Back in July, We caught up with Kira Plastinina—the now 21-year old daughter of a Russian millionaire and veteran fashion designer—to discuss her U.S. comeback with her premium line LUBLU. Well, it just officially happened--not in the Stateside fashion capital of New York, but in laid back Dallas, Texas, where Kira is a senior at Southern Methodist University.
In the midst of studying for her communications degree, Kira planned a blowout event—flying in a bajillion editors, family and friends from Russia and a private jet full of industry people from New York City for a whirlwind 36-hours of first class Russian-slash-Texan hospitality.
The private flight (amazing) was kind of like this alterna-world fashion field trip as we all introduced ourselves to our jet-mates with a friendly smile. “Hi, I’m Hannah” (as in Bronfman, who was on hand to DJ the store opening). “Hello, Dorian” (yeah, as in Grinspan, the Yale student/magazine publisher who scored that feature in New York Magazine). “Hi, Aslaug” (Magnusdottir, co-founder and former CEO of Moda Operandi) and so on. Plus, little old me. Who knew? Flying private: the great equalizer.
So yeah, this trip was FANCY. After landing in a scorching hot Dallas, us East Coasters were whisked away to lunch with Plastinina, who was refreshingly down-to-earth and humble—and clearly nervous about the opening party. Go figure, the girl had a lot going on—nursing a stress cold, planning a big event and, oh, kicking off first semester.
“I obviously love being in school and studying,” the industrious senior explained. “I love to do [school] so much, but I don’t want to sacrifice anything else. So I just make it work.”
Even though we were all there to celebrate the official LUBLU launch, the brand’s flagship actually soft-opened in July in Preston Center, a luxury strip mall that also houses a Calypso St. Barth and a cupcake ATM.
“It’s been doing great,” Plastinina explained about business in the store so far. “It’s been exceeding our expectations and July is a slow month. We’ve all been very excited for the grand opening, of course, and for everyone to get back into town because you know it’s been very hot here in Texas and a lot of people leave [in the summer].”
Well, the shop was beyond buzzing later that evening for the big opening bash, with Dallas’s finest—like Bag Snob Tina Craig and lots of impeccably coiffed and visibly moneyed society doyennes, as well as Plastinina’s family, friends, and sorority sisters--out to support her. Yes, you read that correctly, in between studying for finals and monthly flights to Moscow to work on her line, Plastinina is also an active Kappa Alpha Theta member. (No, she doesn’t live in the house.) Oh, and if you’re a gold card-carrying Theta, you can enjoy 10 percent off your LUBLU purchase. That’s sisterhood solidarity for you right there.
The LUBLU collection is definitely a grown-up departure from the fast fashion Kira Plastinina line (remember how pink the SoHo store was?), which is still going strong in Russia. LUBLU for fall is full of premium fabrics—silky raglan tops, leather paneling, lace-overlays and baroque texture—and sophisticated silhouettes, like, fit-and-flare midi-dresses, tapered trousers and pencil-skirts. Also premium: the prices (example: $1,500 for a floral-brocade skirted dress), likely due to the fact that the clothing is all made in Russia.
“It’s our own production facility that we just opened last October,” Plastinina explained. “It was the next logical step in the development of our fashion house and it’s been amazing in terms of obviously enhancing quality and having a tighter control over production schedules.”
Yep: The just-turned-21-year-old runs two fashion lines, oversees her own manufacturing facility and has a final year of college to complete.
After two hours of prosecco and Texan vodka quaffing, plus an impromptu twerk-off (started by the New York crowd, obviously), the festivities moved on to a seated dinner at a Balthazar-esque French bistro. But Plastinina was the first to politely sneak out of her own party. She had some art history homework to finish before her 9 a.m. class.