Russian low-life thugs have almost made tracksuits a national symbol, though not the one all Russians are proud of. Tracksuits often have nothing to do with sport in the country — especially in the provinces. Just check out these memes! Sure, not everyone wears Adidas shell suits in Russia especially these days , but the pictures are pretty funny. However, a few decades ago tracksuits were not regarded in the same light. In fact, they were almost considered classy. But why? Back in the Cold War era, right before Moscow hosted the Olympic Games, Adidas signed an agreement with the Soviet government and supplied the national team with a striped uniform. Not that Leonid Brezhnev and the like were too pleased about Soviet athletes competing in Western-made threads — but the quality of textiles over the eastern side of the Iron Curtain were of inferior quality. So, in the early 80s Adidas tracksuits became a sign of ultimate chic.
The show took place at DK Svyazi, the former Soviet youth club where artist Timur Novikov organised one of the first raves after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The unexpected collaboration with Burberry — trench coats, jackets and plentiful variations of the cult working class-affiliated check — was the main talking point of the evening. For decades, Adidas has been a significant part of the hidden history of material culture in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia — and of the Russian national psyche itself. In the framework of the partnership, Rubchinskiy would incorporate football kit designs into his collections and show them in three Russian host cities Kaliningrad and St Petersburg are already checked off the list. The St Petersburg installment, however, was clearly about a different kind of organised sport, namely the underground rave movement. The lanky boys walked down the runway sporting shiny emerald shorts and knee-high yellow football socks, grey and wine-red shell suits, acid-pink trackpants, sneakers with light-reflecting laces, tie dye and big round sunglasses. It looked as if the Adidas garments were pulled out of a time machine — odd fits and colours — and at the same they could be found in the wardrobe of any rave kid today. The collection clearly references the turbulent free-spirited 90s: Russia before consumerism, when foreign brands and garments still possessed symbolic power, and as the dawn broke over the first Russian rave, its attendants might have shared a hopeful look towards the West. A quarter century later, the West looks to Rubchinskiy and his reworking of 90s heritage in search of authenticity.
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The most beloved western brand in hearts of all ex-Soviets
The subculture of Gopniks has its roots in the late Russian Empire , and evolved during the 20th century in many cities in the Soviet Union. These were almshouses for the destitute created by the Bolshevik government after the October Revolution in Gopniks are often seen wearing Adidas or Puma tracksuits mostly Adidas , which were popularised by the Moscow Olympics Soviet team. Gopniks can also be seen wearing flat caps and Adidas backpacks. Gopniks are often associated with cheap alcohol, such as low-quality vodka and light beer, cheap cigarettes, low-end mobile devices , and sometimes even firearms. They also utilize common Russian profanities and often behave rudely. The subculture is stereotypically associated with Russian chanson music, specifically the blatnaya pesnya subgenre prisoner's songs, lyrics etc Gopniks are mostly avid gamers , most notably first person shooters such as the Counter Strike and Call of Duty series, as well as action-adventures such as Grand Theft Auto and similar games. Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Modern Warfare 2 , which are popular in Russia, are widely regarded as the most common video games within the Gopnik subculture. Gopniks commonly have Russian nationalism or Pan-Slavism as their primary political views  , though there are also leftist or even far-right gopnik communities.