Fashion tycoon Paul Smith pulls out of Russia following fury over his failure ... trends now
Paul Smith is pulling out of Russia after the Mail confronted him over his commercial ties to the rogue state.
The fashion tycoon says he has 'ceased all supplies' to the country and intends to close his stores there. There had been a growing backlash over his failure to pull out following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
A Mail investigation revealed on Saturday that Paul Smith was one of three British luxury brands still open for business in central Moscow.
Our reporter visited its showpiece branch at the GUM shopping centre in Red Square, a stone's throw from the Kremlin. It was open from 10am to 10pm seven days a week.
We found shelves fully stocked with many of the very latest Paul Smith products, including £197 ties and a £1,050 'embossed leather folio' from its new season range, which only recently went on sale in the UK.
Paul Smith said he 'didn't really know' about his brand continuing to operate in Russia last weekend but has now 'ceased all supplies' to the country
A Paul Smith shop in Moscow, Russia, where it was revealed alongside with lingerie brand Agent Provocateur last month that they still have stores open in Moscow
Sir Paul's company, which he founded in 1970, initially refused to discuss its presence in Russia. Both its stores and a lucrative online shopping operation are run through a franchise arrangement with a politically-connected oligarch called Mikhail Kusnirovich.
For his part, the British tycoon feigned ignorance saying he 'didn't really know anything about' the Moscow store when the Mail paid a visit to his £7.5million London mews house at the weekend.
But Sir Paul performed a U-turn yesterday, admitting he had indeed been supplying stock to Mr Kusnirovich throughout the Ukraine