MOSCOW — Fifty-four years and almost exactly one month after the House of Dior made its first trip to the Soviet Union on June 10, 1959, the brand returned for a fashion show in Red Square in honor of the 120-year anniversary of the GUM retail center.
“This show was a very impressive way to start the celebration, and it’s just the beginning,” said Mikhail Kusnirovich, founder and president of Bosco di Ciliegi, the Russian retail giant that owns GUM. “We’re honored to have the first show on Red Square with Dior as a partner.”
Sidney Toledano, chief executive officer of Christian Dior, has known Kusnirovich since the brand opened its first perfume and cosmetics counter in GUM in 1994.
“We used to see him from time to time, and when Kusnirovich took control of GUM we had very close contact. We decided to move with him, first with Dior and then with Vuitton and develop GUM. And the mall became what it is today. He had a vision already that the market would develop, and it’s been fantastic,” Toledano said of their partnership.
“Dior has been a unique brand for years. Even with GUM, we were the first, and then came other brands. And we just opened in Almaty, about a month ago, and are doing very well. And in Kiev before that. In GUM, we had to move to get more space [in 2012] because we were doing extremely well. Growing in terms of space is a global problem we have worldwide for our VIP clients. VIP rooms and more space for the ready-to-wear, because the collection by Raf Simons is doing extremely well,” Toledano said.
“What has been amazing in Raf’s collection is that we were looking for something more modern and younger, but the existing clients, wherever they were, in the Middle East, in Russia, they all adapted. Because women, you know, they want to be younger anyway.”
The silk and organza of the fall collection, which is already in stores, played off the reflective surface of the mirrored cube in the center of Red Square.
“I think this is a very good collection to show to the Russian clients, because this is an event about clients,” Toledano said.
After the show, Alla Verber, vice president of Mercury, which owns luxury department store TSUM, said, “This is a wonderful event. I loved the clothes before, and here I especially loved the leather and the silks.”
Russian designer and “It” girl Vika Gazinskaya pointed to the historic significance of such an event. “Red Square is such a historic place for our people. This is where the intrigues of Ivan the Terrible and the Victory Day parades that still take place today on May 9 happen. And the fact that they allowed Christian Dior — a brand that in the Soviet times was always sort of mythical and unattainable — to put on their show here is kind of like a fairy tale. It’s beautiful.…It’s definitely a moment that will go down in history. This was more than just a fashion show.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast