The image of Russia's rich elite has come so far: They're no longer regarded by the rest of the world as hopelessly ostentatious and flashy, thanks in large part to Dasha Zhukova's stylish ambassadorship and Russian Vogue editor Aliona Doletskaya's announcement that "full-on extravagance, the red lipstick, the diamonds, the furs—all that is passé." Even the new magazine Snob, whose title implies an ironic self-awareness, has helped rehabilitate the spendy, blinged-out stereotype. How sad, then, that Russian Marie Claire's editor Olga Zaretskaya has wrecked everything with one thoughtless comment!
Explaining why labels such as Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, and Vivienne Westwood have recently been forced to shutter their Moscow boutiques, whereas French and Italian designers are surviving, Zaretskaya said:
Italian and French designers are much better known than the English. They are easy to wear and easy to show off—even people who are far away from fashion know Dolce & Gabbana. If someone who works in an office buys a D&G bag, people will know it cost €3,000 [$4,000]. If she buys a McQueen bag, it will cost her more than €3,000 and no one will know.
No one will know? In that case, you might as well throw the money down the drain.