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‘Soviet Dior’ fashion designer dies

Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Zaitsev was the pioneer of fashion shows in the Soviet Union

Iconic Soviet and Russian fashion designer Vyacheslav ‘Slava’ Zaitsev has died, Russian media reported on Sunday, citing sources.

The maestro was diagnosed with Parkinson’s back in 2016 and had been partially paralyzed for the past few years. Zaitsev reportedly died while hospitalized, succumbing to internal bleeding.

Born in 1938 in Russia’s textile capital, the Moscow Region city of Ivanovo, Zaitsev had dominated the Soviet fashion scene since the early 1960s. He served as the Chief Designer at the All-Union Fashion House, commonly known as Dom Modeli, which effectively was a major, yet state-owned, fashion house.


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Zaitsev’s works promptly garnered international recognition, with the French fashion press coining his moniker, the ‘Red Dior.’

The death of the maestro is seen as a huge loss for the Russian fashion scene, actress-turned-MP Elena Drapeko has said, praising Zaitsev as the pioneer of fashion shows in the USSR.

“He elevated domestic fashion into a high art. It didn’t exist before him. Yes, there were fashion houses, some displays, but such shows [did not],” Drapeko told RIA Novosti.


May 01, 2023 at 12:14AM

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