We are endeavouring to automate things as much as possible and bring the production cost down at the stages which do not involve much manual work or any artistic skill. However, we are not making any changes to the stages where an item gets its artistic value. We are leaving that to the artists. This way we are ensuring continuity while keeping up with modern trends — Roman Prokopev, General Director, Folk Art Crafts Group of Companies.
I’ve just remembered this story, probably from around 10 years ago, when the fashion designer Denis Simachev took the khokhloma style and made it really trendy, in vogue, etc. It seemed that here was this cultural code which everyone was aware of, rather like gzhel. However, it took a person who was fashionable and much in demand to look at classical Russian folklore history and turn it into a fashionable, trendy story invariably associated with Russia everywhere — Andrey Zolotov, Editor-in-Chief, Robb Report.
In the new reality that took shape a few years ago we absolutely realised that we needed to employ modern trends to attract new listeners to the concert hall. I think it’s very important that the concept of the creative industry has emerged. One way or another, we are all slowly headed in this direction, combining various forms of synthesis and making art. All cultural institutions have long followed the principle of combining different forms of art. Of course, everything started with music and words. Concerts and performances were put on, which were then combined with painting. Artists began to draw music, and of course, later (as Fabio mentioned regarding national identity and Russian national cuisine) we saw music and the culinary arts. This is a fantastic brand. <...> In fact, this tradition began a long time ago – we were not the ones to think it up. It was Bach – the most creative composer – who 200 years ago wrote the Coffee Cantata — Olga Khomova, General Director, State Academic Capella in St. Petersburg.
Do we want what works, or what looks right? That’s the perennial dilemma in crafts. Well, we want both. That’s because crafts are a unique part of our country’s heritage. And today there are almost 500 companies spread across our vast Motherland. <...> Of course, crafts were always brands. Turning to the question of new national brands: there were always brands and brand‑focused companies, just like there are today. For example, the famous Orenburg shawl emerged due to it being taken to the Paris Fair, being photographed, and appearing in Peterburgsky Vestnik. From this, a question arises: who shaped demand? The Parisians? No, it was shaped by the people of St. Petersburg. <...> It was a marketing ploy, as they say today, but it helped the company come into being. And we are endeavouring to revive this culture of brand management by companies engaged in folk arts and crafts — Dmitry Kolobov, Director of the Department for Development of Manufacturing of Socially Important Goods, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.