Altaika – a Wearable Work of Art
Why Altaika? Each Altaika sheepskin vest is a work-of-art – “Guaranteed to Turn Heads.” Altaika is a product of a beautiful expression of freedom and personal autonomy embedded with a hint of rebelliousness and non-conformity. Each is a singularity as well as an attention grabber. Created in Central Asia, Altaika vests project self-confidence, generate warmth and connect with one’s surroundings and friends.
Each Altaika is one of a kind, reflecting the nonconformity and untamed spirit of Central Asia’s mountains and steppes. Altaika vests are artistic creations of the visual arts tested over centuries of outdoor use. They have been designed for both aesthetic appeal and functionality.
To be sure, an Altaika is an object-d’art, a masterpiece that is physical, provocative, and inviting. An Altaika is so much in one – portable and three-dimensional, conceived not only to stand up to harsh environmental conditions but to fulfill an independent aesthetic function that enhances self-awareness and self-prominence in an otherwise boring and techno-mechanized society.
Altaika is a throwback to a former age: earthy, enriching, and incomprehensible. Each is crafted using old-techniques and good old common sense – one’s hands. Looking at an Altaika vest, the artisan’s imagination created images of subdued chaos within quiet and variegated color schemes.
An Altaika is for those who hate the herd mentality and who have anarchistic tendencies. It is for those who are relentlessly pitted against hierarchical structures of control and power. It is for the brave and those mistrustful of groupthink and conventionalism.
What’s more, to sport an Altaika vest allows you to exploit the greatness of the human spirit and represents the self-awareness and determination to overcome fears and go against the grain. Beastly to the core but elegant; rugged and sovereign; no flashy bright colors and yet enhances strategic autonomy. Its elements of coarseness clash with the boring minds of perfectionists and the couture culture.
Without consciously seeking to be the center of attention, Altaika’s magnetic qualities – no two are alike – generate self-confidence and camaraderie, mimic collegiality, and attract publicity without seeking it.
Wearing an Altaika means dressing in a disruptive style. Altaika are crowd pleasers and “Guaranteed to Turn Heads.” Each Altaika Has its Own Name such as Altaika “Bonfire of the Vanities” or Altaika “Evening to Remember.”
Process and Characteristics
Handmade, all-natural sheepskin, Incomprehensive Patterns
Altaika vests are the sole product of the artist's imagination, harnessing artsy skills and leveraging love of fantasy. Altaika believes that reality does not have a constant meaning, but that meaning is fashioned by independent thought stitched together by the fruits of cultural ingenuity and wisdom – the art of nonconformity.
Each Altaika is made by an expert craftsman. There is no set pattern, every vest is the handiwork of a highly skilled local artisan. The vests were created from individual sheepskin pieces – sometimes hundreds – which are sown together in an artful mosaic-like pattern.
The creative process for each vest is long and personal – at times taking weeks to make just one. Altaika vests are not mass produced but rather individualized to reflect the maker’s mood and rebelliousness. Altaika vests possess an ingrained disdain for automation and conformity and speak of individuality.
Personal artistry and a bundle of colors and variations
The beauty of each vest is precisely in the care that goes into making it. As works-of-art, colors intentionally are not uniform and mismatched – the expert craftsman creates incongruities using varied colors; pieces are purposefully stained or different. The vests are scruffy with scratches and marks just like masterpieces made at home in the old days. And if they come unstitched, like at home in the old days, just get it stitched up again – no worries. That’s the way things were always done until the advent of the industrial revolution. If you are looking for something that is neat and perfect, it’s not an Altaika!
Warm, Versatile and Useful
Altaika vests are warm and versatile – for active use and movement. Each vest is sewn using a variety of small and larger pieces of sheepskin – sometimes hundreds. The artist sometimes uses vintage leather pieces. At times, the original markings on the sheepskin may be visible (as in Altaika “Arctic Frost.” The trim and hem are genuine leather. No faux materials are used on Altaika vests.