Russian fashion designers have never been afraid to step into the cutthroat world of global politics, with patriotic streetwear lining the rails of more than one Moscow brand over the last five years.
Now Russian handbag designer Ante Kovac has stepped back into the fray, making its mark on Moscow’s latest diplomatic spat with a new design dedicated to Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.
Created using leather and plastic, the concept design combines a red and white-striped strap styled as a safety cordon, with the warning: “Attention! Novi40k inside.”
The company says the bag is a patriotic stand with the Kremlin, who was accused by the British government of using Novichok to try and kill former Russian spy Sergey Skripal in the English town of Salisbury back in March. Despite the Kremlin’s insistance that the nerve agent could not be linked back to Moscow, the spat has seen East-West relations plunge into a hard fought war of Twitter memes and political posturing, with tens of Russian diplomats expelled by Europe and the United States.
“This is our answer to our foreign partners [who think that Russia tried to kill Skripal]”, Ante Kovac wrote on Instagram. “With this piece, we’re expressing our opinion on the West’s groundless arguments and supporting the patriotic spirit of our more sensible customers with humour and a sense of political conscience.”