Slavik is a 55-year old man that proves you don’t have to be rich and famous to be the best dressed in town. Slavik lives in Lviv, Ukraine, and even though he lives on the streets he still cares greatly about fashion and his personal appearance.
Slavik has been a noteworthy figure among locals for a long time, and now thanks to a Ukrainian photographer, Yurko Dyachyshyn, the whole world has a chance to meet the world’s best-dressed homeless man. Slavik proves homelessness is just a state in life, not something that defines a person.
Dyachyshyn became so enthralled with Slavik he captured a 100-photo series of the man calling it, “Slavik’s Fashion.” Learn more about the man behind the awesome outfits below!
Photographer Yurko Dyachyshyn not only took photos of Slavik but he also befriended him, learning many things about his unique way of life. At 55-years old Slavik is a homeless gypsy, but he doesn’t push around shopping carts full of his possessions. He doesn’t need to; he never wears the same outfit more than once.
Dyachyshyn originally met Slavik in the city center of town, where he saw the fashionably dressed man asking strangers for change. The photographer had actually seen Slavik many times before, but was preoccupied with other projects and didn’t want to become distracted. After much observation, Dyachyshyn noticed that the man changed his outfit daily and decided to find out his story.
After their first encounter, Dyachyshyn began taking photos of Slavik every time they saw one another. Even in the populated city the pair had a way of running into each other. Dyachyshyn gave Slavik one dollar for every portrait, and the two sparked a unique friendship.
In an Interview with mymodernmet, Dyachyshyn explains, “All photos (over 100 different portraits) were taken during occasional meetings over two years. I could meet Slavik every day or every few weeks or months. Later he got used to me, then he sought me out knowing where I am, or if I had free time I went to places where we probably could come across each other. Otherwise, it was impossible to reach an agreement with him.”
Slavik finds all of his outfits in city trash bins and homeless aid centers, but he knows how to pull each and every unique look together so that he often looks like he belongs in a glossy fashion magazine, as opposed to the cold streets of Lviv.
Slavik is no outfit repeater; he makes sure to change his clothes daily, and sometimes even more than once a day. He also regularly changes up his hairdo and beard, and also shaves his armpits. All of this seems impossible for your typical homeless person, so what’s the catch? According to Dyachyshyn, “He has a hiding place and nobody knows about it. He keeps the secret of his home.”
Slavik does wander through the streets asking for spare change, but not in a way that seems to annoy anyone. He also enjoys a good beer, although Dyachyshyn points out he is not an alcoholic by any means.
Slavik once told Dyachyshyn, “The main thing is not to lose health, and it is essential that nobody ruins or interferes with a man’s internal peace.”
Slavik seems like quite an insightful and stylish character. Unfortunately, Dyachyshyn has not been able to locate Slavik since January of 2013. The photographer remains hopeful that he will run into him once again out on the streets someday, wearing a fabulous outfit of course.
Photo Credits: dyachyshyn.com