Who Are They : Tatyana and Aleksandr Illarionovy : Kinfolk in Russia

Photo : Egor Shapovalov
In October we told you about our Kinfolk dinner in Moscow, an event full of warmth, comfort and family values — everything what readers of the American magazine Kinfolk are interested in. However it won’t be right to talk only about the magazine: Kinfolk, first of all, is a group of talented and creative people who know how to find a little piece of happiness in daily routine.

Tatyana and Aleksander Illarionovy are the very people who managed to transfer Kinfolk’s unique aesthetics to our country. Thanks to them we are now able to read the Russian version of the American magazine. Moreover some Russian cities and neighboring countries started to hold Kinfolk-styled events and activities as it is really important to bring something brand new to the life of people.

Tatyana Illarionova answered some of our questions.

— Kinfolk magazine has its unique culture and life attitude. Do you think it is possible to reproduce them in our country or the Russian traditions dictate their will?
— I would like Russian traditions (in the best meaning of these words) to dictate their will. All those family meetings in a special cozy atmosphere, high-quality handmade things, skills that we, unfortunately, lost but try to regain. I wouldn’t say that Kinfolk is a new, specific culture, it’s more like a new wave, which refreshes our human qualities and habits. As a matter of fact our magazine doesn’t offer anything new, except for its aesthetic attitude and it’s not quite right to rank it among any nationality. That’s actually the reason of Kinfolk’s widespread popularity, as its ideas are close to any person, no matter what his nationality is.

— Do you read any magazines besides Kinfolk? Is there any Russian print media that you could recommend to your friends?
— To be honest, I read practically no Russian periodicals papers as unfortunately I haven’t found anything interesting for me. Even If I do read something of a kind, it’s more likely to be some kind of a self-published designer’s book.
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov
— Can you tell us something about yourself: what do you do in addition to the work for the magazine? Do you have any hobbies?
— My recent hobby is actually our magazine. Nevertheless, we’re planning to publish a new magazine with a Russian content. It’s going to be a big web-site, lots of projects with young craftsmen, photos, creative groups, but we’ll talk about this later. Still, my main hobby is my daughter I’m bringing up while being busy with all those projects and stuff.

— Was it difficult to find such a talented team to work with for Russian and neighboring countries Kinfolk?
— It was relatively easy to find people who were really interested in Kinfolk, they simply found us themselves and that’s how it should work I think. Their passion for the magazine helped us to find a great number of spiritually close people, make friends and become a family! We meet up, help, support and visit each other at different events. It’s just great.

— 2013 is almost over. Can you share your plans for the following year?
— I hope the magazine will gain more popularity among Russian readers, will be printed in a greater number of copies and better quality. And we as well as the representatives of Kinfolk, will try to make you happy with more frequent events and dinners. As for the development of our publishing house, as I’ve already said, we’re planning to publish new periodicals and set up more projects with Russian designers.
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov


— The happiest event in your life?
— Giving birth to my daughter.

— Your favorite place?
— Home.

— Who among famous living people you’d like to meet?
— Andy Goldsworthy.

— The country that you’ve never been to but would like to visit?
— I haven’t been to lots of places, difficult for me to choose one.

— Your favorite writers?
— There’re lots of them and every year the amount of love towards them changes as well as their names. For now they are — Eugene Vodolazkin, all-time-fav Oleg Kuvaev and a little too personal and lyric Patricia Lee Smith.

— What traits of character do you value most of all?
— Tranquility, lucidity of mind and self-irony — both for men and women.

— Your favorite activity?
— Lately I’ve started ceramics and in general, I love working with hands.

— Tea or chicory?
— I’d contrast coffee with chicory but in this case I choose tea. Frankly speaking I’ve never tried chicory.
Photo : Dmitry Galaganov