Journalist Alexander Rymkevich is the founding editor-in-chief of The Rake Russia which he launched in 2014 in Moscow, having been the head of Robb Report Russia since 2009. The Rake is a gentleman’s magazine dedicated to lifestyle, covering everything from menswear to design. Alexander has a particular personal interest in design and fine craftsmanship and devotes a large section of the magazine to traditional Russian manufacturers and artisans. Alexander admires the inventiveness of the human mind and the creative capacity of human hands to transform materials into things of beauty. He is inspired by Russian craftspeople who embody talent and passion as they pursue their individual crafts, and seeks to both discover them and give them a voice.What does craftsmanship signify for you?
I see it as gift given from above to some people who are able to do something unique and beautiful with their hands. Especially because the only thing I can do is typing. This limit makes me feeling a great respect for craftspeople.How does it feature in your work and life?
The products of craftspeople shouldn’t be merely utilitarian, but it must also be beautiful. And without a doubt, beauty makes life much more pleasurable, so it’s sort of a necessity in my life.Do you work with craftspeople and how?
I do sometimes, when ordering a special object (recently a carpet), or a bespoke piece of clothing (with is more often). But firstly my job as a journalist is to tell the stories of craftspeople to my readers.Do you have any stories about the artisans you have selected?
No truly great ones. I love attending sales organised by friends and family for pieces of Klimenkoff porcelain from the famous manufacturer and sometimes I hunt not only for their iconic pieces, but for some defected ones. I find a very special kind of beauty in them that reminds me of the imperfection of this world.