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"Spencer Vladimir": a Native of Saransk Knits Sweaters for Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush
July 18, 2018 15:13

A native of Saransk knits sweaters for Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush.

In the world fashion market, a new brand of knitted products "Spencer Vladimir" became very popular. It was founded by the native of Saransk Vladimir Terekhin, who emigrated to the United States in 1989.
A native of Mordovia, Vladimir Terekhin is rightly called the secret weapon of high fashion designers. The ballet dancer, together with his wife, emigrated from the Soviet Union to the United States almost 35 years ago. His knitwear was first noticed by Ralph Lauren. Now our fellow countryman cooperates with leading fashion houses, such as "Vera Wong", "Carolina Herrera", "Kelvin Klein", "Oscar de la Renta"; and  a couple of years ago he started to promote his own business under the brand name "Spencer Vladimir". His clients are Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, etc. 
The art studio of Vladimir Terekhin is located in the heart of New York's Manhattan district – 37th Street. It occupies 3 thousand square meters. A native of Mordovia controls the whole process from start to finish. Impeccable posture, lightness and swiftness of his movements betray the ballet past. Vladimir specializes in manual knitting. 
Vladimir Terekhin was born in Saransk. At first he lived with his parents on Lenin Avenue. Then the family moved to Botevgradskaya Street. The 81-year-old father once worked as the director of electric networks. He still lives in the capital of the republic. Mom, who worked as the head of the technical control department of "Svetotekhnika",  passed away. Four children were brought up in the family. About childhood, held in Saransk, Vladimir has the brightest memories. "A small, cozy, clean city," he says warmly in his voice. "I was taken to kindergarten at TPP-2. I remember Christmas trees, May demonstrations... A fountain in the center of the city, Pushkin Park, where a brass band played  weekends. I remember the yard where the windows of our house came out. After the kindergarten, I studied at school number 17. Apples and pears grew nearby. In the spring, this garden just smelled sweet! Pleasant memories remained for life ... " In the family library, a special place was occupied by albums with reproductions of works by Stepan Erzi, bought by his father. "This sculptor can be called Mordovian Rodin," says Vladimir Terekhin.  "His work is unique. And Erzi's collection in the museum is a great pride for Mordovia!"
Vladimir lived in Saransk until he was 9 years old. In the fourth form, he was selected among six children from Mordovia to the Academy at the Bolshoi Theater. 
"I moved to Moscow and continued my studies," the source said. "It was not easy for my parents to let me go. Still such a young age! In addition to choreography, we studied general subjects, the history of theater, music, costume, and fine arts. And they also studied the conservatoire on the piano. And they performed at the Bolshoi Theater together with the famous ballet stars. Vladimir's mentors were Maries Liepa, Vladimir Nikonov, Lyudmila Bogomolova. Requirements for students were high. Every year we took exams. As a result, out of 20 boys, only eight graduated from the academy.  As the future work place, I chose the Leningrad Small Opera House. The fact is that creative experiments were allowed there, a new interpretation. This attracted..." At the same time, the composition of the ballet troupe of the theater decided to strengthen due to Anatoly Grigoriev and Elena Stepanenko. It was a famous couple from Sverdlovsk. Stepanenko is a unique ballerina of the highest class! In 1972, she spoke to US President Richard Nixon during his official visit to the Soviet Union. The wife of the American leader Cynthia was struck to tears... Vladimir Terekhin and Elena worked together in the same play, and then became a husband and wife... It would seem that they are waiting for a wonderful professional future. But the problems began. Stepanenko often received invitations to speak abroad. The first was sent by Nixon's wife. This letter was torn in front of Elena. So it happened with other invitations... Besides, the ballet dancers were under close attention of the KGB. They were not only constantly monitored, but also recruited. Those who did not agree could pay a career... "It's not easy to talk about this..." recalls Terekhin. "We understood perfectly well that in the Soviet Union nothing good should be expected. And in terms of creativity in the first place. Do you know what we had to do with the performances that the audience enthusiastically met? They were removed from the repertoire, and the scenery was burned! Our friends warned that the pressure will increase, and very soon." As a result, Vladimir and Elena decided to leave their homeland ...
These were one-way tickets. Ahead of complete uncertainty! After receiving a visa for 11 days and $ 60, they were in the US. In order to make a little living, Terekhin settled into the company of the American Ballet Theater. At that time there was a scandal with Mikhail Baryshnikov, and the attitude towards Russian artists changed not for the better... But the world is not without good people. Vladimir and Elena met with a lawyer who at one time supported Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya. 
Fashion world
The long-time hobby of a native of Saransk turned out to be in demand and became profitable. Just as writers send their work to producers and directors, he sent samples of his knitting to the office of Ralph Lauren. Terekhin managed to surprise the eminent designer. "The market for such products is oversaturated," says Vladimir. "Therefore, only that which produces the effect of "Ah!" can be interesting, that is a very original and impressive thing!" Things went up the hill. The same effect of "Ah!" or "Wow!", as they say in the US, he managed to produce not only to Loren, but also to Oscar de la Renta. With him, Vladimir worked for 12 years. He also collaborated with Vera Wong, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Mark Jacobs, Francisco Costa. His work was published in the magazine Vogue Knitting.
While developing knitwear, Terekhin adhered to the same principles as in ballet: high quality of performance and perfect grinding of even the smallest details. He constantly improved his technique. Invented interesting combinations of materials. "I had to develop new formulas, like a scientist..." he smiles. Such a scrupulous approach gave excellent results and recognition of high fashion experts. In 2014, Vladimir Terekhin emerged from the shadow of famous designers and began to build his own business. The partner was Allison Spencer, with whom he started working for Oscar de la Renta. So the brand "Spencer Vladimir" was born. Promotion of such new projects is always a big risk. Not every showroom wants to do this. But the products quickly charmed women of fashion. In addition, the production impressed the French aristocrat, who knew a lot about exclusive things. She began recommending a new brand. Sweaters cost from 800 to 2.5 thousand dollars fascinated many women of fashion. Now products "Spencer Vladimir" are sold in the boutique Just One Eye, located in Hollywood's former central office in Howard Hughes. Also retail stores are engaged in shops "Barnis New York", "Fashion Operandi", "Ron Herman". But in Russia the brand is not  represented yet. "I did not focus on the Russian market, where everyone first of all look at the label," Vladimir explains. "In the US, it is a slightly different approach. Here exclusivity and quality are valued..." Among his clients are many world celebrities: Sarah Jessica Parker, Miley Cyrus, Oscar-winning Gwyneth Paltrow, Barbara Walters and the famous Oprah Winfrey, Lynn White is the friend of Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of the Chanel house. Recently, the order was made by pop star Madonna. She decided to buy two sweaters and a jacket. Also among customers are the wives of American ex-presidents Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush. "We met Hillary Clinton when I was working for Oscar de la Renta," Vladimir recalled. - The master worked with many wives of presidents. Hillary came to him with her daughter Chelsea. "
Vladimir Terekhin also favored the American press. In February 2016, an interview with him was published in NEW YORK TIMES.

