story by Seth Friedermann
photos by Stephen F. Bodi
The bad boy, the rebel, the loner living by his own rules. This great icon of culture needs a serious wardrobe, a different type of wardrobe to fit that very different style. Enter the designer Austin Sherbanenko and label Odyn Vovk.
In his sixth season, he’s quickly becoming the outsider’s inside man. It’s been a fascinating experience to watch his growth as a designer. Very often the path of growth for a fashion designer involves refinement and a certain softening of aggressive tendencies no matter how they have manifested themselves in the past. Complexities and subtleties become more attractive to the designer and as their budget swells with success they use more complex and luxurious fabrics. All of this sometimes tends to blunt the early strength which is typically present, although sometimes even only conceptually. Mr. Sherbanenko is a very different type man though, and it comes as no surprise that his evolution as a fashion designer is atypical as well.
For his Fall 2011 collection, Mr. Sherbanenko did display some of the classic hallmarks of a designer who is expanding his horizons, but at the same time some of his work remained as wonderfully raw as ever. Take a classic pair of black leather chaps or his familiar roughed or distressed fabrics as examples to show that Mr Sherbanenko is still dressing a rugged icon. However, he has herein premiered some looks that verged on elegant as well; an incredible black quilted asymmetrical draped coat and a tremendously cut exploded lapel oxblood jacket serve as fine examples. This season seemed suited to a man of urban mystery who is at home in shadows, a wireless age Sam Spade if you will. At the core of Odyn Vovk is the man apart, a figure who may be with us but is most certainly not of us. You know one of that type when you meet him. Mr Sherbanenko knows him too, very well.