№ 88 Our First Jeans!


#88 Rokotov & Fainberg  Denim began as a private collection of clothes for the movie project. Vitali Alizier, producer, filmmaker  living in New York City,  wanted to make a film about black marketers 60s in USSR, and to raise funds for the start of the film production, he approached several leading denim companies in America with the idea to release a limited 100 pieces edition of their jeans with leather label “…. for Rokotov & Fainberg “, which would then put up for auction to raise funds for the film.

Without waiting for a positive response and reflecting on the film project, Mr. Alizier decided that the whole dramatic story can form a basis for a separate commercial project and decided to revive the legend, together with his wife, model and designer Mila Krasnoiarova, he founded the company «Rokotov & Fainberg» – new denim brand, a New concept of “Trade on Black Market”. With extensive experience in in show business and fashion industry,, owners began working with local craftsmen and denim experts in USA to create superior products using high-quality fabric, artisan craftsmanship, and exceptional fit, in 2013 he began to develop a custom designed jeans.

All the first batch of jeans model # 88.1961 businessman from Paris bought incognito. A demand for jeans was so large that the permanent order for production of “Rokotov & Fainberg” put on one of the oldest garment factories in America. Thus from the idea of ​​the film was born a new denim brand. Now, Rokotov & Fainberg – is not just a brand but instead a way of life. Rokotov & Fainberg represents those who aspire to be creative, to be successful, and to enjoy the finer things in life.




“Shot Speculators Resurrected As A Brand”


06.09.2014 Author: Oleg Sulkin “Voice of America”

In memory of Rokotov and Faibishenko is being made a movie and sew jeans

Two New Yorker, filmmaker and producer George Gavrilov Vitali Alizier are busy preparing to shoot a feature film and television series about the tragic fate of Jan Rokotov and Vladislav Faibishenko. In the center of the script – the largest black-marketeers Moscow, who were arrested by the KGB in 1961 and executed on direct orders of Nikita Khrushchev. Working title of the project – “The Death of currency speculators” and Spiff (Spiv).

By the will of Khrushchev

“This is a story of love and hate, friendship and betrayal, courage and cowardice, ideological consciousness and unscrupulousness – told Georgy Gavrilov to ” Voice of America “. – Time of “Khrushchev thaw”, from 1959 to 1961 was a time of my young parents who knew Faibishenko. I will not reveal the whole plot, but I’m very closely, via my mother related to this case and the fate of those arrested currency speculators. “

Georgiy Gavrilov was born in Leningrad and studied in St. Petersburg, Riga and Moscow. He is known for the film “Confessions. Chronicle of alienation “, the serial “CoML” and the documentary “An American Tragedy. Ours”. In recent years, shoots serials for Russian TV channels.

“It is important to show that people in those days were living hopes for democratization – Gavrilov said. – They believed that the “iron curtain” collapse. And these hopes turned cruel disappointment, and for our heroes – a tragedy.”
Yang Roars and Vladislav Faibishenko were “kings” of the black market currency in Moscow in the late 50’s – early 60’s. Together with Dmitry Yakovlev, who was also convicted and executed, they organized a large-scale network of currency and buying goods from foreign tourists and diplomats. At the same time, Rokotov is believed to have been a secret informant of the Anti-theft department of socialist property.
“In the script unwinds exciting detective story – said Alizier. – We are interested to see how ordinary Soviet youth became magnates of the black market, how changed their views of the world, how they lived, fell in love, rejoiced and suffered. ” 

Yan Rokotov, 60s

Yan Rokotov, 60s

Brilliant, educated guys – continued Gavrilov – today they could become successful businessmen, luminaries of national and world economy. At the first court sessions humorously quoted “The Golden Calf” by Ilf and Petrov, not for a moment believing that for such an offense they might be executed. Surely there is the Constitution of the USSR! ”

According to the soviet laws of that time for such crime were given up to 8 years of imprisoning. But after the hysteria that rolled Khrushchev, stung by the very existence of the black market and currency speculators in “socialist” state, two weeks before the court had been adopted special decree by which the time limit for them was increased to 15 years. But Khrushchev wanted hard measures. Under his fierce pressure decree was passed, providing for the large currency speculators death penalty. The case was referred to the Supreme Court, which in spite of the legal axiom “the law is not retroactive” sentenced to death previously convicted persons. The sentence was carried out at Butyrskaya prison. Flagrant lawlessness of Soviet “Themis” with a clear anti-Semitic tinge sparked protests in the West.

“In the script there is an episode when the prototype of my father, the newfound officer secretly listens to” Voice of America “- said Gavrilov. – It is the message that in defense of unjustly convicted guys were prominent public figures around the world, including Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell. It is clear that if the money changers knew they could face the death penalty, they would be thinking, is it worth to risk lives. The State basely deceived them. ”

It is known that a petition of protest against the imposition of the death penalty in the Soviet Union for economic crimes was signed by more than two hundred prominent Americans, including Arthur Miller and Martin Luther King.

