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Russian Fashion Hits America

In the old Soviet era, Moscow was not exactly a center of fashion. Now Russian fashion has taken on a whole new meaning, and no designer is hotter than Helen Yarmak.

After wooing Russians with her sable wraps and chinchilla coats, Yarmak now wants to woo the world.

"Center of fashion now is United States. It's very important for my business to be here," explained Yarmak.

"Here" is mid-town Manhattan, in the Yarmak salon, Russia's first embassy of fashion. She has already built a stable of wealthy clients both in the U.S. and in Moscow.

"Her coats make you … fresh and young and they're so unusual, and the prices are very reasonable," commented Olga, owner of a chain of Moscow Health Clubs.

What's reasonable is relative, of course … A Russian sable coat costs around $49,000.

Helen Yarmak has built a stable of wealthy clients.
Trained as a theoretical mathematician, Yarmak began designing clothes for herself as a schoolgirl. As Russia changed, Yarmak changed with it, and her hobby became her business.

"It's helped me a lot, because mathematics is logic," said Yarmak.

Yarmak is both designer and business manager, and she is trying to export more than just Russian fashion.

"I would like to make new image of new Russian. I feel like every second I am responsible for my country," remarked Yarmak.

As a mathematician she knows the odds against her. As a fashion designer, Yarmak is beating those odds.