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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fighting the Freeze in Wool, Fox Fur and Sable

In Moscow, there's a coat to match everyone's taste.


A full-length sable coat at Petrovsky Passazh will set you back 150 million rubles ($25,420) -- the same price as the federal government's planned 1998 subsidy for Saratov, home to 3 million people. But if being in debt for the next millennium doesn't suit you, try Sekond Hand Clothing, which sells duffle coats starting at 15,000 rubles ($2.60).


Whatever you choose -- luxury or rags -- remember one thing: thanks to the El Ni–o weather phenomenon, some forecasters are predicting temperatures will fall as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius in Moscow this winter.


"I don't care what it looks like, as long as it keeps me warm," said pensioner Yelena Kravchenko, 71, who was shopping for a dublyonka, or sheepskin coat, at a warehouse on Leninsky Prospekt.


For shoppers who want quality, a wide selection to choose from and, most important, bargains, Moscow's coat warehouses are the places to try. At the Leninsky Prospekt warehouse, the choice is extensive: everything from short leather jackets to full length coats in lurid pink and orange. Prices range from 800,000 rubles for the shorter styles to 8 million rubles for the longer variety, with fur at the collar and cuffs. The sales staff of about 30 are helpful and, more importantly, patient. Some are even prepared to bargain.


Kravchenko emerged a half hour after she stepped into the 12-room outlet in a long sheepskin coat that had set her back 1.5 million rubles.


"Prices have gone up," she said. "But there is definitely a wider choice than last year."


The stock is replenished every week, when giant trucks from Italy bring in hundreds of coats. There are periodic discounts on the merchandise, but management would not disclose when they are.


A warehouse on Povarskaya Ulitsa, next to the Supreme Court, is more up-market than the Leninsky Prospekt store, although the choice is more limited. Sheepskin and leather jackets cost as little as 2.5 million rubles, and prices for longer coats range from 5 million rubles for simple styles to 10 million rubles for those with fur-trimmed collars.


Although the shop is restocked weekly, two women already decked out in brand new dublyonki fought over the last green one with gold buttons and a fluffy, moss-colored lining."Let go of it, it's mine," shouted the woman with tangerine lipstick.


"I saw it first," said the blonde with the stroller.


"It happens all the time," sighed Lera Vishnyovskaya, the sales assistant, as the security guard pried the women apart and booted them out the door. "Next week we'll have 20 more of that design, but they just won't wait."


If bargain hunting is more up your alley, try Sekond Hand Clothing, which is located at the top of an unlit, foul-smelling stairway in an old bathhouse near the Kievskaya metro station. In addition to the duffle coats, the shop sells woolen coats for 20,000 to 30,000 rubles and on a recent visit the store had three dublyonki, all in fairly good condition, which cost between 500,000 and 1 million rubles.


The coats and other clothing are shipped in every month from Europe and the United States, said the store's proprietor of five years, Valentina Petrova.


"I know they are rather expensive," she said apologetically. "But they really would keep a body warm for many years to come."


At the other end of the scale, there are the luxurious fur coats found on the second floor at Petrovsky Passazh behind the Bolshoi Theater.


The boutique halfway down the hallway sells fox and mink coats starting at 26 million rubles for waist-length styles. For coats that all but sweep the pavement as you walk, expect to pay as much as 58 million rubles.


In the window, there is a short-haired chinchilla jacket for 73 million rubles.


"A young couple bought a chinchilla only last week," said Anna Sidorova, a sales assistant. "A lot of people nowadays want luxury -- and luxury sells."


She said she gets a few foreigners in her boutique, but they tend to go for the fox hats, which cost 720,000 rubles.


Next door, you can buy a Giuliane Teso reversible jacket -- mink on one side, black plastic on the other -- for 91 million rubles, or a modest-looking white wool coat with fur trimming at a less-than-modest price of 65 million rubles.


Finally, for the sort of furs even Cruella de Vil would covet, look no further than the Cazalleti and Alta Moda salon at the end of the gallery.


"The sable comes from Russia, although it is hand-stitched in Italy," said a pretty sales assistant, Tanya Spiridonova, in the empty boutique. The store sells black mink coats from the United States, all bearing the Great Lakes of America Mink Association satisfaction guarantee.


Beside these hang a dozen white mink coats and a few silver fox fur coats with the tiniest hint of red.


But the coup de gr‰ce is the full-length sable coat, which makes the other coats in the store look like miners' jackets. It has thick, chocolate-colored sleeves that fall in perfect folds as you sink into it, and when you put it on, you have no desire to ever take it off, said 22-year-old Lena, who was trying it on in the changing room and attempting to persuade her sugar daddy, Boris, to buy it for her.


"Maybe next week, dear," he said in between answering calls on his mobile telephone.





The dublyonki warehouse at 6 Leninsky Prospekt. Metro: Oktyabrskaya. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


The dublyonki warehouse at 29 Povarskaya Ulitsa. Metro: Arbatskaya. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Sekond Hand Clothing, 7 Mozhaisky Val. Metro: Kievskaya. Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.


Petrovsky Passazh (the coat salons are located on the second floor), 10 Ulitsa Petrovka. Metros: Kuznetsky Most or Teatralnaya . Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.