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The Jeans, Vintage Photo Contest


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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Jeans, Vintage Photo Contest

In the picture is captured my father, it dates 1978. The shot was done in St. Petersburg (Russia). A few years ago, while looking through
family photo albums i found this picture of my father and asked him to tell me something about it. He told me a little story about the jeans
he is pictured in. As it was a Soviet Union (USSR) times a lot of things were banned and jeans were not an exception. My father told me
that jeans were shipped from outside the USSR countries by marines and sold on the ‘Black Market’. The price of the jeans my father is
wearing in the picture was $250, when his salary, during that period, was $280 a month. I always feel excited listening to my parent's
memories about this non-repeatable period of time, and it really amazes me how people with such a modest resources managed to be

Comments on "The Jeans, Vintage Photo Contest"


Blogger Beverly. said ... (8:09 PM) : 

What a dashing and rockin' man. Rebel-Without-a-Cause-esque.


Blogger kitchenartist said ... (8:09 PM) : 

This is great! Reminds me of my dad's stories of getting to know American soldiers stationed in Berlin in the 50s and thus being able to purchase Levis through the PX. Oh, the glamour of American jeans!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:09 PM) : 

He is right, thats the childhood of my parents).
But not only import things were interesting in style reason, Soviet has many interesting things too)


Blogger W said ... (8:12 PM) : 

i LOVE this


Blogger Style Scanner said ... (8:17 PM) : 

I love the irony of 'workwear' becoming this desirable and valuable as 'fashion'. True street style.


Blogger RRM said ... (8:20 PM) : 

i love rule breakers. amazing.


Blogger Cat said ... (8:43 PM) : 

You come by your style naturally!


Blogger Nedda Ebo said ... (8:43 PM) : 

Wow, beautiful story and beautiful photo as well. :) x


Anonymous The Photodiarist said ... (8:45 PM) : 

Incredible. This goes to show the lengths people will go to ensure that their outside selves reflect the style that they host within. Amazing stuff.


Anonymous Sarah Y said ... (8:48 PM) : 

Perfect example of how style and class transcends social restraints.


Blogger Unknown said ... (8:56 PM) : 

This whole project is amazing, wonderful. There is so much in these photos and their descriptions, much more than fashion, wonderful as that is.


Blogger Copious Couture said ... (8:57 PM) : 

I really like this contest!!! It's awesome to see all these amazing old photos!!!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:04 PM) : 

great photo...and the story is as such!


Anonymous Masha said ... (9:08 PM) : 

Oh! I recognized the spirit of the country and even before i read the story was almost sure that the picture was taken in Russia!
Yes, the times all this rules in USSR were so unfair... Depressing...
But people managed to dress fashionably!
I wonder... was he looking at the river, Neva?.. The picture is beautiful. And yet it is somehow sad.
P.S. - sorry for my English...


Blogger FASHION SNAG said ... (9:08 PM) : 

Wow, I didn't know jeans could be that expensive back then! xo


Blogger Pret a Porter P said ... (9:29 PM) : 

This is an incredible idea. I enjoy to see all these old photos and read these stories.


Blogger Ligeia said ... (9:36 PM) : 

Me sorprende cada día más la historia de la moda, es tan literaria la narración de los sastres, la inventiva del diseñador principiante y el fotografo que capta el momento exacto que marca tendencia.


Blogger Katya said ... (9:39 PM) : 

Your retro photos are so great and the most wonderful thing is that they are inspiring! This one touched me because I live in Russia and can clearly understand how difficult it was to get smth like jeans! im not old enough to remember your father's time but from my childhood I had a lot of such "desired item" stories :) How come that your father was in St.Petersburg???


Blogger Vinda Sonata said ... (9:44 PM) : 

incredible shot! interesting story, too. yes, it's amazing how people from the past manage looking stylish with resources that may be less than ours now.

fashion atelier.


