Racer Worldwide is probably one of the coolest things ever happened to Estonian streetwear. The brand’s webstore racerworldwide.net is constantly sold out after every release, they just revealed their first sneaker design, always keeping it fresh by collaborating with brands and artists outside of Estonia and oh, did I mention how all the new wave rappers like villemdrillem and Clicherik&Mäx are representing the brand in every music video? This interview is celebrating its one year anniversay on 22nd of April. Yes, exactly one year ago we got the idea to interview the Racer brand and that’s how long it has been in the making. We sat down with Mihhail Zigadlo who is the the Creative Director and CEO of the fashion label.
I know you are doing a thousand things at the same time. I appreciate you taking the moment to chat. Today we are talking about your clothing brand Racer Worldwide. Is it a clothing brand? I know you also have a creative studio. What is Racer Worldwide?
Racer Worldwide in the first place is a team of friends who are all extremely motivated to create, with fashion being its main output at the moment. Throughout 3 years of work in fashion the team has gained experience in fields like videography, photography, art and graphic design and different events. When we will feel that our fashion line is meeting our high standards both design and quality-wise, we will proceed exploring other disciplines.
The project is not tied to any certain subculture or aesthetic and is a dynamic reflection of current youth culture as a whole, meaning we are often rethinking what Racer Worldwide is ourselves. Don’t search for a meaning in the name of the project either, I came up with it when I was 16 and it stuck around. Also one of my friend got a tattoo with the name of the brand on his knees. So, we decided to keep the name.
How did this whole thing start? When? Why? There are like millions of brands out there. What sparked the idea in your head? What was missing from the world that you wanted to add?
It started in 2016~2017. When you’re a teenager you feel the need of appreciation from your peers. Some people for example really want to hang out in cool companies or become a part of some subculture like skaters, graffiti artists and etc. It isn’t always easy, so we decided to do our own thing. After some time people that I perceived cool came to us themselves.
I don’t think there was a lack of something in the creative field that made us consider doing this project. If you are a creative person you know very well that you just can’t exist without making something. It wasn’t my first project and it didn’t feel special, not because it wasn’t important, more like every project felt like the thing to me and I dedicated everything to it, just this one worked the best.
I feel that right now Racer Worldwide is the most popular brand amongst the young urban kids. Yet it is not talked about that often in the mainstream media. What’s up with that?
We consider our most important duty to deliver best quality and unique design to our audience, therefore our team consists mostly of designers, not marketers or PR managers. When we feel ready we will let the wider audience know about us ourselves, we have enough connections and support for that.
Is business doing good? Is it a business? Or is it more like a hobby to you right now?
I’m really dedicated to my projects and I consider fashion and creative field as my main future work, therefore it’s crucial to build a strong business foundation for this project with an ethical and longterm mindset. Businesses of this type are valued not by the amount of profit that they generate but by their growth potential. We just got our first small investments in the company and our main efforts are being put in the long term development and setting up production and design process. Our supply and manufacturing chain is quite wide, we have tried working with many countries, but for now we decided to settle with manufacturing in EU: here in Estonia and in countries such as Portugal.
What is your own background? Where do you come from?
I was born in Tallinn, Estonia. The ability to speak both Estonian and Russian gives me a bit of an advantage to be in on the both communities offline and online. Currently I’m studying at TalTech, working at an outdoor marketing agency and work as a Creative Director and CEO of the fashion label Racer Worldwide. I’m working around 80 hours a week and sometimes I feel like I don’t really move fast enough. I’ve been really competitive from a young age and I guess that quality helps me the most.
Where are you going? What are your ambitions with the brand and life in general?
Right now, we are focusing on improving and creating our clothing line. We want to experiment more with different garments, jewellery and other creative outlets. In the future, we want to grow and reach a wider audience, to create a community around the brand.
What’s in store for the near future? Any cool projects coming up?
The next collection would be on a whole another level with high attention to details and quality. We also have been designing and setting up the production of a sneaker for a couple of months now. The release of the shoe will be somewhere in the summer. We have plenty of planned collaborations with some really cool brands from other countries. There is also a YouTube documentary series coming about creating the brand.
What can you say to the youngsters reading this article right now? Kids that have the dream of doing something creative? A few tips.
Tip 1. Be patient and do not rush. If you have an idea you really believe in you feel the need rush it, otherwise you don’t really believe in it. Things ar moving fast so be quick to use tons of free time you have as a teen, that’s your secret weapon.
Tip 2. Make stuff with your friends, but don’t be scared to ask people who have already made something for assistance. Literally the best thing you can do if you don’t have experience is to work for someone else who is doing something similar to what you would like to do, you can work for free, but it could be a life changing experience. (Little secret: successful people often can’t resist to say Yes to youngsters, when they see real passion in their eyes.) You never know unless you try. Having a mentor is a huge advantage.
Tip 3. Boring stuff that everyone knows:
“ Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe in. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. ”
Tip 4. Be ambitious. But set very achievable goals.
Tip 5. Be competitive.
Any last words for the readers?
Concerning the tip nr.2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Racer Worldwide on Instagram