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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Casuals Store That Makes It Big, and Bigger

From size 54 -- that's a waistline of nearly 1.4 meters -- on down, the O'Key clothing store stocks sportswear for the broadest conceivable range of physiques. The store's two salons on Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya offer casual clothes for the Big Man and the Standard Man with a distinctly American touch -- most of the stock, including Army surplus camouflage, is imported from the United States. The store is also an exclusive Levi's dealer. In the late 19th century, Levi Strauss made marketing history by patenting his riveted denim work pants, and he has been raking in the proceeds ever since. His square-pocketed, straight-leg jeans have won an enviable spot in the hearts of Western youth, and are making serious inroads in the former East Bloc. The Big Man shop specializes in sizes not available in most department stores. To date, the size-54 jeans (the ruble equivalent of $60) have held more entertainment value than customer appeal, according to clerks at the store, but the store also offers Moscow exclusives such as massive motorcycle boots ($110), huge sheepskin coats ($1600) and sweatshirts in sizes up to XXXL ($35). O'Key has Levi's, from the classic 501 (regular antifit button fly) to styles such as 611 (slim-fit zip fly) and 472 (loose-fit button fly). Priced from $58 to $66, the jeans are about $15 more expensive than they would be abroad. But if authenticity is what you are looking for, these jeans are the real thing. They are available in a wide range of sizes, pre-shrunk and pre-faded for customers under time pressure. O'Key also carries Levi's paraphernalia such as the Trucker Jacket, in baggy ($83) and basic ($80), and the Trucker Vest ($68). The Big Man shop offers a wider assortment of clothes while still catering to the trucker look. This may be the only store in Moscow which offers U.S. army surplus jackets ($65) and Harley-Davidson suspenders ($10). Leather biker jackets range from $210 to $350. Perhaps the most remarkable item is a racoon-lined lambskin coat in size XXXL, for $8,200. More genteel items are large-size blazers in camel's hair ($250) and wool tweed ($160), canvas parkas ($90) and flannel pajamas ($35). Although the biker apparel may have a limited audience, the store's wide selection fills a niche in Moscow, where big and tall men sometimes have trouble finding attractive clothes in larger sizes. "It's a big problem," said Sergei Nazarov, vice president of the Fat Club, a social group for larger Muscovites. Nazarov could only name a handful of shops that cater to larger customers. "These clothes exist, but it's very, very difficult to find them." O'Key, located at 15 Ulitsa Profsoyuznaya, is open from 10 A.M. to 8 P.M. daily. Tel. 124-9983.