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© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin

Russia’s luxury sector: professionals talk about its appeal

by The Moscow News at 18/03/2013 14:46

Mikhail Sasonko, president, Mikhailov Gallery

Mikhail Sasonko

© Courtesy of Mikhailov Gallery, Russian Jewelry Arts

Mikhail Sasonko

I've been in the jewelry business for more than 10 years, and I can say with certainty that the luxury market in Russia is more stable, a stability that extends to my business.

The main product of the company is the collection of Orthodox jewelry by the artist Vladimir Mikhailov. His work is unique: beyond being Orthodox symbols, they have a great artistic and cultural value, and in this sector, it seems
to me, we have no competitors.

In the first place, the first-class quality of the work and the internal energy of the jewelry - the message it carries - attract Russian customers. Especially pleasing is the fact that customers from other countries, among them Queen Sofia of Spain and the American actor Mickey Rourke, also value our jewelry.

Beyond the Vladimir Mikhailov collection, work by the talented artists Ilgiz Fazulzyanov, Alexei Pomelnikov, Tatyana Khromoseyeva - the main artist of the Sasonko Jewelry House - and many others appear in our salons. These artists work in high jewelry art, and I'm sure, that in the future they will become true stars.

The high artistic value and also the limited production of the jewelry give us the possibility to hope that with time, it will acquire only a great significance and will be able to stand on the same level with masterpieces such as Faberge.

 

Ilya Sorokin, director, Oldtimer Gallery

Ilya Sorokin

© Courtesy of Oldtimer Gallery

Ilya Sorokin

I organize the largest exhibition of antique [cars] in Russia. Twice a year, I see tens of thousands of interested people. Cheerful and surprised, young and old, but one thing brings them all together: love for old "iron." When I see these people and their looks, [it] is obvious to me: classic cars in Russia are very popular, and this popularity is gaining momentum from year to year.

People collect retro automobiles with different goals: investment or vanity, for example. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, at the base of big collections, for all that, is a great and sincere love.

The Russian car industry did not spoil our fathers with an abundance of models, as it was, let's say, in America. Our grandfathers did not have the possibility to drive their girlfriends in luxury cabriolets like, for example, the British or the French. We did not have the possibility to buy a powerful sports car, like in Italy. Therefore, the novelty, strangeness and even exoticism of foreign antiques attract the Russian public. Often it's too superficial a look: they admire, take a picture and forget.

However, people don't turn away from Soviet cars for long. Memory and a strong nostalgia for childhood, for youth, for the greatness and lost power of the country, for bygone happy times, hold them.

The famous Russian actor Leonid Yarmolnik, the owner of several great antiques, told me once, "If my children or grandchildren some time in the future come to suffer need or hunger, then let these cars be the last things they sell!" To me, that says it all. n

 

Nadezhda Kot, Russian head of sales, Moscow Sotheby's International Realty

Nadezhda Kot

© Courtesy of Sotheby’s International Real Estate

Nadezhda Kot

Moscow Sotheby's International Realty is an affiliate of an international chain of agencies of elite real estate, but in essence is a Russian company. Where but in Russia could we conduct business? Realty has only been "living" here for all of a few decades, both as a professional activity and as a business, in comparison with Europe and America.

Businesses are interested in places where there are clients with unsatisfied demands or needs. Our clients have money, dreams, ambitions and a passionate desire to make their lives and the lives of their loved ones better. The interest [in our business] is obvious.

The name attracts our clients first of all, as a highly cultured brand, as well as our large, unmatched base of international properties. Here in Moscow they can select for themselves property for purchase and for rent in any geographical location - except Antarctica. Or they can sell their property with us, getting the chance to attend events of our parent company, the auction house, as guests.

Real estate is always a business of primary importance. The majority of our clients are families with children. Of course, any purchase takes into account everyone's interests. Education, an apartment or a house - these are the best gifts for children, who receive their own space and confidence in the future.

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