Things to bring from a trip to Russia If you are familiar with Gosha Rubchinskiy, this guide is for you
Balalaikas, Russian dolls, vodka, and caviar are not bad per se, however, you can bring something more interesting from Russia, like clothes with Cyrillic prints, local gastronomic treats and other heartwarming souvenirs.
When it comes to Russian fashion, Gosha Rubchinskiy is the first name that comes to mind of the Westerners. Cyrillic script and post-Soviet culture are still considered trendy, so don't hesitate to buy T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball hats with Russian words printed on them: «Русский андерграунд» [Russian underground], «Негатив» [Negative], «День и Ночь» [Day and Night], etc. Check out the brand “Dva Myacha” [Two balls], a Russian alternative to Vans and Converse. They copy 60-70s soviet sneakers design using modern materials. You definitely won’t see those on every other guy.
Shops to check out
ADDRESS: Stoleshnikov lane, 2
If you decide to purchase some Gosha Rubchinskiy, this is the place to go. Besides, they sell other Russian brands worth checking— Walk Of Shame, Nina Donis, Sever.
ADDRESS: Red Square, 3
This two-storey and 400 square meter shop in the heart of Moscow (in GUM) is a showcase of Russian achievements in the field of fashion. Here you can find popular brands such as ZDDZ and Sorry I’m not, or less known On Course and Sergey Soroka, Masterpiece, 7ka, Laroom, Erma.
The first Russian concept store that was opened in far 1977. Now Leform has four stores with clothes and interior design. Three of them are situated in the historic centre of Moscow.
ADDRESS: Tvetnoy Boulevard, 15 bld.1
A department store that you wouldn't want to leave empty-handed (you simply won’t be able to resist!) It has a wide selection of clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry and beauty brands, including Russian ones.
ADDRESS: Malaya Molchanovka, 6
Another concept store with an interesting brand selection and high prices. Fans of Ashish, Damir Doma, Undercover, Fear of God and other luxury brands are always welcome here.
ADDRESS: Leontyevskiy lane, 5
This store is mainly focused on Japanese brands. If you are familiar and fine with price tags of Visvim, Wacko Maria, NEIGHBORHOOD, WRYHT by OLD JOE & CO, come over for some shopping here.
One of the shops that had an important role to play in Russian street style and sneaker culture promotion. Stop by for a pair of perfectly fitting jeans or a cool trainers release.
These pins capture the spirit of modern Russia, don’t take up much space and hardly weigh anything.
«Старая школа», [Old school] 400 RUBLES
Years and years ago Soviet kitchens were equipped with gas stoves that were lighted with matches. This is why “Old school” on the pin is so appropriate.
«Дорожная сумка», [Travel bag] 400 RUBLES
A cheap travel bag has been in high demand in Russia since perestroika. It can be often spotted on a flight or train trip.
Athletes, 300 RUBLES
A fragment of Kazimir Malevich «Athletes» painting. Suprematism and so on.
«Woman with rake», 300 RUBLES
A fragment of another well-known Malevich piece of art, “Woman with rake”.
Heart of Moscow pins
«TSVETNOY» DEPARTMENT STORE: (LEVEL 2, ITEMS): Tsvetnoy Boulevard, 15 bld.1
GARAGE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART: Krymskiy val, 9/32, Gorky Park
MUSEUM OF MOSCOW: Zubovskiy boulevard, 2
MUSEUM OF SOVIET ARCADE MACHINES: Kuznetskiy most, 12
JEWISH MUSEUM AND TOLERANCE CENTRE: Obraztsova, 11 bld. 1A
Mercedes, 350 RUBLES
A German representative class car brand that was especially popular among crime lords in the 90s and was a symbol of wealth.
Tetris, 350 RUBLES
Tetris is another thing that would always be associated with the 90s in Russia. Almost every kid used to own this toy.
New York Yankees baseball hats, Pittsburg hockey jerseys or Lionel Messi Barcelona football shirt can be spotted all over the world. So a CSKA shirt with Sergey Ignashevich name in Latin will make you stand out from the usual fan crowd. Occasionally, you will also have to comment on how to pronounce that name right.
If you are not ready for Russian football club shirts just yet, you can get a cap or a scarf to try things out.
Zenit, 1 500 RUBLES
Dinamo, 600 RUBLES
In the Soviet times the album covers of foreign musicians and famous bands were translated into Russian. It's now pretty easy to buy The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Nazareth albums released in the USSR (with the titles in Russian). They can easily become a gem of every vinyl collection. Don't forget to get Muslim Magomayev, Vladimir Vysotskiy or Alla Pugacheva as well.
Check out some Russian comic books. Your geek friends probably won't fully understand the plot, but will fully embrace the vibe. Major Grom is not some Marvel Captain America.
Food as a gift
First of all, consider buying Russian dessert specialties from all over the country. Choose your favorite! Tula pryanik is a pastry with icing and jam inside. Kozinaki are sweet bars made of peeled seeds and honey. Chak-chak is a pastry with honey. Do not underestimate Russian condensed milk (it is special!)l. Dagestan urbech is an alternative to peanut butter made of flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, apricot pits or nuts. Ivan-chai is a fermented herbal tea that is both refreshing and soothing. Even your grandma will be delighted. Oh, and don’t forget sushki (Russian pretzels) and baranki (Russian bagels). They could make the best low budget presents to bring back home.