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    HomeWorldSlava Zaitsev, Soviet Fashion Designer Known as 'Christian Dior', Passes Away at...

    Slava Zaitsev, Soviet Fashion Designer Known as ‘Christian Dior’, Passes Away at 85

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    Russian fashion designer Viacheslav “Slava” Zaitsev has passed away at the age of 85, according to his fashion house. He was known as the “Soviet Christian Dior” and was a major figure in Soviet and Russian fashion for decades. Zaitsev achieved global success with his bright dresses adorned with flower patterns from traditional Russian shawls. He was born into a poor family in Ivanovo and initially faced obstacles due to his father’s status as an “enemy of the people”. He studied at a vocational college and the Moscow Textile Institute.

    In 1962, Zaitsev’s first collection of clothes was rejected by Soviet authorities for being too bright and contrasting with the grey Soviet everyday life. However, the collection attracted international attention and French magazine Paris Match described Zaitsev as a pioneer of Soviet fashion. Zaitsev was watched closely by the KGB due to his contacts with Western designers and his flamboyant character. He was initially refused permission to leave the Soviet Union and his first collections were shown abroad without him.

    Zaitsev’s career took him to the catwalks of Paris, New York and Tokyo. He counted several Russian movie stars, singers, and the ex-wife of President Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila, among his clients. Between 2007 and 2009, he presented a popular television show called “The Verdict of Fashion,” in which stylists dressed participants in the latest street looks. His death is a great loss for the world of international fashion.

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