Odyn Vovk – or « One Wolf » if you prefer the English equivalent – is all about street-style sophistication. Wagging tongues would have it that Austin Sherbanenko, designer of the small L.A based menswear brand, is trying to copy the dark and sporty style of Rick Owens, Boris Bidjan Saberi and co. “I've been hearing so much gossip ever since I've showed my work for the first time, back in 2009”, explains Sherbanenko backstage after his show at Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. “People always try to categorize you. I'm not accepting any kind of style tag. We're not Goths, neither skaters, nor whatsoever. I just follow my ideas spontaneously, without thinking too much about industry expectations”.
Working mainly with linen, leather, cotton jersey and reverse terry, Sherbanenko reinterprets basic fabrics with unique overdyeing and coatings, as well as experimental acid washes for more surface structure. Sleek long-sleeved tops and coats with draped detailing, fitted leather jackets, two-tone shirts and vests with unfinished trimmings go hand in hand with loose-fit washed-out pants, mostly in “skull” off-white, anthracite and sheer black and are paired with combat boots for an edgy look. For his Fall 2012 collection, the designer added denim to his toolbox – with a twisted approach of course: “ I set my focus on using baby blue denim painted over with black wax. But that was kind of a joke. I only did it because fashion has shifted from drapy dark looks to fitted bow-tie chic and I thought it could be funny to jump on this trend in my own way, add another dimension to it.”
So far so good, but how come casual design made in Downtown L.A. is actually showcased in Kiev, Ukraine? “I have Ukrainian origins, but it's the first time that I show my collection in Kiev. My relatives passed away during World War II, I might still have family here way down the line, but I don't think so. The Ukrainian name is only meant to pay homage to my grand father. Otherwise, I wouldn't identify to Ukrainian design or another country in particular. We used to show in New York during Ready-to-Wear, but we stopped and opted for trade-shows, partly because bloggers took over the majority of the audience”, states the designer.