Blogger Lloyd & The Tubsters said ... (9:59 PM) : 

That is so fascinating! Imagine going to all length to procure a certain item of clothing. Makes one wonder what they would go to the black market for if necessary.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:51 PM) : 

heaven, my favorite thus far.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:26 PM) : 

Being stylish with modest resources? Spending 90% of one's income on a pair of jeans does not suggest modesty.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:56 PM) : 

your father was from the USSR or he sold jeans to Soviets for $250?


Blogger Jacob said ... (12:18 AM) : 

so handsome.


Blogger Kristina Karenina said ... (12:23 AM) : 

Perhaps its his face or the background, but something instantly kept hold of my attention. I remember those days growing up when Papa would tell me how expensive and difficult it was to get a pair of Levi's in Krasnodar. There was just something romantic and rebellious all at once, yet somehow bittersweet. More pictures of Russians please!!! We all know of Italy and France, but seriously, how can you not include Moscow or Peters?!


Blogger Oksana said ... (1:18 AM) : 

This comment has been removed by the author.


Blogger Jason Laucht said ... (1:49 AM) : 

wow! rule breaker and yet so Vogue! love love love!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:40 AM) : 

The style is amazing!!!
P.S. He is on the granite embankment of Neva close to Kunstcamera (it`s behind him)on Vasilyi Insel.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:40 AM) : 

Not dollars, rubles!
Which is (and was then), much less than dollars, about 1:30


Anonymous lucia said ... (2:57 AM) : 

I just love this picture! And what a great story. I 've been to St.Petersburg, Russia a lots of times and I love the city, and the atmosphere is really captured in this pic, a bit melancholic, and what a handsome man.
Great! Best pic, gorgeous outfit. Love it.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:00 AM) : 

It is usual story about jeans and USSR. :) averybody wants new fashionable jeans from foriegn countries. My father has the same story. And I agree with first comment: Soviet has a lot of interesting stories! And I've send you a story of my grandmother Nonna Sedova.
Olga :)


Blogger roshava said ... (3:29 AM) : 

oh this sounds so familiar to me, it was the same with my parents (i'm from Bulgaria). They also had to make a lot of their clothes themselves. People had to be a lot more creative back then.


Blogger Unknown said ... (4:37 AM) : 

Your father is very stylish! and the fact that he spent all his money to get the jeans reminds me of myself :)


Blogger V.V. said ... (5:39 AM) : 

Unfortunatly everything from foreign countries was banned in the USSR, specially if it came from the States,but somehow it was challenging to be in fashion under those circumstances..


Blogger @nnoushka said ... (5:55 AM) : 

Lucky for us Fashion is more "abordable" these days!....


Blogger Diane said ... (6:01 AM) : 

Oh, this is so familiar because I;m from Romania, another ex soviet country and my parents also tell me about how hard it was to buy jeans or Kent cigarettes or even cassettes with foreign movies!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:14 AM) : 

What a fabulous story!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:19 AM) : 

I never knew your father was Russian! Cool.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:23 AM) : 

ETA: D'oh! Vintage photo *contest.* I get it now.


Anonymous Marina said ... (6:35 AM) : 

That is not quite correct.
The price of jeans was arounf 250 roubles (russian currency), not dollars! And the salary was also around 200-300 roubles.
Noone made 250 $ in USSR at that time.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (6:52 AM) : 

What a handsome father. That is cool, you have that fashion interest in common :-)


Blogger said ... (7:11 AM) : 

love the posts, those old photo's are just amazing. xx


Blogger Unknown said ... (7:16 AM) : 

Very nice pictures. Why do men don't wear hats anymore?


Anonymous Sophie said ... (8:09 AM) : 

LOL, I think you should make it clear that the stories are not about YOUR grandma, grandfather, dad, etc, but that these are the stories of the people that sent you the photos. It took me a while to realize it, but then I thought your family can't be THAT cosmopolitic.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:43 AM) : 

It can be a good social research - fasion in Soviet Union.
How people managed to keep good cloth style in severe lack of this good cloth?
By the way, did you hear about "stylyags" - Russian teddy-boys in 50s?


