10 Pop-Culture Trends That are Big in Russia Right Now, From a Former Olympic Gymnast

With all the news surrounding Sochi and the Winter Olympics, we’ve been exceedingly curious about what Russian culture is really like for young, pop-culture savvy inhabitants. Luckily, we were able to get access to a  former Olympic gymnast-turned-model Kira Dikhtyar to give us the scoop on what’s hot right now.

After competing for years as a Russian athlete, Kira has been growing her American modeling career, shooting with photographer heavyweights Patrick Demarchelier and Bruce Weber, gracing the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair, and has even shown off her athletic skills with a killer campaign for Nike. Next up for the Russian beauty: Competing for the top spot on the upcoming season of Oxygen’s The Face.

We caught up with Kira for a first-hand account of what’s trending in Russia, from the latest clothing and hair must-haves, to a curious activity called “cat theater.” Read on!

kira d 10 Pop Culture Trends That are Big in Russia Right Now, From a Former Olympic Gymnast

1) “Hat-Rabbits”
The White rabbit symbol of Sochi is the highest-sold clothing item right now. Everyone wears rabbit hats in Sochi!

rabbit 10 Pop Culture Trends That are Big in Russia Right Now, From a Former Olympic Gymnast2) Anna Disorova
This Russian Olympian was forced to switch from figure skating to curling due to an injury. She is thought to be the next ‘beauty’ of the Olympics, often compared to Maria Sharapova.

3) Handmade Knitwear
This is the biggest trend right now, and knitwear incorporate styles of the Northern Territories of Russia, like Komi and Korelia and the symbols of the Olympic Games, including rabbits, leopards and bears. Nearly every team has their own variation of this knitwear.

4) Moscow Cat Theater
This is a traveling circus that showcases cats and cats only. The cats are trained from birth. Everyone loves cats in Russia

5) Figure Skating
This has and always will be the number one sport of the Winter Olympics that Russians look forward to the most! My favorite part is the costumes they wear.

A Russian designer making waves locally and internationally. His shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week are always my favorite.

7) Samoyed Dogs
Everyone is obsessed with these adorable little white furry dogs right now, so cute!

8) Crazy haircuts
I’m not really sure why, but everyone get’s a little crazy with hair cuts, colors and styles for the Olympics.

9) Russian Supermodels
In Russia, big actors or sports stars aren’t “It” people anymore, it’s all about our supermodels like Irina Shayk and Anne V.

10) Alex Ovechkin
This Russian hockey star will hopefully take our team to the gold medal. He is the captain of the Washington Capitals, and this is his third Olympics. And he’s also Olympic royalty, as his mother won two Olympic gold medals in basketball back in 1976 and 1980.