“Today, the case of Rokotov and Faibishenko is studied in legal institutes of the world, including Russia and the U.S., as a good example of the application of “retroactivity”– said Gavrilov. – I hope that there will be a time when they put up a monument, as the first victims of the era of the “thaw”. For me they are the real heroes of their time.

” Two Eights And Two Bullets

Logo № 88.1961 Rokotov & Fainberg

Logo № 88.1961 Rokotov & Fainberg

   It is known that Rokotov and co was accused also for trading jeans. At that time American brand of fabric pants “denim” were cherished and almost unattainable dream for many Soviet young men and women. Hipsters from wealthy families paid for them a lot of money black marketeers. Rumor ascribes Rockotov aphoristic phrase:

“Jeans are only Levi’s brand, all the rest – just pants.”

Reflecting on the film project, producer Vitali Alizier decided that the whole dramatic story can form a basis for a separate commercial project. Together with his wife, model and designer Mila Krasnoiarova, he founded the company «Rokotov & Fainberg» producing jeans in New York.

 “I’ve always liked the time – early 60s – said,” Voice of America “Vitali Alizier. – Forbidden clothing, music and books leaked in the USSR despite the efforts of vigilant “bodies.” Rokotov and Faibishenko, in my opinion, were not criminals. They did not kill anybody. They just wanted to live differently in a totalitarian country, for what they paid with their lives”.

Explaining the reason for the change of name Faibishenko to Feinberg in the title of brand Alizier said: “There are several reasons. One of them – Faibishenko is very difficult to pronounce for Americans and Fainberg sounds much more accustomed here”.

Bob Paluzi in his sweet little jean factory.

Bob Paluzi in his sweet little jean factory.

The company logo is similar to the two eights, inside which two bullets are flying. Thus, the authors refer to the idea of ​​the 88th article of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, on which black-marketeers were executed.
By Alizier’s words, “jeans are sewn very small exclusive parties of the best selvedge denim that you can only imagine.” On the inside pockets there is an image of the American flag.

Raw “denim”, extremely hard and dense, the company imports from Japan. Rivets made ​​of precious metals developed by one New York jeweler.
Permanent order for manufacturing jeans Krasnoiarova and Alizier placed in El Paso (TX), in a factory headed by Bob Paluzi.

“Our factory sews by hand authentic jeans for 35 years – said Bob Paluzi” Voice of America”. – Russian guys are inspired by the same masculine image as we – James Dean, Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen. I was surprised and delighted their commitment to authenticity. They appeal to the most fervent fans of denim”.

Around Jeans “Samovar”

Prices set by manufacturers for jeans Rokotov & Fainberg, able to shock the unprepared consumer. In the catalog, they range from 300 to 1200 dollars per pair. As some experts believe, only a very dedicated novelty and non-poor enthusiasts can afford novelty of this type of clothing which is considered to be the most democratic.
And the inevitable question: Is the homeland of jeans someone would be interested in Russian-spirited product? It’s no wonder they say, don’t go to Tula with your own samovar…

“The world knows a lot of brands coming down on the counters from the screens beginning with  café “Rick” from “Casablanca” to store of magic wands from “Harry Potter”- said Lebedev, the creative director of the agency working DALEE to ” Voice of America”. – Russian background and premium price positioning the brand as shocking. To buy it in the States, you need a sufficient amount of rich decadents, who are likely to appeal to. And to succeed in Russia need several years to work for the brand, as Denis Simachev or Igor Chapurin (Russian designers of luxury segment, whose pics of creativity are sold in West and in Russia). In the country of total imports it is pretty hard to get to pay more for jeans, especial, for one with Russian roots”.

Famous fashion designer from Moscow Anna Lesnikova remembers that in the 80s, which accounted for her youth, she and her friends wore, “pulling” by speculators, famous branded American jeans.

“Unfortunately, today in the United States you will not find the same legendary “denim” – said Anna Lesnikova to “Voice of America “. – I remember when I came here; I’ve visited all branded stores, but did not find those quality jeans. Their place was taken by cheap Chinese fake. America with its own hands killed their legend. And I was very happy to learn about the new brand, named in honor of our guys shot for enterprise. In texture they are exactly the ones jeans from our youth. I cannot wait for the female line. We are planning a joint show at Fashion Week in Moscow. The Russian market is waiting for these jeans – I’m convinced of that. ” 

Original “Voice of America” 

Translation: Elizabeth Zelena

“The crucial difference between the SPIFF and the classic Hollywood gangster was the degree of sympathy the SPIFF gained as an intermediary in the transfer of black market goods to… a grateful mass of consumers.”