Thursday, December 18, 2008

Over Before It Began: Kira Plastinina to close nearly all U.S. stores by the end of the year


Kira Plastinina, the 16-year-old fashion designer--and daughter of the extravagantly wealthy Russian entrepreneur Sergei Plastinin--is having trouble surviving in the U.S. market. Although she currently operates 12 stores in the States, Bloomberg.com reports today that the company has plans to close nearly all of them. The teen, whose father has spent $80 million to open her stores (which include 70 in Russia, 10 in Ukraine, and five in Kazakhstan) counts Paris Hilton as a friend and customer and sells sweets from Dylan's Candy Bar in her stores.
"The number of shoppers in the U.S. fell significantly," Plastinina told Bloomberg. "It became much harder to find money for investment because of the financial crisis. We had enormous plans: New York, then India and China in 2009." Currently, there are Kira Plastinina stores in New York on 34th Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway, 5th Avenue at 43rd Street, and Broadway just south of Houston. According to reports, only one or two U.S. outlets will remain open.