Blogger charles said ... (8:44 AM) : 

nowadays in moscow you can buy most everything but back in 70-ies and 80-ies people in russia had more style


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:20 AM) : 

The photo is beautiful - your father is so handsome - we wish we could have had his thoughts.


Anonymous Mark said ... (9:29 AM) : 

Very nice shot and really is very vintage indeed!

It like a movie poster or a photo for magazine... Just realized how movies successfully re-live moments from the past as it really is...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:25 AM) : 

Timeless photo. Seems a man of renaissance that was not afraid of what is in store in the future--his head is held high and he leans waiting for God's next move. He is well-dressed and ready for action, could fit in most settings (fab trench and shined footwear (boots?).


Blogger Jocy said ... (2:33 PM) : 

AMAZING! I loved this story.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:18 PM) : 

I LOVE your blog, and this is my favorite thing you've ever done!
Going through my photos TONIGHT.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:25 PM) : 

I thought it was Clint Eastwood for a second. He has that, "Go ahead, make my day," look!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:17 PM) : 

Everyone is smoking in your photos.Look good and smell bad.


Blogger Two Many Kids said ... (6:36 PM) : 

I find the image and story very comforting and extremely familiar. There are many photos such as this of my family and many stories of obtaining designer jeans from marines at ridiculous prices! Not to mention the danger of the hunt and collection of the jeans!


Blogger Molly said ... (6:51 PM) : 

I watched "Hipsters", this amazing Russian musical this weekend at the Cleveland International Film Festival. It was about the underground movement of fashionistas (partiers as well) during the 50's in USSR. It really is amazing to understand what lengths people go to to express themselves, even in such a repressed society. Thanks for this one!


Anonymous Improper Opera said ... (2:12 AM) : 

what a fantastic looking man, his style is so very rebel without a cause. love the 'tailoredness' of the jeans.

lady danger for


Blogger Oksana said ... (2:20 AM) : 

This made me smile : )
My parents have stories from the USSR, too, including some about jeans!
This is a really evocative photo.


Blogger Lissa Lou said ... (2:41 AM) : 

I was born and raised there. The clothing was as much of a deficit as were oranges and kiwi. I believe however that the more restricted a country is, the more flavorful the underground culture is.
Love these pieces of your life.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:28 PM) : 

Very inspiring story and photo. In the 1970s, Yves St Laurent visited Moscow and gave the Soviet women some advice on chic dressing without access to western supplies. Interesting how people resist drabness!


Blogger Baron-Münchhausen said ... (4:52 PM) : 

He looks very much as my father of that time in Leningrsd!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:05 AM) : 


Not dollars, rubles!
Which is (and was then), much less than dollars, about 1:30

You are right about the current rate of ca. 30 roubles for one US dollar for today; however, in 1983 one Russian Rouble had a currency rate of ca. 3-4 American dollars:)

the rates has changed due to the massive inflation during the last 20-30 years.


Anonymous mens western jeans said ... (11:37 PM) : 

What a nice photo! I would love to see those personally. My father was the only one who told stories to me about that.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:03 AM) : 

These blokes look so amazing and super cool in these vintage pictures. It makes me sad these days that with so much more money and so much more choice than our grandparents generation had, people look, on the whole, so much WORSE. Perhaps with less cash to spend, people saved till they could afford stuff they really loved, and dressing smartly was part of showing respect for yourself and others.


Anonymous Julia said ... (8:32 AM) : 

wow, I was born in St.Petersburg in 1978!))) recognised Neva's embankment at first glance.
i didn't know your father is Russian - surprise trait for your portrait)) your farther is sooo handsome and cool! his photo reminded me my farther - he had almost the same outlook at these times, stylish and classy )))
went to look over our old fotos...and thank you


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