Meet Kirill Strunnikov | founder, designer of the brand
MONOCEROS became the main project of my life. Now it takes all my leisure time. This is a hobby, a business, and a platform for implementing ideas that come to my mind when I am working with other brands. By the way, this project became my business not at once. It was a simple hobby.
In 2014, my friend and I went to Tel Aviv. Before the trip, we bought some swimming briefs by a famous brand. When we went to the beach at the Hilton hotel, it turned out that there were a lot of guys in exactly the same swimwear. Our body type was losing to theirs, and from the fact that we were dressed in the same way, the feeling of discomfort was even stronger. Therefore, after returning to Moscow, we decided to create some briefs just for ourselves.
For the next trip, we were already equipped with the first MONOCEROS slips. In fact it had no any name yet. Friends liked the swimming trunks so much that they made some first orders. Someone asked for models of other colors, someone needed shorts, or vice versa – shorter slips. That is how first small collection was created.
By the rule of fashion business, if there is a collection, you need to promote it. So we organized the first photoset and started to sell swimming trunks in Moscow shops. Since then, every year we release a new collection and conquer new cities. In the first season, we opened the showroom in Sochi, and now we are actively working for export. We don’t only design the models for MONOCEROS, but also develop the brand on our own. Traveling the world, I never miss an opportunity to go to a beachwear shop and offer MONOCEROS catalog. That is how all great entrepreneurs started, and we are just in the beginning of our way! All things are difficult before they are easy.
About six months after the first collection release, I came to the pool and first met a man I did not know in the swimming trunks from my collection. I did not know him, we hardly had any friends in common, but he was swimming in MONOCEROS. I cannot tell what feelings I felt then. Such emotions make me move on.
MONOCEROS developing in Moscow was not easy. Moscow is not a resort city with a crowd of openly dressed guys. Second is the Russian mentality forces. A man has just one trunks, in which he travels to the south at his teens and to Turkey with his wife at 63. Therefore, we started moving actively to Europe: Greece, Spain, Germany and other countries. The bright beach clothing is in great demand there. Entering the Spanish market was the first major step towards the international development of the brand.
I always had to choose the fabric myself. Quite often, some ideas were born in my mind and they could not be realized from the proposed materials. Therefore, starting in 2017, we began to independently develop prints and print fabrics, adding the MONOCEROS logo. It turned out quite well. The 2018 collection of beachwear was already made from branded fabrics entirely.
Not everything was simple from the very beginning and there were more difficulties than successes. However, every time there was an idea to leave the project and do something easier and more profitable, something positive happened. For example, a random photo shoot in America, which I found out only when the photographer and model in the Instagram marked my swimming trunks. Or when I accidentally saw the familiar shorts on the TV on one of the actors. Moreover, customers always send their happy selfies from all over the world. Now the brand is firmly on its feet, and I have no such thoughts anymore. If you are here, if you have read this text almost until the end – then my way has been done not in vain.
It seems to me that the greatest happiness in life is to do what you like, what inspires you. To do something that makes you waking up in the morning with a desire to drink coffee, and continue to do what did not finish yesterday. To understand that other people like my brand and it has a good demand. To realize with pride that you are making a good European level product. And the fact that people from all over the world order your product, love it, send their photos and messages to us on WhatsApp – this is the most important proof that it all makes sense, and a person's life (and in this case mine) has a meaning.