The Perils of Plastinina
On New Year’s Eve, teenage Russian fashion designer Kira Plastinina headed to bankruptcy court in New York City and closed four of her six fashion boutiques in Southern California. Her website began offering 75% off super sales. Her fifteen minutes of fame were up, and her comically trashy “designs” were about to become dishrags.
Her millionaire father Sergei (amusingly* also referred to as “Plastinina” on Kira’s Wikipedia page, like calling Guy Richie “Mr. Madonna”), CEO of the giant and bizarrely named Wimm Bill Dann dairy concern, who bankrolled her Potemkin fashion empire, is of no use to her now. There’s nothing for it but to call in the lawyers.
The Americans just aren’t buying it any more.
Kira only entered the American market six months ago, arrogantly proclaiming her intention to soon be operating 250 retail outlets across the country, and now she’s already looking to skip out on her massive debts and flee the country. She only managed to actually open a dozen shops before her spectacular flameout.
So the bloom has come off yet another Russian rose. Her consolation, according to the Los Angeles Times, is that at least “she still has a sizable fan base in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, where she has dozens of stores.” Being on the fashion market in those countries is roughly like being in the ballet business in Boise. Maybe best not to brag about it too loudly.
After all, Vladimir Putin still has a considerable base in those countries, doesn’t he? For how long, though, is anybody’s guess, and it’s not too likely he’d be embraced by LA voters.
There’s a lesson to be learned here, of course, though its doubtful that Russians will learn it. Once again we see a pathetic Russian effort to elevate illusion over substance come to nothing. Russia is ranked as one of the most corrupt nations on the planet because Russian society has normalized fraud, seeing it routinely practiced by the government itself. The Putin regime manages the national stock market and currency exactly the same way Plastinina managed her fashion empire, with guile and deception rather than substance.
Such things cannot last. The USSR tried it, and the USSR collapsed in less than a century.
*NOTE: In the Russian language, a man’s name does not end in “a.” Instead, the letter “a” is added to the name of his wife when she abandons her father’s name and takes that of her husband, and it is added to the last name of his daughters. An “a” at the end of a word can mean “feminine” but in other aspects of Russian grammar, adding “a” to a word is similar to adding apostrophoe “s” in English, in other words it denotes possession. Thus, since his name is masculine, it could be argued that when Sergei Plastinin added an “a” to his daughter’s last name on her birth certificate, he could be said to be showing his ownership, and it’s highly ironic that the lay Western media turns things around and gives him the name of his much more famous daughter.