Earlier this spring, we looked at the unique accessories collaboration between Blugiallo x R.Culturi. At a meeting with the founders of Blugiallo, I also had the opportunity to meet one of the founders behind R.Culturi, Anthony Brovchenko, that were visiting Stockholm to launch their new collection.
Hi Anthony, tell me about yourself and how you ended up working with accessories and fashion.
Hi Robin. Well the whole thing started as kind of an experiment really. I spent a few years living in Europe and my wife and I made it a point to travel as much as possible. Being the menswear enthusiast that I am, I always made sure to check out the shops in any city we visited and purchase some kind of accessory as a memento of the trip. After a while I realized that regardless of where I bought them, most of these things looked fundamentally the same. There was nothing radically different about a pocket square purchased in Madrid from one purchased in Vienna. Most of them had the same familiar patterns that we’re all accustomed to. This is when I had an idea to contact artists from places we’d visited and ask them to create a pocket square design. Once the first few designs were finished, I had them printed by a custom fabric printer in the U.S. I was surprised by how well the designs worked as pocket squares and I would often wear them and remember certain trips my wife and I had taken together. That’s when we thought that this could be a real business and spent the next two years learning about textile production, searching for a full-scale manufacturer, finding artists, and perfecting the designs.
What is the story behind R.Culturi?
As I mentioned, it spawned as a natural extension of two of my biggest interests. I realized that I had lots of neckties and pocket squares in my closet but many of them looked more or less the same. The designs and patterns didn’t have much significance to me. Then I thought about the illustrations and drawings I saw in galleries and on the streets in places like Yerevan, Kiev, and Barcelona. So, the idea came to me to seek out these kinds of artists and create wearable accessories around their work. Of course, design is half of the puzzle. The other half is having it made into a physical product. That’s why after extensive research and testing we chose Italian craftsmanship for our collection.
What makes R.Culturi different compared to other brands in the business?
What makes us different, and what some people may not realize, is that we never just take an artist’s existing work and print it onto a pocket square, scarf, etc. We actually collaborate with artists over several months to come up with the designs in our collection. Each one of them is a completely original work and only available through R. Culturi. Our philosophy is to also promote the artists as much as possible. That’s why we publish interviews about them on our blog, have information about them on our website, and always credit them whenever possible. We hope to bring increased exposure to the very talented individuals who shape our collection.
Where do you see the brand in the upcoming years?
My vision is for R. Culturi to be a global brand, not only in terms of consumer awareness but also in terms of the artwork. I want to collaborate with talented, creative people from all over the world and to be able to give them a voice through our “platform”, if you will. No matter how large R. Culturi grows though, I want to make sure we never stray from our core philosophy – to be true to the artist, to be true to the customer, and to never compromise on quality.
Recently, you announced the collaboration with the Swedish made to measure company Blugiallo. How did you end up creating this collaboration?
Initially, Alexander, one of the founders of Blugiallo, purchased a pocket square from us after Manolo published an article about our brand. Shortly after the purchase, I emailed him as I do all of our customers with a personal thank you note. That sparked up a conversation between the two of us, which developed into a friendship and eventually into a collaboration between our brands. It happened very organically and it was a natural fit. The collection came out beautifully and we couldn’t be happier.
Last but not least, are there any new and interesting collection or collaboration that you can announce for us?
I can’t say too much at the moment but we are indeed working on a couple of new collections for this year. I can tell you that they will be unlike anything you’ve seen from us in the past. We will be collaborating with artists from Bucharest in Romania, Iloilo City in the Philippines, and Philadelphia in the US. I’m very excited to unveil more in the next couple of months!