Kira Plastinina practically does not appear in the gossip, but once her name was on everyone's lips: world stars flew to the shows of the teenage designer, she participated in fashion weeks, and all the girls in the country dreamed of outfits of her brand. Today Kira is celebrating her 29th birthday, and we remember her story and find out what she is doing now.
Children's hobby and big money
It all started in 2007, when the first show of Plastinina, who at that time was only 14 years old, took place in Moscow. At the same time, a shop of an as yet little-known designer opened in "Evropeyskiy", or rather, not a store, but a "style studio" - that is exactly what was said in official releases about all points of sale of the brand. The take-off was abrupt and, of course, not accidental: no one made a secret that the mysterious Kira Plastinina was the daughter of very wealthy parents. The girl's father, businessman Sergei Plastinin, co-founder of Wimm-Bill-Dann, at that time one of the country's largest producers of soft drinks and dairy products, invested in the fashion business.
Kira Plastinina as a child
According to media reports, Plastinin initially invested about $ 35 million in the development of the Kira Plastinina brand and the production of clothes at Chinese factories. Even more money was spent on promoting the brand in the United States, where it operated 12 stores. Bold plans were made to increase their number to 250. In total, by 2011, more than a hundred Kira Plastinina boutiques were opened around the world: from Kazakhstan to the UK. By 2014, the network consisted of more than 300 stores - the scale is impressive.
Why did Kira's father decide to invest such funds in the fashion business? As the entrepreneur said, he simply discerned the talent of a fashion designer in his daughter:
She has been dressing her dolls since the age of six, drawing well, but neither I nor her mother ever attached importance to her abilities, - Sergei said in an interview for Vedomosti, adding that at one fine moment he got the idea "to give this talent timely and competent support." By the way, he and Kira's mother Tatyana had been divorced for several years by the time the brand was founded.
Kira Plastinina with her father
Kira Plastinina with her mother Kira Plastinina with her mother Plastinina herself in an interview for "Gossip" in 2013 said that the initiative to launch a fashion brand came from her, and her parents believed in her and supported:
I always liked clothes: for example, when I was very little, I was in love with princesses and always enjoyed looking at the outfits of stars in old Hollywood paintings, on the canvases of the Renaissance masters, in books and fashion magazines. Children usually do not like to go shopping, but not me - I have loved shopping since childhood. I also had a dog named Kitty, which I also constantly dressed up.
Sergei Plastinin thought that the brand, whose face and creator would be his teenage daughter, would inevitably gain success with many of her peers, and Kira's young age would help attract press interest in "the world's youngest designer." The businessman figured that in a year or two the expensive project would pay off. In general, as the journalists calculated, Sergei Plastinin spent five billion rubles on Kira's business - a third of the amount received for the shares of the Wimm-Bill-Dann company he founded.
"Star Factory", Paris, Britney and others
In the same 2007, when the first Kira Plastinina store opened, everyone started talking about the new youth brand. Its creator handed out numerous interviews and filmed for gloss, advertising billboards were placed throughout Russia. Magazines wrote about her as "a rising star in the fashion industry."
Celebrities began to appear in the brand's clothing, including participants in the "Star Factory 7" show, of which Kira was announced as the official designer. "The manufacturers" went on stage in outfits from Plastinina and wore them in everyday life in the "star house", participated in the brand's show and, together with Kira, starred for the cover of "Yes! Stars" magazine. The designer played the main role in the video of the graduates of this project - the group "BiS" - for the song "Yours or nobody's". There were also rumors about the novel: teenage publications wrote about Plastinina's tender friendship with the lead singer of "BiS" Vlad Sokolovsky - and he said in an interview that he had known the girl from the age of eight and he "had never had such close people like her since childhood. ".
Given the then popularity of "Star Factory", all this was enough for Kira herself to quickly become a celebrity.
The success of the outfits from the LUBLU Kira Plastinina premium line among the heroes of the Moscow social scene was facilitated by the stylist Marina Dolidze, who was invited by the brand to promote this line.
