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Juggling Fashion Design with Homework

Published: September 18, 2007 (Issue # 1307)



  • At just 15, Kira Plastinina is the chief designer for the label owned by her father.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / The St. Petersburg Times

MOSCOW Kira Plastinina wants to be taken seriously.

By many measures, she already has a highly successful career. She is the chief designer for a rapidly growing chain of clothing stores aimed at teenage girls. The first Kira Plastinina shop opened at Moscows Yevropeisky mall in February, and the chain now has 28 locations throughout Russia, with a dozen more slated to open by the end of the year.

The problem, perhaps, is that Plastinina is only 15 years old.

Many have grumbled that Plastinina who is touted as the worlds youngest fashion designer only made it because her father, Sergei Plastinin, is the millionaire co-founder of Wimm-Bill-Dann, Russias largest dairy and juice producer.

In a recent interview at her companys headquarters in Moscow, Plastinina admitted that her fathers wealth had made the stores possible, but stressed that she wasnt just a rich girl looking for attention.

Its not like I just went to my dad and said, I want a store, and he gave me a store with my name on it and I dont do anything, said Plastinina, who was dressed in a pink and purple top.

Im always coming to work, and my thoughts are constantly absorbed in work. I always think about work, day and night. Sometimes I even draw designs in school.

Plastinina, a 10th-grader at the Anglo-American School in Moscow, said she hoped to continue her studies at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, a London institution that has produced such fashion gurus as John Galliano and Hedi Slimane, who both led divisions of Christian Dior before starting their own labels.

Some contributors to Internet forums have suggested that Plastinina could follow the path of Ksenia Sobchak or the singer Alsu, whose powerful fathers gave them a springboard into pop-culture stardom.

But Plastinina firmly rejected that idea. Well, I cant sing, so I wont become a singer, she said with a laugh. But really, no, I want people to perceive me as a designer, and not just as a creative person who drifts from one thing to another.

Still, Plastinina is poised to become a familiar face in Russian television. This season, she is the official designer for Star Factory, the Channel One talent show where would-be pop singers compete for stardom, much like in the popular U.S. show American Idol.

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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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