10 designer souvenirs from Russia (PHOTOS)

Jewelry, ceramics, toys and even designer birdhouses – we put together a list of remarkable things that surely won’t just gather dust on your shelf, because you’ll want to use and admire them every day!

1. ‘Love’ pendant, Onega

Architectural institute graduates Igor Komov and Ekaterina Komova create jewelry inspired by Ancient Russia. The collections of their ‘Onega’ brand are not replicas of ancient jewelry, but a creative interpretation of different layers of Russian culture: from historical fonts to ancient Russian architecture and traditional toys. For instance, the ‘Gorodets’ collection is inspired by Gorodets painting, the legendary Nizhny Novgorod handicraft, while the earrings from the ‘Vyatka’ collection are interpretations of the well-known Dymkovo toy.

The ‘Love’ silver pendant is a part of the ‘Solun’ collection, dedicated to a modern interpretation of the Cyrillic alphabet. The collection’s name refers to the city of Thessaloniki, where Cyril and Methodius – the creators of the first Slavic alphabet – hailed from.


2. ‘Cicada’ lamp, Vadim Maltsev Design

Designer Vadim Maltsev doesn’t only design interiors, but also creates designer furniture and accessories. His brand new collection – a limited series of ‘Cicada’ lamps, made of lead glass, regular glass and metal. There’s just 10 lamps in the collection. The designer fused together Art Nouveau motifs (René Lalique would be jealous!) with… video game aesthetics: fragile lead glass cicada wings are encased in a minimalistic metal frame, made in the spirit of cyber space graphics. This impression is even further enhanced with the lights on.


3. ‘Eyes’ cup, Moroz Ceramics

Katya Moroz, a Moscow-based ceramist, creates original biopositive ceramics. Katya’s accessories and kitchenware are inspired by the human body. Each item is unique, since they are fully handmade. On top of that, the artist doesn’t like to repeat herself: each of her artistic visions serves only a handful of creations. The ‘Eyes’ cup (ceramics with underglaze painting) is a sort of manifestation of her style. It’s convenient to hold; a dozen blue eyes are watching you kindly, winking and bringing you smiles.


4. ‘Wonder of Wonders’ Scarf, Sirinbird®

Sirinbird® silk scarves are decorated by fantastical patterns inspired by Russian fairy tales, traditional ornaments, handicrafts and the cultural codes of different Russian regions. Take the ‘Wonder of Wonders’ scarf – it’s a spectacular interpretation of the so-called ‘Perm animal’ style. The images of animals, bearing ritualistic meaning, were used in the jewelry and utensils among the tribes of the Perm land since pagan times. Designer Irina Batkova puts a certain meaning into each of her creations: this scarf, for example, is not only an interpretation of ancient beliefs, but a wish for wonders to happen in everyone’s lives.


5. ‘RC&Infante’ backpack, Radical Chic

This backpack is a product of a collaboration between the famous ‘Radical Chic’ brand and modern artist Daria Konovalova-Infante. It’s a part of the capsule collection ‘RC&Infante’, inspired by the famous series of Daria’s graphic works ‘The Secret Life of Things’. Objects cast shadows and their essence in them is revealed in a new way, which often creates most unexpected images.


6. ‘Eclair bowl’, Elena Rybalkina

This designer makes curious and, at the same time, practical interior items. She, for example, has a dish set that was inspired by the bay leaf. Take a closer look: these minimalistic items really do remind you of the distinctive shape of a bay leaf. The flagship item of the collection is an eclair bowl that you can use for more than just sweets. It’s fit for serving sushi, tapas, and other appetizers. This item is presented in white and black color schemes.


7. ‘Poem’ plaid, Galka

This brand manufactures unusual and “poetic” home items. Many of them are handmade and one-of-a-kind. The designers believe that home is a place of power and it should be filled with items that bear meaning, which can increase this power tenfold. This plaid is from such a “magical” collection. Its design is reminiscent of a crossword, with single letters or syllables intentionally skipped, so you can solve it at your leisure.


8. Children’s toys, RussianDerevyashn

As with many other startups, the Marin brothers’ project was a product of their family history. They made their first wooden toys for children, inspired by Russian fairy tales, for their own kids and then launched their production. The toys are still made fully by hand. They use birch wood and natural oils. Every Russian kid can recognize the characters. Those are, of course, Baba Yaga and Koschei the Immortal, as well as their companions – a bear, a wolf, a fox, a hare and others.


9. ‘Domik Ptashki’ birdhouse, Dydykin Studio

This creation by the ‘Siberian Design Center’ and Igor Dydykin has already won a range of international awards, including the IF Design Award. The wooden birdhouse resembles a tree hollow, which is supposed to attract birds. It’s compact and ergonomic, easy to place between tree branches without breaking them. Its rounded shape prevents water and snow from collecting on it. And it’s easy to disassemble and clean it.


10. ‘Gogol’ Christmas bauble, RES Objects

The ‘RES Objects’ ceramic workshop offers an ironic view of the Christmas baubles tradition. Why don’t we use… Russian literature classics instead of bullfinches or astronauts? The ‘Gogol’ Christmas bauble is a part of the ‘Authors’ collection. It also features recognizable authors like Chekhov, Tolstoy, Pushkin and, of course, Dostoevsky. All baubles are made by hand from porcelain.


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