Need something out of the ordinary but not kitschy? This list is for you.Shutterstock/Legion Media
1. A piece of imperial porcelain
Looking for something beautiful, fragile and tasteful with a lot of history? Try a piece of Imperial Lomonosov Porcelain. This porcelain factory, founded in St. Petersburg in 1744 by Empress Elizabeth, still produces items using traditional methods as well as with modern porcelain techniques. There are items available for every budget. Choose something from the 2017 “Red” New Year’s collection or a piece of the “cobalt net” dinnerware set — the factory’s most iconic pattern.
2. Tabani socks
Tabani socks / Source: Press Photo
These handmade socks are not only high-quality and stylish — they also support Russian retirees. Tabani socks, notable for their beautiful patterns, are knitted by retired ladies from the region of Udmurtia. The project gives them some additional income and a way to feel useful. The grandmothers of Udmurtia are a particularly active bunch — the region is also home to the Buryanovskyie Babushki, who won second place at the 2012 Eurovision competition! Each pair of socks is unique and costs less than 20 euros.
3. A Raketa watch
The Raketa watch factory once made timepieces for everyone in the Soviet Union. In 2009, the factory was bought by French national Jacques von Polier, who modernized and continued the production. Today it is one of the few manufacturers in the world that produces its own watch mechanisms from A to Z, including the spiral and balance spring. Designs are updated on a regular basis.
4. HALF&KULACHEK dishes
HALF&KULACHEK dishes / Source: Press Photo
These dishes designed by Anna Kulachek are produced and decorated by hand at the legendary Gzhel Association factory. The concept is part of a special project developed by AD Russia magazine that works to integrate folk crafts with modern design.
5. Pure Love cosmetics
Pure Love cosmetics / Source: Press Photo
Russia’s organic cosmetics market is developing rapidly and mass-market products such as Natura Siberica can be found in many European shops. Higher-end, niche cosmetics from Russia also make great gifts. The Pure Love line of natural cosmetics is based on the principles of corneotherapy and designed to activate the natural process of skin regeneration. The brand has already won the admiration of Moscow's trendsetters and beauty editors. Natural ingredients, essential oils and botanicals are used to create the products. All the company’s facial creams have a six-month expiration date and must be kept in the refrigerator.
6. The GRUNGE JOHN ORCHESTRA. EXPLOSION backpack
The GRUNGE JOHN ORCHESTRA. EXPLOSION backpack / Source: Press Photo
This Russian indie brand produces items that combine technology, functionality, innovation and style. The brand's “new urbanism” philosophy is clear in its merchandise. Each item has a function, but also history and character. The company’s unique color palette is produced with the help of complex coloring processes.
7. Belyovsky marshmallows
Marshmallows / Source: Lori/Legion-Media
Belyovsky marshmallows, just like the company’s thicker “pastille” candies, are handmade in the town of Belyov (180 miles south of Moscow) with old Russian technologies that do not use artificial additives. Belyovsky marshmallows are particularly soft and have a fine, balanced taste. Unfortunately, food products cannot be ordered online and shipped abroad, so obtaining these marshmallows will require a Russia-based friend.
8. The Constructivist Moscow mug
The Constructivist Moscow mug / Source: Press Photo
Heart of Moscow, a young brand of designer gifts, offers a vast array of notebooks, pins, magnets, socks and mittens featuring symbols of Moscow and Soviet images. The company also sells a skateboard made in collaboration with the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. A classic gift to please everyone on your list is the company’s mug decorated with examples of Moscow architecture.
9. Maria Stern pearl earrings
Maria Stern pearl earrings / Source: Press Photo
Thanks to social networks, this jewelry brand already has an army of admirers. The items are sold in concept stores, as well as in Moscow's largest department store, TsUM. Items with large pearls are exceptionally popular, including: cuffs, mono earrings and rings. The jewelry can be bought through the brand's Instagram page.
10. Foma children's felt boots
The Foma children's felt boots / Source: Press Photo
The Foma factory in Magnitogorsk (1,00 miles east of Moscow) produces a modern version of the traditional Russian footwear, valenki. These heavy boots have non-slip rubber soles with a protector, are made of natural felt, insulated with natural fur and meet orthopedic standards. They can handle temperatures of up to -40 degrees.
11. The Rosol sweater
The Rosol sweater / Source: Press Photo
This sweater has a high neck and is made of soft, warm merino wool. Mischievous reindeer are framed by decorations inspired by old Slavic patterns. The sweater is already worn by Russian rock stars. It comes in both men's and women's versions.
12. Shusha toys
Shusha toys / Source: Press Photo
For several years, Shusha has been the poster child for contemporary Russian design. Created by designer Anastasia Scherbakova and architect Vasily Perfiev, the toys are intentionally minimalistic, alluding to the figurative language of the 1920s avant-garde.
13. Woodsun glasses
Woodsun glasses / Source: Press Photo
For those who do not need warm gifts from Russia, try a pair of sunglasses made of natural wood. This original, high-quality Russian designer product has won the hearts of fashion buffs all over the world, including model Elena Perminova and fashion blogger Sofi Valkers.
14. The AES+F silk scarf
The AES+F silk scarf / Source: Press Photo
This ideal scarf for art lovers was created by the Russian art group AES+F, whose works are exhibited all over the world. The design is based on their famous "Islamic project.” In the project, the group created a series of images depicting international cities in which elements of Islamic architecture have integrated with Western ones.
15. The 'Alexander Rodchenko. Photography- Art' Album
The 'Alexander Rodchenko. Photography- Art' Album / Source: Press Photo
Russians consider a book to be the best possible gift. This wonderful album dedicated to the works of legendary avant-garde artist Alexander Rodchenko is perfect for both art lovers and those who are interested in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union. The publication’s texts are in English.
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