Karlie Kloss, Georgia May Jagger, Elena Perminova, Kira Plastinina and Miroslava Duma
But the matter was not limited to domestic celebrities. Paris Hilton flew to Moscow at the invitation of Kira Plastinina. The socialite participated in the show of the Russian woman and told reporters about her friendship with her. As media representatives found out, the arrival of the American star cost Sergei Plastinin two million dollars.
Paris Hilton and Kira Plastinina
Paris Hilton and Kira Plastinina
Other celebrities who later came to Russia to support the young designer asked for more modest fees. About 300 thousand dollars, according to Kommersant, was received by Nicole Ricci, who was invited to the opening of the LUBLU Kira Plastinina boutique in TSUM in 2008. Approximately the same amount was spent on visits by Lindsay Lohan, Georgia May Jagger (she came to the party in honor of Kira's 20th birthday) and even Britney Spears. The pop diva visited the brand's office in the fall of 2011, when she flew to Moscow as part of the Femme Fatale world tour. Dressed in a sweater and coat from Kira Plastinina, the singer talked to the designer, examined the showroom and chose several things for herself.
Britney Spears and Kira Plastinina
The stars were also involved in the filming of advertising campaigns. The same Georgia May Jagger, whom the designer called her friend, became the face of the collections, and Lindsay advertised the specially created line for her Kira Plastinina for Lindsay Lohan.
Lindsay Lohan for Kira Plastinina for Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan for Kira Plastinina for Lindsay Lohan
Several campaigns were shot by photographer Kenneth Willard, known for working with Keira Knightley, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and dozens of other celebrities. Awards and reproaches Kira gradually became recognizable outside of Russia. In 2008, she received the award for Successful Debut at Milan Fashion Week personally from the President of the Italian National Fashion Chamber. The Mayor of Rome presented her with a medal as the "most talented and youngest designer" at the local Fashion Week. There, by the way, Plastinina, to the delight of journalists, appeared in a T-shirt with a print-manifesto: The World !!! I'm not a sugar-baby.
Kira Plastinina and Honorary President of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion Mario Boselli
And this is exactly what Plastinina was mercilessly criticized for - first of all, her compatriots, for whom she was just the very "golden child". In an interview for "Gossip", Kira admitted that in the first years after the launch of the brand she was very worried about the ambiguous reaction of the public, but over time she began to perceive her more calmly:
For myself, I decided this: I am ready to react to constructive criticism related to my work, but I try to ignore everything that is personal in nature. I understand that many have a certain image, a stereotype in their heads, and they do not like it. Well, perhaps I myself would not like this image. But I really try and work very hard, and it seems to me that my efforts are bearing some fruit.
But there were no special questions about Kira Plastinina's clothes, at least at first, because it fully corresponded to the spirit of the times and the needs of teenage girls. In 2008, Kira offered fabrics in silver and gold, prints with unicorns and fluffy skirts in a ballet style (however, the same collection also included completely transparent tops - bold enough for a teenage brand, in fact).
As Kira herself grew older, her collections also changed - their style either moved in the direction of more laconic, elegant images, then again became bold and even flashy. Silvery shorts and pink tutu skirts were replaced by long boho dresses, asymmetrical neutral tops and retro-inspired wide-brimmed hats, then the brand again began to experiment with exuberant prints or even began to quote other designers.
Perhaps, such throwing did not allow the brand to find its recognizable style. If at first she did exactly what the schoolgirls wanted to wear and sold it at affordable prices, then later on, the target audience of Kira Plastinina was less and less clear. The popularity after several years of loud fame began to fall. Fans of Plastinina's first collections, who bought the brand's clothes in the years when Paris Hilton advertised it, grew up, and the new generation of customers spoke less of Kira's name than their predecessors.