Where to buy

You can buy knitwear by Spencer Vladimir online here.

Terekhin lives with his wife in the Central Park area of New York. Opposite their home is the office of Bill Clinton. One day Vladimir went out for a walk with a dog that attracted the attention of a charming blonde, who was Michelle Pfeiffer. They still continue to be friends with a famous actress. Despite a large circle of acquaintances, Vladimir and his wife do not like noisy companies. They live "behind closed doors" - alone...
Elena Stepanenko teaches young people the art of ballet.  Having lived 27 years in America, Vladimir Terekhin does not strive to become a 100% American. He always considered himself Russian, but grateful to the United States for the opportunity to realize his creative potential. "In the USSR much was forbidden to us, but here nobody controls you and says: do it!  Of course, here, across the ocean, there are more opportunities for self-realization. But do not think that everything is perfect in the States. There are enough problems... In my opinion, Russia does much to preserve the cultural heritage, which is richer and brighter than the United States. For example, if the theater does not provide for itself, its leaders try to find sources of funding. And the government also helps..."
Attitudes towards Russians in the United States are ambiguous. At present, there is a third wave of emigration, which the Americans call "sausage". "People come, trying to eat," says Vladimir. "They mainly work in the service sector. For example, washing dishes in catering companies, nursing homes... The strongest, of course, was the first wave of emigrants, when after the revolution in the United States, aristocrats fled. Now there are only a few of them. The Russian oligarchs are also moving here. But here is a certain attitude towards them. We shall understand that  even the biggest money will not open to you all doors..."



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Spencer Vladimir made in Russia Russian fashion Russian designers  

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