Retail Refugees

Valenki Boots and Russian Retail
January 16, 2009, 1:48 pm
Filed under: Fashion

The International Herald Tribune had an article recently about the emergence of the traditional Russian “valenki” boot as a fashion trend.

In Russia, a land of cruel winters and even more unforgiving strong drink, legends of homemade hangover cures are treated with an air of great seriousness. Peter the Great is rumored to have favored a steaming bowl of cabbage soup and a walk around the palace in a pair of his favorite valenki – thick wool boots long popular in the wilds of the Russian countryside for their supposedly restorative properties.

These days, valenki are making a stylish comeback in Russia’s capital, with Moscow’s young and fashionable wearing them out in the city’s cafés and nightclubs. Some of the most popular are made by Olga Chernikova, an accidental designer who began making valenki as a hobby five years ago, when she returned to Russia after spending several years in Nigeria.

Now she produces a few hundred pairs of the boots a year, which she makes by hand at her apartment in downtown Moscow, and her first collection, at Russian Fashion Week in 2007, sold out in a few days.

“At first, a lot of people think that they’re something for the village or the collective farm,” Chernikova said of the boots.

“But why shouldn’t we remember that we’re Russians? The Scottish have their kilts, and we have our valenki.”

Chernikova’s wool valenki are sold in clothing boutiques throughout Moscow, and by appointment at her apartment near the Belorussky train station;  Upon my own investigation I found an interesting ecommerce site that also sells valenki boots.

Could the valenki boot be the next Moccasin or Red Wing boot?…



8 Comments so far
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I live in the East Village in NY, and I’m beginning to see these boots more and more. I bought mine from after finding an online coupon for 10% off. I think it’s still around: AKACH09. Anyway, I think these are on the brink of taking off – they’re just quirky enough.

Comment by Jackie

These are the ugliest boots I have ever seen.

Comment by Eliza

Помогите пожалуйста купить валенки.
Где и как можно купить валенки через ваш сайт.Какая цена?И есть ли большие размеры как 48 размер.

Comment by Халилова Гульнара

I bought mine from awesome!

Comment by cherry

блин…писал-писал, а сообщение не отправилось и не сохранилось 🙂 вообщем блог понравился. админу удачи в развитии.

Comment by drafemearse

I love Valenki by Olga Chernikova!
на этом сайте вы можете купить настоящие русские валенки ручной валки по старинной технологии.

Comment by Lu


Comment by blinds65

Каждому Привет! интересный и красивый у Вас сайт! Предлагаю Сдаётся квартира в Bay Ridge, New York Престижная уютная квартира в Bayridge. 86st/4th ave. Аренда на долгий или короткий срок. Для дальнейшей информации обращаться видео –

Comment by sbseosbseo

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