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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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Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finlands Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping malls Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldnt miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBAs Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Centers Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.