October 10, 2013
By Kirsten Fleming
In May 2008, 15-year-old Russian heiress Kira Plastinina landed stateside, looking to make a huge splash in the fashion world.
In the months to follow, the Paris Hilton-obsessed daughter of multimillionaire Sergei Plastinin — who made his fortune selling orange juice in post-Soviet Russia — would ambitiously open a dozen eponymous fast-fashion stores done up in Barbie Dreamhouse-style decor, including three in NYC.
Her juice-mogul dad reportedly dropped $80 million on the project — paying Paris Hilton $2 million to attend his daughter’s Moscow fashion show and hiring Chris Brown to perform at her shop’s LA opening. (Plastinin’s said to be worth well over $600 million.)
Ridicule was swift and severe — fashion blogs cheekily referred to her as a “designer” in quotes, and New York magazine blasted the store and its “pants with the zipper vent in the ass region that never should have seen the daylight, much less in a teeny-bopper store.”
Then the bottom fell out of the economy, closing banks and shaking even some of the most established brands. Within a year, the company closed all of its US stores and filed for bankruptcy. (The brand still thrives with shops in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.)
Today, a much older and wiser Plastinina, now 21, is back with the American launch of her much pricier designer line, Lublu — including a Dallas flagship, a Hollywood showroom for celebrity outreach and an e-commerce platform launching today.
“I don’t think my name will hurt or help me. It’s part of my story. It’s hard for me to compare myself now to my brand from a few years ago,” says Plastinina, a senior at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University.
“As a designer I have matured so much and learned so much. I can say we’re more focused now.”...