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Creative people: Vyacheslav Zaitsev and his fashion history


The history of Vyacheslav Zaitsev’s fashion began half a century ago, when he graduated with honors from the Textile Institute in Moscow. Since then and to this day, the name of this multifaceted person has been inextricably linked with the world of the Russian fashion industry.

Vyacheslav Zaitsev was born in the city of brides and weavers Ivanovo in 1938. His early childhood fell on wartime. A great influence on the young Vyacheslav had a mother who raised her son alone. Father, having gone to the front on conscription, returned only 17 years later, having survived the war, prison, camp and life in the settlement. Despite the hardships and hardships, the mother managed to instill in the future fashion designer a flair for beauty and conveyed a special, subtle vision of the world around her.

At the age of 14, Vyacheslav Zaitsev, having graduated from school with excellent marks, entered the Chemical-Technological College and received the profession of a textile drawing artist. The choice of this specialty was quite natural for the natives of those places, such work guaranteed stability and security in the future. The young man had wonderful teachers. They spent a lot of study time with students in nature in order to reveal to them the perfection of the expressiveness of lines in creating images of fruits, buds and leaves. Possessing a vivid imagination, young Zaitsev constantly tried to imagine how his drawings would look on the finished product.

In 1962, a graduate of the Moscow Textile Institute, Vyacheslav Zaitsev, was assigned to the city of Babushkin to work at a garment factory as an artistic director. Even then, he established himself as a bold fashion designer. He himself invented costumes for himself and demonstrated them, often shocking teachers and fellow students. At the factory, he created a collection of overalls for workers. In this work, Zaitsev used folk motifs and bright colors, completely changing the stereotypical image of a working woman.

The first collection was rejected by the management of the factory, but came to the attention of the editors of the printed publication "Paris Match". The magazine published an article about Vyacheslav Zaitsev under the heading "He dictates fashion to Moscow", which attracted the attention of world fashion pillars Pierre Cardin and Marc Bohan. In 1965, they tracked down the designer, at that time he was already working in Moscow at the All-Union House of Models on Kuznetsky Most. The result of their meeting was the acquaintance of foreign masters with the new collections of Zaitsev and the article “Kings of Fashion" in Woman Wear Daily, where he was called “equal among equals”.

Vyacheslav Zaitsev continued to create new models. In the period 1965-1968, his famous “Russian Series” was published, which was again based on folk costumes. He receives offers to participate in the creation of joint collections of fashion houses of various countries, including the USA, Canada, France, etc. However, the designer cannot personally participate in shows due to the ban on travel to capitalist countries, which was lifted only in 1986. However, already then in the West, Vyacheslav Zaitsev began to be perceived as a pioneer and leader of the Russian fashion industry.

After 13 years of work, Vyacheslav Zaitsev leaves the All-Union House of Models and becomes the artistic director of the new Fashion House on Prospekt Mira, where in 1988 he was unanimously elected director. It is there that Zaitsev opens the first Fashion Theater in the country, where demonstrations of new collections take place in the form of performances with a dramatic concept and musical accompaniment. The theater tours all over the world.

The work of Vyacheslav Zaitsev is multifaceted. He not only creates in the fashion world, writes and talks about it, discovers and teaches new talents. A significant part of his work is painting and artistic photography. Exhibitions of the master are held all over the world. With his work, Zaitsev seeks to instill in people a sense of beauty, to teach them to feel the world around them and show attention to detail. The constant search for harmony of content and form, in his opinion, is the hallmark of modern man at this stage of civilization.

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