By  on April 4, 2006

MILAN — Alberta Ferretti has opened its second Russian flagship, in Kaliningrad, the former Konigsberg, which is shaping up as one of Russia's new shopping havens.

The one-story, 918-square-foot boutique also carries the Philosophy by Ferretti collections. It is franchised to 000 Status, the company's Russian partner. Aeffe, the Italian manufacturer that controls the Alberta Ferretti, Moschino and Pollini brands, opened a boutique with 000 Status in Moscow in 2003.

A fashion show March 25 marked the opening of the Kaliningrad boutique. A company spokeswoman said the opening "confirms the potential of the Russian market, which is developing exponentially." With the fall/winter 2006 collection, Russia accounts for 4.5 percent of the brand's sales, up from 3.3 percent with the spring/summer 2006 collection, and 7.2 percent of exports, up from 5.5 percent the previous season.

The Ferretti spokeswoman also noted the city's multinational population. Kaliningrad and the surrounding region are nestled between Poland and Lithuania, on the Baltic Sea coast, and have about 950,000 residents — a melting pot of Russians, Byelorussians, Ukrainians, Armenians, Germans and Poles.

Although it is part of Russia, the region is separated from the main country by Lithuania and Latvia and is a customs-free area. Its position is pivotal as it is the only Russian harbor on the Baltic Sea.

The Kaliningrad boutique, designed by an in-house team, is modeled after the Alberta Ferretti brand store here, with whitewashed walls, steel finishings, large glass panels and shelves.

The Italian company has 22 brand boutiques worldwide: five Alberta Ferretti, five Philosophy and 12 that carry both brands.

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