KAZAN: ''Small business is growing quickly now despite the absurdities in the sphere and the huge amount of barriers to starting a business in Russia,’’ said Leonid, 24. Barbershops, street food, extreme sport, tattoo salons and streetwear are among the most popular small businesses nowadays, he said. Leonid plans to give small business a shot as well. His EWOS - Experiments With Our Sneakers - will aim to customize popular footwear to serve youth looking to standout from the crowd. Leonid, who currently works for a clothing retailer says there are many ''sneaker heads'' in Russia and an underground community of youth that already customize their footwear at home. Leonid said such fashion trends come quicker now to smaller Russian cities thanks to the Internet and greater access to information. ‘’While Russian provinces were far behind Europe in terms of style years ago, I don’t see such a large difference now.’’ He plans to launch his business shortly and has already found people to custom design the footwear. Sneakers have become more acceptable as a fashion statement in Russia over the past few years.
Anton was dressed in military style with white sneakers and a black baseball cap as he rode the Moscow metro. He said he worked in the fashion industry and I asked him about his view of Moscow trends and developments. Years ago, ''if you wanted to be fashionable and dress as you liked, you had to earn a lot and order everything from Europe or the US. Now, people can get what they want at stores in Moscow. Even tough street kids are wearing real Adidas.'' ''And there is now an opportunity for Russian brands to develop. We [Russians] now know what we love and what we can create for people.''