Losses and bankruptcy
The brand's business on the international level has gone worse since about 2008: the company's operations in the United States were first affected by the crisis, then by the litigation with the local brand Kirra. Its owners felt that the similarities between their brainchild and the Russian brand were too obvious. The dispute was eventually settled, but during the lengthy litigation, the use of the name Kira Plastinina was banned, which led to the bankruptcy of the American division. This did not stop Sergey Plastinin from expanding his empire in other countries: he continued to open dozens of new points of sale, build up momentum and strengthen his position in the fashion market. Suffice it to say that in London the LUBLU line was presented not just anywhere, but in the legendary Harrod's. In 2012, Plastinina's own brand factory was opened,
However, the peak of the brand's success soon passed: of the three hundred stores around the world, at the end of 2015, there were already 188, of which 66 were franchised.
Soon there was talk that the Kira Plastinina brand was about to cease to exist.
Bankruptcy is now our only way out, we are inundated with lawsuits, all our accounts have been arrested, the total debt is about 500 million rubles, - Igor Mukhachev, general director of the Kira Plastinina style company, told Kommersant in August 2016.
As it turned out, the fashion brand was unprofitable even during its seemingly flourishing period. The same Kommersant article says:
The best years for KP Style were 2012 and 2013 - then the clothing market was on the rise, and the company's loss was "only" 93 million and 133 million rubles, respectively.
Plastinin did not lose hope and in 2014 invited a well-known top manager in the industry - Jan Kheere, who previously worked at Marks & Spencer and Inditex, to the position of CEO. However, 2014 brought record losses, the Dutchman was fired, then two more directors were replaced, which also did not help. Probably after that Sergei Plastinin finally became disillusioned with his fashion business. In addition, he took up a high position in a large energy company in the Far East, focused on a new job and spent most of his time away from Moscow.
Where did Kira disappear?
It was clear that the matured Plastinina herself had lost interest in her own brand. The girl graduated from the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas and, apparently, stopped doing design: then journalists noticed that she no longer publishes her sketches on social networks.
And then she had completely different things to do: Kira was preparing for the wedding with the American financier Trey Vallett, whom she met at school. Together with him, she worked on a startup called Tinker Tailor, which was a kind of a mix of an online store and an online atelier where users could customize outfits from famous brands, including Kira Plastinina. The project did not exist for a long time.
Trey Vallett and Kira Plastinina
Trey Vallett and Kira Plastinina
In early 2017, Kira and Trey got married in Mexico, and then went on a honeymoon trip to Sardinia. A year and a half later, Tatler magazine wrote that Plastinina "received an MBA from Columbia University, and in adulthood she has solid vanilla: a house in Texas, snowboarding in Yellowstone with her husband, wine tours in California with her family, exercise with Pippa the bulldog."
On Instagram, Kira maintains her @kiraplastinina page with a blue checkmark and 86 thousand subscribers, but she already appears there as Kira Vallett. The girl has a private account. For the past couple of years, she rarely updates it and does not publish anything that would remind of her career as the world's youngest designer. Photos with my husband, walks with your favorite dogs, get-togethers with friends and family parties - no sketches or advertising posts. But this does not mean that Kira has left the fashion industry for good: according to media reports, she is teaching a course on fashion business at Dallas College.
What is happening with the Kira Plastinina brand now? In the summer of 2017, attempts were made to restart it - but without the participation of Kira herself. Two new brands were presented to the public - Kira Plastinina Mary'S and The Hot Kira Plastinina. At the beginning of 2018, we presented another new brand called "Kira Plastinina and Me". The owner of 90 percent of each of these brands was Olga Ufimkina, the former general director of the bankrupt Kira Plastinina chain.
The online store is still working, where you can buy clothes of fairly simple styles, without any special fashionable delights, at the average prices of the mass market. According to the official website, more than a dozen Kira Plastinina style studios still operate in Russia (there is only one in Moscow).
We give young girls the opportunity to try on various looks, inspire them to find their own style that allows them to attract the attention of the opposite sex and earn the admiration of their friends, - stated on the brand's website.
It also says that all the clothes are made in Russia and are intended for "a resident of a big city aged 18-25 years and older."
And although the brand's Instagram is updated regularly, on the website the latest lookbook is dated for the fall-winter 2019 season (under the trademark "Kira Plastinina and Me") - so it is still difficult to make predictions about whether the sensational brand has a future.
PHOTO Press Service Archives / Instagram