When the Czarinas Ruled Fashion’s Front Row

When the Czarinas Ruled Fashion’s Front Row

Around that time, just a decade ago, something happened in fashion that was as rare and unexpected as Kate Moss was seen in Tutu.

The next row of couture shows the rare row, which often appears to be preserved in amber, apparently undergoing a metamorphosis overnight. With the magnetic combination of beauty, charm, wealth and wardrobe, a group of young women came together and drove the fashion world into a frenzy. That they emerged from Russia, once considered the barren land of fashion, and then a glittering arrival, made them irreparable.

“Zarina is back,” I captioned New York Timesa Style.com The story called them the new “Russian Federation”.

“They broke the stereotype of Russia,” said Robert Burke, founder of the so-called luxury consultancy.

Also known as Russian fashion mafiathe Russian fashion pack And Russian fashion royalsIt was a revolving group that included designer Vika Gazinskaya as well as model and charity founder Natalia Vodianova, but their main component was Miroslava Duma, a fashion editor and entrepreneur. Elena Perminova, a model with Cinderella’s previous story; And Ilyana Serjenko, a designer.

All were associated with their personal tastes, the tendency to change clothes several times a day, and the photographer’s friendship and wealth. And he followed in the footsteps of Dasha Zhukova, a social figure and global art and magazine entrepreneur.

Their profiles grew with the advent of street style and Instagram, and the emergence of Russia as a thriving marketplace after Glasnost. Later, they created their own fashion and brands based on the fame of their early fashion. They were an eye-opener between Russia and the world.

As Karen Winroth, an associate professor of business at the University of Södertörn in Sweden, wrote in the journal Baltic Worlds“He was seen not only as a role model and an inspiration for fashion: he was also seen as a new ambassador to Russia. His popularity put Russia on the map as one such country.” Which presents a fashion movement.

At least until February, when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and those bridges began to look shaky – the way fashion can be a shortcut to self-acceptance, influencing perceptions in the world beyond people. Is.

Changes, after all, are not limited to people.

Sofia Rosenfeld, a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Democracy and Truth: A Short History,” said: ” “Self-whitening or a combination of national culture or business practices.”

Think of it as a theory of transitional qualities of taste and competence – the qualities that suggest a system of shared values ​​that cross borders and connect worldviews – in practice.

That was true, Ms. Rosenfeld said, as did Queen Josephine long ago, who “legitimized Napoleon and the government by transforming himself into a patron of French fashion and design and making himself an icon for the whole of Europe.” Helped give. “

Likewise, Guilded Age bandits Barnes, and women like Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt, whose philanthropy, fashion, and taste have taken them to the center of society. Similarly, the current Qatari royal family, which introduced Fashion Trust Arabia Award In 2018, under the auspices of Sheikha Moza bint Nasir and Sheikha Al-Mayasa bint Hamad Al-Thani, Pierre Paolo Piccoli, Oliver Rusting and Naomi Campbell (among others) were attracted to the Gulf in an attempt to change the image of the region.

Although the arrival of the Russians on the fashion scene was not necessarily a strategic move – it was probably about creating their own identity – there is no question that the effects of their presence resonated around their home country. Created effect

They demonstrated a very distinctive, fashion-oriented form of outreach, as other members of the elite built museums, bought soccer, basketball clubs and international media properties, to quickly realize that Embedding a new image into the economy can result in “doors”. Opened to them, “said Tommy Ton, who met Ms. Perminova through Miss Duma, whom she met through Vyka Gazinskaya, and who, as a street-style photographer for Style.com, Was equally responsible for anyone building the myths of

“There are social and cultural aspects of fashion that are not separated from livelihoods by brands,” Mr Burke said, referring to the fact that fashion brands attract audiences to gala and art exhibitions, film premieres and philanthropic events. Dress in a way. Good circle of access and Instagram opportunities.

As their following grew, designers began to look for possible routes to the new Russia, labeled market. Goldman Sachs in 2009 As a key driver of “global consumption”, and for which, Ms. Winroth wrote, “it was essential for the Western fashion industry to have the right Russian mediator.”

The Russian fashion pack, she wrote, was “perfect.” Ms. Perminova and Ms. Duma co-starred in Ferragamo’s advertising campaign. Ms. Duma modeled for Louis Vuitton and Roger Vivier.

