Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin passed away at the age of 59


Known for his intricate, ornate designs, Yudashkin becomes the first Russian designer to join the French Federation of High Fashion

On 2 May Russian news reports that Russian fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin has died. He was 59 years old.

The reports cited his wife Marina, who confirmed his death but did not give a cause. According to an AP report, Yudashkin was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016 and was reportedly hospitalized last week.

Yudashkin, whose designs attracted attention at international fashion shows, sporting events and military ceremonies, was known for his intricate, ornate designs. He was also the first Russian designer to join the French Federation of High Fashion, appearing regularly in Paris shows over three decades.

As acclaim for his work grew, Yudashkin was commissioned to design the Russian Olympic team’s uniforms for the 1994 Winter Games and 1996 Summer Games. They later made uniforms for the Russian military, but were criticized after their 2008 debut for being unsuitable for Russia’s cold climate. As the AP reports, Yudashkin claimed that military manufacturers corrupted his design.

News of his death came two days after Russian media reported that Yudashkin’s mentor and Russia’s best-known designer Vyacheslav Zaitsev had died at the age of 85.

According to media reports, he was taken to a hospital in the Moscow region with bleeding from the stomach and died in intensive care.

Born in 1938 in Ivanovo, a center of the textile industry, Zaitsev’s first international recognition came in 1963 when the French Paris Match magazine wrote about his collection of overalls for women workers, according to a note posted on his fashion house’s website. In the 1960s the French press nicknamed him the “Red Dior”, said a Reuters report.

Zaitsev’s Russian clients were music stars, actors, socialites and politicians. Reuters reports that the patronage of Raisa Gorbacheva, the wife of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, boosted her international fame in the 1980s.

He also counts Lyudmila, the ex-wife of President Vladimir Putin, as his client. She wore one of her dresses and accessories for a state visit to the UK in June 2003, which included an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.

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