City Guide

4 Reasons Fashion Insiders Are Obsessed with St. Petersburg

Designer Ji Oh has a few recommendations from her CFDA inspiration trip. In collaboration with W Hotels.

By: Hannah Baxter
Photography: Alec Kugler

When we imagine the most fashionable locations on the planet, Paris, London, Milan, and New York typically top the list without fail. But as social media allows us to see street-style looks from fashion weeks in places a bit further off the beaten path, we’re growing more and more excited to diversify our passport stamps. So, what’s our newest travel obsession? Thanks to designer Ji Oh and her CFDA Fashion Incubator Inspiration Trip, made possible by W Hotels, it’s now St. Petersburg, Russia. She invited us along to experience everything Russia’s second-largest city has to offer (yes, it involves eating some delicious beef stroganoff), the reasoning behind her inspiration trip pick, plus her secret find for the *best* vintage shopping in Europe.

 

1. Russia is pushing the fashion industry forward

“[The city] felt pretty liberal, at least in terms of the fashion. People there didn’t seem to conform to any specific style. There is much to discover in Russia. I found it intriguing to see so many talents emerging from the country. Regardless of political differences, I wanted to get a firsthand look at demystifying what is tough to talk about in today’s political climate and personally experience the culture and learn more about the people. [I enjoyed] exploring what we have in common and how we can push the fashion industry forward.”

 

2. The W St. Petersburg is in the perfect location for sightseeing

“The W Hotel is located by Aleksandrovskiy Sad, a park, and right next to the Hermitage Museum, which was amazing. On my first day, I walked around and got a great impression of Russia right away, since I could see so many popular historical spots. The rooftop bar at the W had a great view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the city, which was absolutely amazing, especially since the sun didn’t set until really late. I also loved that the hotel had a pool, so I swam every day for my workout sessions there and also took advantage of the dry sauna and steam room at Bliss Spa daily.”

 

3. Traditional Russian food is delicious

“My favorite dining experience was my dinner at Tsar, because it felt the most traditional and authentic. The food was really delicious, and I got to try the beef stroganoff and fried chicken cutlet. The restaurant’s décor was fun, too—the bathroom setup was a full-on throne situation.”

 

4. The vintage shopping is to-die-for

“The highlight of my trip was visiting the Udelka Flea Market, which is a street full of vintage shops. I love anything vintage because it shows the history of that region’s culture, and the market was a great source of inspiration. I also saw so much of what Gosha Rubchinskiy might have been influenced by in regards to that skinhead street aesthetic.”

 

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