Denis Simachev is the first Russian designer to show a collection at Milan Fashion Week. Once strictly a menswear designer, he now designs for both men and women and his clothing can be found in boutiques from New York to Tokyo and Madrid.
Simachev is best known for his hammer-and-sickle logos and his T-shirt with a portrait of Putin in a floral-themed frame. But all underlying communist-themed parkas and big fur caps aside, the story making news right now is Simachev’s new two story boutique opening in Russia. His web site proclaims the boutique will be an “island of freedom for those who believe in the symbolical value of things and deny the need to look expensive.”
The granite floors come from the same Ukrainian quarry as Lenin’s Red Square mausoleum and the wood paneling is made from the rare okume tree, which grows only in Ethiopia. D.S. monograms and double-headed eagles are studded with Swarovski crystal while the first floor hall is a recreation of a still life of the Flemish painter Franz Snyder.
But the pièce de résistance is a set of armchairs that used to belong to Prince Grigory Potemkin, Catherine the Great’s lover, secret husband and partner in ruling the Russian Empire. You can be sure that this will be high on the list of Moscow’s must-sees.