RAFI SAHANOOR AND OLGA YERMOLENKO
A SKILLED STYLIST AND creative services VETERAN, classically trained in costume design WITH A BACKGROUND IN COUTURE, AND VISUAL MERCHANDISING, Rafi Sahanoor has teamed with Olga Yermolenko, a business executive with a passion for TRAVEL AND CURATION OF UNIQUE ACCESSORIES.
Two minds are richer than one, particularly when they combine both the appreciation of art and science. That was Rafi and Olga’s theory as they conversed in philosophy and psychology of the modern man’s life. In mid-2013 Rafi, a skilled stylist and a creative services veteran, found himself unable to find unique but functional menswear pieces for his wardrobe - a shirt with minimal, hidden pockets, a blazer that hugged but didn't make him feel overdressed, a pant whose length can be easily adjusted to fit the mood or the occasion. It grew into an obsession. Meanwhile, Olga, found herself trading the world of Wall Street uniforms for Silicon Valley’s jean and sweatshirt environment, longing for a world more inspired. Moved by Rafi’s talent and passion, the pair ditched their successful career paths, Olga moved back to NYC from SF, and they took the ‘pivotal leap’ to start a menswear line integrating classic yet distinct designs with hints of detail for the modern man who values elegance and individuality. Olga’s natural inclination to approach menswear with artistic expression through accessories complements Rafi’s passion for functional, long-lasting construction to create a timeless, effortless, yet distinctive look. The pair is dedicated to the preservation of the Garment District with all of their collections being hand-made in New York.
RAFI SAHANOOR | Classically trained in costume design, with a background in couture, visual merchandising, styling and interior design, Rafi grew up in a variety of diverse locales - Assam, Dhaka and London. He has called New York home for the past 15 years, indulging his obsession with art, cultivating a personal collection of antique silverware from Georg Jensen, particularly blossom and acorn patterns; Bubble-back Rolex watches and vintage chronographs; and drawings, sculptures, lithographs and paintings by Dali, Picasso, Miro, Ralph and Michael Sawyer and Bottero, mastering the Art of curation of traditional masters with contemporary artists. He believes that everyday objects should not only be functional but beautiful - the essence of objet d'art. In his words, fine things should be enjoyed and beauty should have some sense of purpose and usability. He brings this philosophy to his approach towards menswear. He studied Philosophy and Fine Arts at NYU and St. Francis, and enjoys horseback riding in his spare time.
OLGA YERMOLENKO | A business executive with a passion for travel and curation of unique accessories – jewelry, arts and crafts, Olga became interested in entrepreneurship while part of the Executives in Residence team at Insight Venture Partners, where she led a rollout of a video game development platform. Most recently, she oversaw strategy and operations at a quantum computing start-up in Silicon Valley, where she honed the art of building a lean organization. She has been a New Yorker for the past 10 years, having grown up in Belarus, the first of her family to depart from a storied lineage of chemists – the Institute of Chemistry at the Academy of Sciences of The Republic of Belarus bears her great great grandfather’s name. She studied Business & Psychology at a liberal arts school in the Midwest and enjoys studying Sanskrit and Eastern philosophy and is a devoted yoga practitioner.
THE SLIMMING EFFECT
rafi & olga menswear is designed for the slimming effect: MAKES you look fit no matter how your body is. It's the same slimming effect you would find in some designer pieces and COMFORT that you would find in Brioni and Kiton.
Having an upper body V shape presents strength because it means that you have a well built torso and abs. Rafi & Olga shirts are built around it, as is the whole collection.
Perfect design is only the beginning. Customized function is what makes it perfect for you.