Meet RxBShoes - Architecture Inspired Footwear
Mila Razgulyaev-Blagonravova is a boutique luxury shoe designer from Russia. Hailing from St. Petersburg, the RxBshoes brand draws on the artistic and aristocratic vibe of Russia’s Northern capital’s history and tradition - mixed with a sense of humor and eclectic whimsy - to produce handmade, wearable pieces of art to decorate your feet.
What's your name?
Where are you from?
St Petersburg, Russia.
Describe your signature design style in five words.
Handicraft, detail, artistic design, and comfort.
What's your biggest source of inspiration?
St. Petersburg architecture, emotions from art and interesting things around me.
Do you think true innovation in fashion is still possible?
No, I don’t think so, because these are temporal things.
What role does the commercial aspect play for you? Does it limit your creativity?
No, I come from the creative component and only then I consider the commercial component.
Do you prefer to follow or subvert trends?
I follow the trends a little, and I focus on the classics.
Do you thrive off of spontaneity or careful planning?
I definitely closely follow the plan but do plan a bit spontaneously.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
I think of these as a part of the art process and enjoy such manifestations.
Do you prioritize aesthetics or functionality?
How do you think the fashion industry is going to change as automation takes over?
I think it will change, and that's why my models are more classic, suitable for everyday use.
Which fashion designer do you have the most respect for?
Alena Akhmadullina, Katya Dobryakova, Ulyana Sergienko, Raf Simons, Charlotte Olympia, and Christian Louboutin.
Are your designs connected with or inspired by your heritage?
I am inspired by my city and its historical and cultural heritage.
Are art and commercialization irreconcilable?
Great art can be commercially successful, there are undeniable examples which prove that.
Did you undergo a formal design education?
I studied shoe art in London and Italy, and had practiced with some fifth-generation shoe masters - this is my most valuable training and experience.
Do you gravitate more toward designing for men or women?
Mostly for women, since I’m a woman myself and I understand and enjoy the process of designing shoes for women. I always do only what I would like to wear and don’t make shoes that I would never wear.
What first made you passionate about fashion?
Playing with forms, combining colors and textures, the final image.
Once you’ve mastered a certain style, is it difficult to continue evolving it?
This is an interesting question, probably yes. For example, our slippers inspired by Malevich’s work are hard to transform into street shoes, since people don’t like to wear such bright shoes outside. There are limitations of course.
Do you work better alone or on a team?
I always create models myself, but bring them to life with the assistance of my team. The second part of the process is impossible to do without a strong team, and fortunately I have one.
If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
I would love to see the Grand Canyon, I envy those who have already been there. I travel a lot, but the world is so big that there is always something that I would like to see to be inspired by later.
What is your favorite film?
There are quite a few! Marie Antoinette, Brideshead Revisited, Pride and Prejudice, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, A Single Man, The Spiral, Gossip Girl, Sex and the City.
Do you have any rituals when starting a new design?
Yes, I meditate before work.
What is your favorite thing to do outside of fashion?
Traveling and going to exhibitions and museums.
What is your favorite food?
Indian cuisine and vegetarian burgers.
What's your favorite month or season?
Summer, it is brilliant in St. Petersburg!
What is your spirit animal?
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
What is one thing you can’t live without?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?