Designer Simachev Plans to Open 4 U.S. Outlets

Fashion designer Denis Simachev will open four U.S. outlets within a year as sales of his fashions increase from Tokyo to California.

Simachev, whose Moscow boutique neighbors a Louis Vuitton store, said in an interview last month that he would open outlets in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago. Revenue this year may rise by one-third to 16 million euros ($25 million) as the designer lures "nostalgic" customers with prints carrying "made in Moscow" signs and characters from Soviet cartoons, Simachev sales director Olga Kredina said.

Simachev designs, which include traditional Russian prints and symbols, such as the state emblem of the Soviet Union, are sold at some 50 stores worldwide, including the H. Lorenzo fashion outlet in Los Angeles. The 33-year-old designer said he planned to open about the same number of his own boutiques.

The country's luxury-goods market grew as much as 11 percent to $3.8 billion in 2007, outpacing the industry's global growth of 9 percent, according to Moscow-based Fashion Consulting group. Most of the goods represent international brands and designers such as John Galliano, who was inspired by Russian history for several Christian Dior Couture collections, including the fall 2004 show.

"There is a tendency to do something Russian in the fashion world," Simachev said in his workshop in central Moscow. "Many Western designers are doing it. Though it's not possible to tell about Russia if you don't know it from birth."

The country's fashion industry "is at its start level," Simachev said. "The fabrics industry is undeveloped. As soon as it develops, designers will emerge. Now they all go to work abroad."

Simachev, whose T-shirts sell for as much as 500 euros ($775), will maintain "high prices" to keep the trademark "exclusive," he said. He will also introduce a less expensive "second line," containing jeans for around 150 euros and T-shirts for about 50 euros, he said.