Can you spot the Putin???
What with Pussy Riot, the Sochi Olympics, and the unrest in Crimea, Russia’s officially in the collective consciousness of Americans again, even the ones who get their news from Gawker. Americans generally have inordinate difficulty finding, say, Ukraine on a map, so I can’t say I’m not pleased that more people have context for an outfit like the Night Wolves.
For those not in the know, the Night Wolves are a Russian motorcycle club founded in 1989. They boast about 5,000 members, and have chapters in Belarus, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, and Romania. Like a lot of outlaw bikers, they’re fundamentally conservative, claiming to follow only their own rules, but they endorse both Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. Putin has not only gone on rides with the gang for high-profile photo ops, he recently awarded the group’s leader, Alexander Zaldostanov (the big motherfucker here, whose nickname is “The Surgeon”), an Order of Honor for his “active work in the patriotic upbringing of the young”.
It’s difficult to tell which of the Night Wolves’ many accomplishments garnered them such prestige—perhaps it was for when they offered, ahem, “security” to churches after Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer” protest? At any rate, the Night Wolves have been keeping up with their civic duties, recently appearing as a vigilante military presence in Crimea. I’m sure they’re supplying just the right note of level-headed sangfroid the situation calls for.
Also like a lot of outlaw bikers, the Night Wolves find ingenious ways to capitalize off their macho “brand.” Much as the Hells Angels make a little extra cash selling tacky swag, so too have the Night Wolves ventured into the world of merchandising. The clothing linked on their website (sadly) appears to only be available only in stores. You can see it modeled below by disheveled young ladies and those guys who stand as if the bulk of their arm muscles is preventing them from ever looking relaxed. (My dad was an Iron Horseman, and I assure you, this is some sort of ubiquitous biker body language.)
But with the possible exception of some leather goods (which appear to have a wolf on them?) the clothes appear to be generic biker fare. If you really want the Night Wolf logo (and can read Cyrillic), you can order the jewelry online! The collection is sort of a mix of “goth kid” and “Rasputin,” but I could see wearing it to your local PTA meeting. Don’t delay, order today! The guys clearly need to cash if they’re ever going to buy a decent camera (the photo quality is pretty bad).
Someone’s a crankypants…..
Still can’t seem to get those arms down, huh?
That looks practical. Nice Eurotrash jeans, by the way.
Apparently no one told them they were getting their picture taken.
If you told me these were some lesser-known Kentucky cousins of mine, I’d probably believe you.
For the daytime.
For more of an evening look. Works for the symphony or the club!
Awwww, loooook! Puppies!