Masha Mel

Vereja is a Russian knitwear brand named in honor of the small town in the Moscow region where the founder Igor Andreev grew up and where he learned how to knit in school when he was 10. It wasn’t such an uncommon hobby, because knitting was then and still is very popular in Russia. In the USSR it really flourished, because people were poor and there weren’t lots of garment options in the shops. So if in the USSR you wanted to wear something, you should have done it by yourself. So lots of women knit then and do it now by force of habit.

Igor gave up knitting when he was 17, but in 2018 started to do it again. That was when the first Vereja collection appeared. Since then each Vereja item is made by hand. The inspirations are Russian knitting traditions, fairytales and the culture of 90s and 00s rural Russia. For example, knitted shoes and rubber boots, which the brand uses a lot, were the popular footwear for the mid-2000s in provincial Russia. And lace tablecloths and doilies which sometimes serve as an inspiration for dresses and skirts are still one of the elements of home decor in Russian villages.

It’s worth mentioning that some Vereja garments are produced from recycled materials – denim, sweaters, and tablecloths found in Moscow’s second-hand stores or donated by brands. For example, not so long ago Levi’s gave Vereja their deadstock denim, and the brand made a drop of garments out of that.

Photography: Masha Mel
Assistants: Olya Avstreyh & Irina Podkhvatilina
Models: Lera at Utru, Varya at Utru, Anis at Utru & Darina Toropova at System
Casting: Vlad Molodez
All clothing by Vereja