Like the vintage wines and spirits that inspired the RSRV name, the brand prides itself on its subtle attention to detail and a dedication to quality. Faced with the challenge of creating a brand with global reach, RSRV brought in Boris Burdikin as creative director. Burdikin is a veteran of the apparel business, having designed for companies including Adidas and Phat Farm. The objective for RSRV is to create a brand known for quality detailed garments with global appeal.
The multi-million dollar urbanwear giant, Enyce, has been around for over a decade and operates RSRV. Currently, RSRV is setting its sights on the niche between contemporary sportswear and high-fashion menswear. To accomplish this, the brandâ€™s collection brings fresh perspectives to familiar menswear staples like jeans, blazers and jackets. What differentiates the line from the countless others in the marketplace is there use of traditional menswear patterns â€“ herringbone or houndstooth â€“ combined with unique detailing â€“ leather shank buttons â€“ at an affordable price point. The line will be available in select retailers by the end of the month.
â€œOur focus is on the fine detailing, the fabrics, as opposed to focusing on big applications and big logos.â€
Format: Please introduce yourself and the brand RSRV.
Boris: My name is Boris Burdikin and Iâ€™m the VP of design for RSRV. The brand is a collaboration of ideas between myself and Lando Felix who was one of the founders of Enyce. The line started as a result of us going through the market and not being able to find a collection that represents where we are with our aesthetic and our age group. Itâ€™s a globally based sportswear collection, not just particularly New York but elements of European and Japanese aesthetic and sportswear.
Format: Is RSRV filling a certain niche that other apparel companies are not addressing?
Boris: The way that we dress is very chameleon-like. One day, I want to be a little more dressed up and another day I might want to be more dressed down. We wanted to put together a collection that allows you to do that and the pieces are versatile enough to dress up or down. We also have a different aesthetic than whatâ€™s labeled as streetwear in the US. European and Japanese streetwear bring a different connotation to your mind than US streetwear. Weâ€™re more forward and contemporary in terms of design but not to be confused with the contemporary menâ€™s market which is a little bit too boring to be put in that same category. Our focus is on the fine detailing, the fabrics, as opposed to focusing on big applications and big logos.
Format: How does the name RSRV reflect brandâ€™s identity and goals?
Boris: We were bouncing around ideas, and I guess the initial idea kind of came from vintage wines that are in reserve. You have your private special reserve for different classes of wine. We kind of approached the product from that standpoint. Each piece is very special, and you when you go buy it you may just want to hold it for that special occasion and not wear it right away.
Format: You started out doing sportswear under Adidas, could you speak a bit about your experiences there?
Boris: In the first part of my career I worked in the athletic area. I worked for Adidas for about five years or so, starting in 1995. With them I worked on a variety of projects, some of the Originals line and I was responsible for their basketball product worldwide
I spent a year at Puma then later went back to Adidas as the senior designer for all of their basketball and urbanwear products. That was great, because I was able to get involved in all aspects of design, marketing and sales. It was kind of like going to school all over again working for Adidas. Then with the Kobe Bryant line, the initiative with that was to put out a higher end product. This can be compared to what theyâ€™re doing with Y-3 in terms of the price point and the design direction
â€œ…private special reserve for different classes of wine. We kind of approached the product from that standpoint.â€
Format: How did you make the transition from sports apparel to urbanwear?
Boris: After some work for Fila , I ended up with Pony. At that point they were also trying to revive the brand. That had become my signature thing coming into these companies and going into categories or brands that may have been struggling. So I would come in and revamp the product to make it a little more relevant to whatâ€™s going on right now but keeping that thread of where they were with their heritage. After Fila, I ended up going over to Phat fashions with Russell and Phat Farm and they were working on Def Jam University. I had worked over there for about two years, and that ultimately lead here to Enyce with the RSRV brand.
Format: How did your work experience help you when designing?
Boris: Over the years just being able to work with a variety of products and all sorts of different people definitely helped sharpen my skills both on a creative level and also on the sales and marketing of myself and my ideas. I was growing through the years as a designer and constantly sharpening my skills and refining my aesthetic to get to this. I took a little detour through the athletic world into the urban world and finally back into the menswear world that I studied in school.
Format: A lot of the brand focuses on bold graphics, and patterns. Why was this aesthetic chosen?
Boris: Every season we have an underlying theme. We donâ€™t do it too literally, but initially with fall we wanted to pull in some traditional menswear elements but repackage them and present them in an edgier way. We took a lot of traditional houndstooth patterns and twisted them up a bit and reprocessed them to create our own new pattern. We continue to do that from season to season whether theyâ€™re traditional menswear patterns for spring.
Format: What steps are taken to ensure that the manufacturing quality is consistent across the board?
Boris: We spend a lot of time massaging the ideas before we even send it anywhere or goes through the critique of everyone on the team. From that point on to ensure the quality weâ€™re very accurate and precise about what we want. We build the tech packs and send it out to the factories and that usually involves me traveling over there and working hands on with the product.
Format: As a designer what do you think about whatâ€™s happening in fashion right now in terms of menswear?
Boris: Iâ€™ve been pretty bored with it for a little bit. I find it hard that when I go and shop that Iâ€™m either looking at things that are really high-end designer or on the lower end. There isnâ€™t that that middle area, itâ€™s like everything I look at is either H&M or high end and everything in between is just OK. I think that men are definitely embracing design and fashion much more than ever before and theyâ€™re embracing the detailing and the quality much more. Thatâ€™s where weâ€™re trying to come in and offer all of those things to the customer.
Aesthetically, Iâ€™m always inspired by the Japanese fashion sense, because itâ€™s always very clean, on-point and precise and lately thatâ€™s been my biggest inspiration. As the seasons go on youâ€™ll see the lines having that inspiration for sure.
Format: What do you think about the growth of online blogs and the ability for consumers to see products weeks before they come out?
Boris: I think itâ€™s great. Iâ€™m on the blogs all the time. In the morning, I have a coffee and I hit my spots. Itâ€™s just great that thereâ€™s such an instant information flow. Granted thereâ€™s a lot of stuff you have to filter through because everyoneâ€™s got a brand now. For example, the information flow from Japan is nearly instant where two or three years ago youâ€™d have to go to Japan to see that piece. Now itâ€™s opened up the consumer to a wider variety of information and it opens up the consumer to a wider variety of information and itâ€™s getting them to look at more products. If youâ€™re somewhere in Idaho and you donâ€™t have access to anything like that, itâ€™s a great venue.
Photos 1, 2, and 4 by David Makman