Top designers including Prada, Dior and Gucci shut doors in Moscow as Western sanctions bite

Top designer boutiques including Prada, Dior and Gucci shut their doors in Moscow as Western sanctions bite and oligarch wives ask: ‘Where do we shop now?’

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The world’s top fashion houses have shut their doors in Moscow leaving Russia’s super-rich unable to buy from their favorite designer stores.

Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi were among those to clear their shelves in the luxury shopping malls of the Russian capital as sanctions begin to bite.

Inside elite outlets TsUM and GUM, near Red Square, many of the top designers were closed to unimpressed shoppers today.

The world’s top fashion houses such as Prada, pictured today, have shut their doors in Moscow leaving Russia’s super-rich unable to buy from their favorite designer stores

Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi were among those to clear their shelves in the luxury shopping malls of the Russian capital as sanctions begin to bite (pictured today)

Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Fendi were among those to clear their shelves in the luxury shopping malls of the Russian capital as sanctions begin to bite (pictured today)

Inside elite outlets TsUM and GUM, near Red Square, many of the top designers were closed to disappointed shoppers today

Inside elite outlets TsUM and GUM, near Red Square, many of the top designers were closed to disappointed shoppers today

Today is normally a big shopping day in Moscow, when men buy gifts for their partners before International Women’s Day tomorrow.

But sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine have put a stop to that.

‘What happened?’ asked one woman shopper in her 30s, apparently unaware of the invasion.

She looked bemused at the empty shelves.

Today is normally one of the biggest shopping days in Moscow, when men buy gifts for their partners before International Women's Day tomorrow

Today is normally one of the biggest shopping days in Moscow, when men buy gifts for their partners before International Women’s Day tomorrow

But sanctions over Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine have put a stop to designer shopping in Moscow today

But sanctions over Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine have put a stop to designer shopping in Moscow today

Moscow Reds-to-Riches oligarchs and their spouses would often shop in Europe or the US rather than Moscow

Moscow Reds-to-Riches oligarchs and their spouses would often shop in Europe or the US rather than Moscow

Moscow Reds-to-Riches oligarchs and their spouses would often shop in Europe or the US rather than Moscow – but foreign travel is now all-but blocked.

Some Russian retail outlets remained open and crowded, but top Western brands were unavailable.

One furious shopper in a Chinchilla jacket said: ‘You see, we’re too late.’

She had come with her parents to buy her birthday gift at Jimmy Choo.

This store at TsUM remains open – but stocks were limited.

And pictures showed distinctly gray clouds overhead.

‘They don’t have my size,’ she erupted to her mother and father. ‘I told you, we should have come earlier.’

Western sanctions are starting to hit consumers in Russia with many shops now closed

Western sanctions are starting to hit consumers in Russia with many shops now closed

Russians have been seen forming huge queues at ATMs in a rush to withdraw their deposits in US dollars

Russians have been seen forming huge queues at ATMs in a rush to withdraw their deposits in US dollars

Western sanctions and the collapse of the ruble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians

Western sanctions and the collapse of the ruble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians

The global financial system faces being split as Russia turns to China’s answer to Visa and Mastercard after the card firms pulled out of the country along with a swathe of other Western companies including Netflix and TikTok.

Lenders including Sberbank and Alfa Bank plan to move to China’s UnionPay for their customers’ bank cards – although an expert today said the move would take time and cause severe economic disruption.

It is a fresh sign the world’s financial system is splintering in two, with Moscow increasingly backing Beijing’s efforts to challenge the West’s domination of global banking infrastructure.

Russia has also been recently ejected from Swift – which banks use to exchange messages – prompting concerns it will turn instead to CIPS, a Chinese rival.

Western sanctions and the collapse of the ruble have hammered the spending power of ordinary Russians, who have been seen forming huge queues at ATMs in a rush to withdraw their deposits in US dollars.

Last night, accountancy firms PWC and KPMG became the latest firms to announce their withdrawal from Russia and its ally, Belarus. Meanwhile, there have been calls to boycott Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Pepsi for continuing to do business in the country.

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