses new challenges, makes us think even more about how to technologically accomplish certain things.
Do you thrive off of spontaneity or careful planning?
At the moment, I am learning to plan more rationally, so that there is time for spontaneity :)
How do you deal with creative blocks?
I have no such problems - if you are working on a collection, sooner or later everything will be poured onto paper, and then into products. Another question is that this process can take more time, you just need to understand that this is normal.
Are you a romantic person?
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
I like to combine them - it’s all about good design where aesthetics incorporate function. I think this is very important.
Which fashion designer do you have the most respect for?
Dries Van Noten, I really like his style, approach to business (unique fabrics for example), and also a very beautiful life.
Did you undergo a formal design education?
Yes, I graduated from the Moscow State Textile University named after A.N. Kosygin as a costume designer and stylist.
Do you gravitate more toward designing for men or women?
100% for women. I tried to do men's fashion, but I don’t feel the figure, the plasticity of movements, so yes, only for women.
What first made you passionate about fashion?
As a child, my sister and I had the game called Young Fashion Designer. It worked like this: there were cards with different parts of the costume and they could be made up in different variations. After the image was assembled, paper was put on the cards, and we needed to use a pencil for the final image to appear. I was very fascinated that there were so many combinations and they were all beautiful.
Once you’ve mastered a certain style, is it difficult to continue evolving it?
I would say that it is difficult to find your style, to maintain and to develop it is much easier.
Do you work better alone or on a team?
Recently I realized that working alone is much better for me.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
To Italy, I love this country! And also there are beautiful fabrics there.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
I love traveling, of course this also affects me as a designer because it allows me to understand my culture and other countries better. Traveling is very recharging.
You’ve received an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with it?
I would try to raise him a good elephant who would live a worthy life :)
What's your favorite month or season?
I really like fall, when everything shimmers with incredible combinations of colors. The last heyday of nature before bedtime.
If you could collaborate with anyone in the world on a new collection, who would it be?
I love Henri Matisse, if I could work with him, I would choose him.
What is your spirit animal?
Now is probably the best time to tell you about the name of the brand. Otocyon in Latin (and also in French) means bat-eared fennec fox. My husband even got a tattoo in honor of me depicting this fox. This animal is very significant for me.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I drink coffee, I cannot wake up without it.
What is one thing you can’t live without?
Without a loved one.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I would like to be able to fly.
Check out Otocyon's new collections here