“They knew how to connect with people,” Mr Burke said. “He represented style, sophistication, he traveled very well and he had the power to spend a lot. He was the new face of what people thought represented Russia.

Their stories were complicated by only one thing: the fact that when they came on the scene, Ms. Duma & Co. were all married to men affiliated with Oligarch or Oligarch.

Ms. Duma, who was born in Siberia and whose father was a senator in the Russian Federation from 2004-2011 (while she was also the head of the Ukrainian Diaspora in Russia from 2005-2012; the family is of Ukrainian heritage), whose father is Alexei Mikheev. , Alexander Mikheev, Rosoboron is the director general of exports, a Russian state-controlled arms exporter (currently) List of approved persons From the United States, United Kingdom, United Europe And Canada)۔ Ms. Perminova to Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB agent, banker and media mogul (currently on Canada’s sanctions list) The meeting took place after his arrest. At the age of 16, he started a drug business, and Mr. Libedio, then 44, a member of the Duma, stepped in after contacting his father. And Ms. Serjenko, who grew up in Kazakhstan when it was part of the USSR and later moved to Moscow, to insurance billionaire Daniel Khachaturov, the former president of Rosgostrich.

It’s not that most people in Paris thought about the implications, because husbands were almost never.

“I met Elena Perminova’s husband once,” Mr Tinn said. “Usually she didn’t travel with her husbands. Even when I went to Moscow Fashion Week and went to her house, I rarely met her husband.

He soon turned his fashion presence into a mini-estate. In 2011, Ms. Duma, who holds a master’s degree in international business from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations but began her career as an editor with Harper’s Bazaar Russia, opened a digital media platform called Buro was 24/7 with offices. In 12 countries, he later withdrew and, positioning himself as a guru of technology and sustainability, started a consulting and investment company called Future Tech Lab, which focused on materials science and biotech. Focused and co-founded Materials Science / Responsible Fashion Brand Pangea. (Named in 2018 a Young world leader At the World Economic Forum.)

Ulyana Sergeenko moved from the front row to the backstage, opening her own couture brand, focusing on artistic Russian techniques and qualifying for the official dress schedule between “members’ invitations”. Ms. Perminova opened. Lane and GrechkaMoscow and London (where Mr. Lebedev has hosted it) Annual Raisa Gorbachev Foundation Gala At his home on the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, and his eldest son is a member of the House of Lords).

There were problems along the way, including Revocation of Ms. Duma and Ms. Sergenko Following an Instagram scandal of racism in 2018 by the fashion world, and A fake news report It was full of unsubstantiated allegations against Ms. Duma (followed by other reports about Ms. Vodianova and Ms. Zohakova) by a group calling itself Kyiv Fashion Resistance later this year. And Ms. Duma’s surprise Appearance in Mueller’s report In 2019, she was identified as “Ivanka Trump’s contact with the fashion industry” and in 2015 passed “with an invitation” to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum for Mrs. Trump and Donald J. Trump.

Despite this, his Instagram followers continued to grow. 444,000 For Ms. Sergenko, 1.8 million And for Ms. Duma 2.5 million For Ms. Perminova. Although the titles do not reflect her real career, she has been called “influential” and “these girls”, a reflection of how the world once saw her.

Now, although Ms. Sergeenko and Ms. Duma are divorced, and both Ms. Duma and Ms. Perminova have posted Black Square in response to the invasion of Ukraine, their history has almost darkened them. Many designers who once embraced him are busy discussing them.

Ms. Duma, who resigned as Pangea’s company director in 2020 (she continues to invest through Future Tech Labs), cleared her Instagram feed earlier this year. Ms. Sergenko is not on the dress schedule, and her brand has not posted anything since February. Rumors abound that they have all been “recalled” to Russia. They do not respond to requests for comment or direct messages.

He says he has friends who do not want to be identified because he is worried about the Kremlin’s reaction, fearing that his previous profiles will draw unwanted attention. If they do, they run the risk of being branded as traitors, or seen as being involved by an industry that has been quick to declare its allegiance to Ukraine if it had remained silent.

Trapped on the bridges they once built. New iron curtain Comes down and gives everything a new look.


Valeria Sefernova contributed to the report.

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