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The Siberian Times

Getting all shirty about Siberia

By Kate Baklitskaya
05 June 2013

'Siberia is so far away that it feels as if it's not quite real? It's time to change the way the world thinks about our land', says Taisia Kaigorodova.

For many people, too, Siberia is so far away that it feels as if it's not quite real'. Picture: Siberia Shirts

And she's getting the message across on a unique brand of T-shirts dedicated to Russia's coolest region. Taisia, from Irkutsk, is behind website SiberiaShirts.com which she calls 'a friendly, recognisable brand which tells the world about our great Siberian country, all with a good deal of humour'.

'A few years ago I drew a couple of funny prints for T-shirts with a Siberian calendar of men who were dressed (and undressed) depending on the time of year,' she says.

'The prints showed that Siberia has a sharply continental climate. In the summer we have to escape from the heat, and in winter dress in a way that only the eyes are visible. My friend saw the T-shirt and loved it. He offered to develop the idea, to draw more prints and create a project. 

'And so we launched the 'Siberia Shirts' in 2010. Originally, it was a project for ourselves and our friends, who frequently travel and live abroad. They, in turn, told about our project to their friends, helped us with useful contacts and the business began.

'Gradually, the idea developed and finally thanks to our partners, the project has grown into a small but bright and nice brand dedicated to Siberia'.

Siberian t-shirts

'It is time the world rediscovers Siberia and sees that there are many interesting and beautiful things here', Taisia says. Picture: Siberia Shirts

Taisia is proud of Siberia and yet understands that the world frequently misunderstands this great territory with stereotypes of inhospitable climates, hardships and Gulags. 

'We often see that foreigners see Siberia as something distant, dark and cold, and their knowledge is limited by the stereotypes of 'frost' and 'bears on the streets'. For many people, too, Siberia is so far away that it feels as if it's not quite real'. 

As Taisia says on the website: 'It's freezing cold here in winter and boiling hot in summer, the infrastructure could have been better here and there, people happen to be sometimes even more severe that their land, but all the same Siberia is really one of the best places in the whole wide world!'

'We want to show that Siberia is not something wild and terrible. It's a unique place with a stunning nature and opportunities for living, leisure and sport. 

Siberian t-shirts


Siberian t-shirts

Siberian t-shirts

'We want to show that Siberia is not something wild and terrible. It's a unique place with a stunning nature and opportunities for living, leisure and sport. Pictures: Siberia Shirts

Using the T-shirts, and other products such as eco-bags, caps and mugs Taisia hopes to help breakdown old dogmas about Siberia.

'We think that it is time to change this stereotype,' she says. 'It is time the world rediscovers Siberia and sees that there are many interesting and beautiful things. We have unique nature, beautiful mountains, forests, rivers and lakes and amazing wildlife! And a lot of interesting talents. 

'We try to work with the positive images - snow, winter, frost, nature, and to create interesting and funny pictures based on these images'.

Siberian t-shirts

Take Siberia with you! Pictures: Siberia Shirts

The range of products on the easy-to-use website are to be expanded soon. 'Our T-shirts are mostly bought by foreign tourists or Siberians', Taisia says.

'This is mainly young people who travel frequently or want present a fun gift to their friends. A couple of times we've seen our shirts on popular artists and celebrities. People send us their photos wearing our T-shirts from different parts of the world.

We've put up the best and most interesting ones on our social network page - https://www.facebook.com/siberiashirts

Taisia is a graduate from Irkutsk State Technical University, where she studied clothes' design. 

She obtained a masters degree from the Moscow School of Social and Economical Studies.

Comments (4)

how much are they and can I pay from abroad?
Zen, China
07/06/2013 14:22
7
2
hoping you sell real siberian fur too ??
mickey, none-of-your-business
06/06/2013 01:48
5
2
Great idea Taisia, good luck with your business venture
Emily, Toronto
06/06/2013 01:43
8
2
Why no proper link to this site?
SiberianSasha, England
06/06/2013 01:40
7
2
1

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