New East Digital Archive

Nina Donis designs Gorky Park uniforms

4 June 2013

Russian fashion duo Nina Donis have created eight different uniforms for employees at Moscow’s Gorky Park. Each uniform, inspired by both street wear and military apparel, has been designed to communicate a type of worker. Electricians’ uniforms are adorned with pictures of a lightbulb, drivers’ with a steering wheel and artists’ with a brush.

The simple and comfortable range comprises baggy jeans, sweatshirts, parkas, t-shirts and baseball caps. “We are very happy about the regeneration of the park,” said Donis Pupis, one half of Nina Donis, in an interview in Wonder Zine. “In addition, workwear has always been one of our favourite and most important sources of inspiration.”

“I’d say that Gorky Park is one of our favourite places,” adds Nina Neretina, who co-founded the label. “In the early Nineties we used to study on Leninsky Prospekt, right opposite the entrance to Gorky Park. Our physical education classes used to take place there and we used to spend almost all of our free time in the park, in the cafe and on the waterfront.”

The park was opened in 1928 as a recreation ground dedicated to the celebration of the hard-working proletariat. Designed to inspire rather than to entertain, it fell into disrepair following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2011, it underwent a radical multi-million dollar makeover that transformed it into a hip hangout with cafes, an open-air cinema and a contemporary art gallery.

“A visitor coming to the park relies on positive emotions,” said Gorky Park director Olga Zakharova, who proposed enlisting the help of fashion designers to create the uniforms. “And it’s important to feel it all around.”