Furious Russian influencers are slamming Chanel for banning them. Some have boasted of a workaround.

April 4, 2022, 10:12 PM UTC

Russian influencers are publicly criticizing brands like Chanel on social media because they can no longer get their favorite accessories. 

In the pursuit of luxury goods, wealthy Moscow socialites are fleeing Russia and going to Dubai to shop.

Many are finding that shopping in the safe haven is not as easy as it once was, as sanctions against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine block their attempts to buy luxe goods.

Shocked fashionistas

Liza Litvin, a Russian interior designer, shared that she was refused a Chanel bag in a Dubai mall.

“I went to a Chanel boutique in the Mall of the Emirates. They didn’t sell me the bag because (attention!) I am from Russia!!!” she posted on her Instagram account. 

Other women have been sharing similar stories from Paris, and a Russian man shared that he was blocked from purchasing luxury items in Italy.

Anna Kalashnikova, 37, is another famous Russian who shared her story.

She says Chanel denied her from buying earrings and a bag in Dubai.

She said a manager told her, “We know you’ll be taking purchases to Russia, so we can’t sell our brand’s items,” she said.

Yana Rudkoskaya, 47, a show producer and wife of Alexander Plyushenko, an Olympic figure skater, is horrified but does not believe it is Putin’s fault that she is now deprived of her favorite brand.

Over the years, she spent more than one million euros at Chanel, so she commented the ban was “somewhat humiliating.”

Another one to pitch in with discontent is Maria Zakharova, Moscow’s foreign ministry spokesperson accused Chanel of joining the “Russophobic campaign” to “cancel Russia,” adding, “The Chanel house can return to normal and, as its creator, support Nazism. But now everyone will know about it.”

New company policy

Chanel now has a new policy to comply with new luxury goods rules imposed by the EU and Switzerland. The luxury house now prohibits “the sale, directly or indirectly, of luxury items to any natural, legal person or entity in the Russian Federation, or for use in the Russian Federation,” according to The Daily Mail.

According to Russian women who went to Chanel, Russians can only purchase items if they sign an agreement that they will not wear their items in Russia. According to the New York Post, Channel’s corporate office has confirmed the new policy.

We understand that these measures, aimed at complying with the requirements of the law, may create certain inconveniences for some customers. We are currently working to improve the procedure and apologize for any related misunderstandings and inconveniences,” Chanel said in a statement.

Fashionistas find a workaround

However, some wealthy Russians have found a way around the rule: calling their contacts at the store.

Snezhanna Georgieva, 46, wife of billionaire winemaker Artem Zuev, shared that you could get around the ban if you pulled the right strings.

She said that they would love the brands to come back, “but we know some boutiques that are still open when a regular customer calls them.”

Never miss a story: Follow your favorite topics and authors to get a personalized email with the journalism that matters most to you.