Ekaterina Αkhuzina, Head of EKATERINA FURS, talks to us about the Russian market and how the brand has remained at the top of its game for almost three decades now.
“I did not really plan to get involved in this business because my husband earned enough money to support our family. I dreamed about having a family with a lot of children and dogs. But when my father died 16 years ago, I had to immerse myself in the company and continue his business, because it was his life’s work,” she admits. “Today I have soooo many roles! Since I am the head of the company, I have to come up with new collections, work with staff (more than 200 people), check the work of merchandisers and accounting reports, monitor how my shops operate…”
Over the years, the name EKATERINA FURS has become synonymous to elegance and is a guarantee of Russian style—a style that survives even in the cruelest times of ecological hesitations and ”prohibition”.
But really, what makes EKATERINA FURS garments so special?
“For a very long time, fur was associated with evening-wear and people wore it only to celebrations and special events. We are not afraid to take risks and to experiment. We follow the fashion world, and in fur coats we see not only evening looks, but also casual clothes. So people can wear them every day and be fashionable,” she continues. “Our company has gained two generations of experience. The team is time-tested and approved. Our company employees are the best furriers and fur experts from all over Russia. There is no turnover of staff.”
And what about inspiration, Ekaterina? Where do you get inspiration for your collections? “Every season, we try to diversify our stock while keeping pace with the world’s fashion dictates. Last year, our collection was inspired by street style. This year we will show a unique collection dedicated to the Russian avant-garde. It will be somewhat unusual, revolutionary, and rebellious. We purchase furs from the best animal farms in Russia and all world auctions. Next to our brokers are brokers of brands such as Fendi. Our company is 100% responsible for our products. Also, the client receives a large free package of customer care services, including dry cleaning, fitting, repair and much more.”
Moscow was the centre of fashion and luxury, and Russian women swam in luxury, aiming to outshine women anywhere else on the planet. What’s your perspective on the Russian woman’s consumer behavior today? “In my opinion, Russian women love and know how to wear fur better than anyone in the world. The desire to be always attractive and the cold climate of our country also set a certain trend for the progressive development of this industry in Russia.”
The days of improvident spending are over, even in Moscow. Russia is no longer the isolated and vast expanse that once kept its distance from the vagaries of capitalism. How would you describe the luxury goods market in Russia? “The luxury market will always be relevant. An expensive and high-quality coat made of sable or lynx is a real investment and can be passed on to the next generations. In Russia, a good and truly expensive fur is a desirable gift for any woman.”
Fur is still in fashion. Given the current financial situation what’s next for EKATERINA FURS? “Russia is a huge country, and if I represent the expansion of my firm, it will be within Russia. We have many huge, rich northern regions that will be happy to buy our goods. But there’s just not always enough time to carry out a new project perfectly because I do not want to do a mediocre job.”
Ekaterina, do you want to share with us a tip for the upcoming A/W ’18-‘19 collection? “I will say one thing: by no means will we become repetitive. We will present a collection that will once again surprise and find a corner in our customer’s hearts. I can let you in on a secret: in the new collection the furriers’ work will become even subtler and more refined. We are still growing, learning and gaining experience every year!”