WWD.com/globe-news/ready-to-wear-sportswear/kira-plastinina-tries-us-retail-again-6901182/
government-trade
government-trade

Kira Plastinina Tries U.S. Retail Again

The young Russian designer plans to open a boutique for her higher-priced Lublu Kira Plastinina collection in June in Dallas at the Plaza at Preston Center.

DALLAS — Kira Plastinina is giving American retail yet another go.

The young Russian designer plans to open a boutique for her higher-priced Lublu Kira Plastinina collection in June in Dallas at the Plaza at Preston Center.

“I want a place where people can see the full collection and understand how one piece leads to another,” said Plastinina, a 20-year-old junior majoring in communications at Southern Methodist University. “A lot of friends have asked me where to get the line.”

Bankrolled by her juice magnate father in Moscow, Plastinina opened 12 namesake fast-fashion stores in the U.S. in 2008 and quickly shut them, posting a $54.4 million Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2009. A Lublu store that opened in summer 2009 on Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles — and was picketed by creditors — closed in February this year.

Plastinina said its location next to The Ivy restaurant was “not the best location” for the brand, and she has “learned a lot” from mistakes.

“It wasn’t efficiently planned,” Plastinina said. “We restructured the collection to add more casual clothes and deliveries every month. It’s now 120 pieces, and it was 80 before….We’re confident this store will do well now that we have our own production [that opened last October in Moscow].”

Kira Plastinina does $125 million in annual sales, she said. It operates about 270 Kira Plastinina stores in Russia and CIS nations, of which 80 percent are owned and the rest franchised, she said. The company also has 53 points of sale for Lublu in CIS nations plus the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Kuwait. Plastinina, who travels to Moscow every month to confer with her design team, said the company “stands on its own” and is profitable.

Lublu, which retails from $200 to $800, isn’t currently sold by any U.S. retailers.

Plastinina kept a low profile in Dallas until December, when she introduced the collection to friends and media at a trunk show at the W Dallas Victory Residences, where she lives. She also coordinated a New York shoot of her fall looks on fashionable pals that was featured online by Harper’s Bazaar.