Olga Sorokina
Olga Sorokina

DALLAS, Mar 25, 2009 / FW/ — A fortnight ago, at the famed rue Fauborg Saint-Honoré in Paris, a page in fashion history was written. Irfé, one of the very first Russian Couture Houses was re-introduced to world by model-turned-designer Olga Sorokina, writing a new chapter in the maison’s history.

Founded in 1924 by Princess Irina and Prince Felix Yousoupoff (the name Irfé is the first two letters of their first names) in Paris, the couture house existed only for 5 years but during its brief life, it was a major trend setter of its era as its refined cocktail dresses, its elegant and modern daywear, as well as the very first sportswear outfits offered an international scope.

It also pioneered the perfumes based on skin types, launching blond, brunette and chestnut brown to unprecedented success. The Irfé creations, designed by a royal hand, of extreme sophistication and whose promotion was ensured gracefully by Princess Irina, were the favorite silhouettes of European and American aristocrats.

However, the economic crisis of 1929 obliged the Prince and the Princess to close the doors of their Franco-Russian project soon after. More than 80 years later, Olga Sorokina, moved and passionate about this romantic fashion story, decided to re-launch the Irfé Couture House, and to relocate it to 4 rue du Faubourg Saint- Honoré.

But, instead of a bombastic event dripping with Tsarist extravagance, Sorokina chose to hold the relaunch of the label in a small Paris showroom on Monday (March 9), in line with the financial state of the industry, she said.

In this new Irfé, Sorokina who was a former model and consummate world traveler plans to bring her outlook on fashion, her sensitivity and her style to the new Irfé profile, while preserving the spirit and the touch of Félix and the refinement and sophistication of Irina.

She also intends to relaunch a perfume range for brunettes, blondes and redheads which will include perfumes manufactured according to old recipes from the once famous Irfé perfumes, kept by Countess Sheremeteva-Sfyri.

There are also plans of a new jewelry and watches line that will be based on the legendary jewels of the Yousoupoff, Sheremeteva and Romanoff families.

In order to win back its place in the international fashion scene, the Irfé company already plans on opening a flagship shop in Paris in 2009, and a second boutique will be opening in Moscow in 2010. In parallel, from its Parisian showroom, the Irfé company plans on working with Department stores and high-end Multi-brand shops around the world.

By deciding to reincarnate Irfé, Olga is partaking in the large responsibility that share all those who are interested to promote Russian history and culture.

Photo courtesy of Irfé