Under Hatulia Avsadjanashvili’s management, her family’s stores have become known for their ultra-selective mix of high-end European brands, emerging talents and Russian designers. Founded in 1988, family run fashion retail group Babochka has paved the way for retail development in St Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, where the growing shopping district is beginning to rival Moscow’s.
Beginning with a single multi-brand boutique in the heart of Saint Petersburg, in 2013 Babochka became the city’s largest retailer, growing to represent over 100 Italian, French, British and American luxury brands in the Russian market. Today the company also controls nine mono-brand stores for luxury fashion houses including Lanvin, Fendi and Valentino, in addition to several multi-brand boutiques and a Babockha outlet.
As artistic director and head buyer — a role previously held by her mother — Avsadjanashvili is the vision behind Babockha’s carefully curated edit, which has seen the store named one of the most beautiful boutiques in the world by Forbes. Under Avsandjanshvili, Babockha has exclusively introduced brands like Zegna and Brioni into Russia and, in 2012, she opened the business’ first concept store, Nevsky 152, on the most important luxury-shopping street in the city – Nevsky Prospect. The upscale boutique is spread over 2,000-square-metres of space and spans two floors that include an art gallery and two stand alone stores, Chanel and Fendi, on the ground floor. As well as stocking fashion, Nevsky 152 also sells lifestyle products and gadgets, ranging from fragrance and books, to bicycles.