British designers are closing boutiques in Moscow, disappointed with sales: Stell McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood are among the designers who have failed to gain popularity among Russian buyers. The reason, however, was not a lack of talent among British couturiers, but the aftermath of the crisis, which forced the Moscow elite to reconsider their spending.
Vivienne Westwood has already confirmed that she is closing the boutique on the Boulevard Ring: according to the designer, the boutique's profits do not justify the sky-high prices for renting a retail space in the center of Moscow. Carlo D'Amario, Director of Vivienne Westwood, said: "We are closing the store because Vivienne Westwood is an independent company, we are not supported by any of the major groups and therefore we cannot afford to open boutiques just for the sake of prestige." According to D'Amario, Moscow has surpassed megacities such as New York or London in terms of rent.
However, surprisingly enough, Italian and French designers are loved in Russia much more than British ones. Olga Zaretskaya, editor-in-chief of Russian Marie Claire, explains this by the fact that fashion brands of Italy and France are traditionally much better known in Russia, and even a person who is extremely far from fashion knows what Dolce & Gabbana is. So, for example, if a girl buys herself a bag from D&G, all her friends will know that the accessory cost the new owner 3 thousand euros. But the bags from Alexander McQueen, as well as their prices, are much less recognizable.
The failure of British designers in Moscow, however, does not bother: the majority prefer to conquer the countries of Asia. For example, Alexander McQueen recently opened a new boutique in Qatar, and Vivienne Westwood will open several boutiques in China and India this year. There is no lack of interest in British fashion brands in these countries yet.