Mr. Simachev's clever appropriations of Russian personalities and styles — from czarist naval uniforms to Mr. Putin's face — have done much to enliven the city's two main fashion events, Fashion Week in Moscow and Russian Fashion Week. They have also helped make him a regular invitee to the Milan shows. But they have not endeared him to everyone.
“People were shocked, and they're still shocked” by the audacious building and store, says the mustachioed and tattooed Mr. Simachev, joining the Friday regulars in the restaurant. “And that was the result we planned.”
“I'm using Russian elements that no other designer is using, because they are afraid to use these elements,” he says. “I want to destroy traditions.”