Ottepel [otʲɪpʲelʲ] (Оттепель) is a street-wear brand based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Founded in 2012 by a Parsons student Roxana Adilbekova and a motion designer Medet Shayakhmetov, the philosophy of the fast-developing brand merges the urban cultures of Almaty and New York. The two cities are different in many senses and aspects: visually, Almaty is surrounded by mountains and green scenery, while the image of New York has an industrial and vertical spirit. The design concept mainly carries a message of personal freedom, a feeling of inner warmth and urban lifestyle. The Russian word “ottepel” means ‘thaw’, a seasonal period when it finally gets warmer after a long cold. However, in a historic context, “Ottepel” means a period during the Soviet Union that follows right after the long rule of Joseph Stalin, when in the 1960’s people experienced a leap in emancipation of freedom of speech and openness to the outside world. Inspired by that historic change, the brand similarly delivers a sense of shift from a daily routine to a sense of frivolity.The brand also motivated the Ottepel movement which encompasses the current generation’s creativity exposed in various forms and the desire to live and express unbiased opinions. Ottepel people are cosmopolites, thus merging the two different, yet spiritually saturated and peculiar cultures.