Valentin Yudashkin, the Russian couturier, has died, Russian news reports said on 2 May. He was 59.
The reports cited his wife, Marina, as confirming his death but did not state a cause. Yudashkin was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016 and reportedly was hospitalized last week, according to an AP report.
Yudashkin, whose designs drew eyes at international fashion shows, sports events and military ceremonies, was known for his intricate, embellished designs. He was also the first Russian designer to join the French Federation of High Fashion, appearing regularly at Paris shows over three decades.
As acclaim for his work grew, Yudashkin was commissioned to design the Russian Olympic team's uniforms for the 1994 Winter Games and 1996 Summer Games. He later created uniforms for the Russian army, but they were criticized after their 2008 debut for being unsuitable for Russia's cold weather. Yudashkin claimed the military manufacturers corrupted his design, according to the AP report.
News of his death came two days after Russian media reported that Yudashkin's mentor and Russia's most renowned designer, Vyacheslav Zaitsev, had died aged 85.
He was taken to a hospital in the Moscow region with stomach bleeding and died in intensive care, as per media reports.
Born in 1938 in Ivanovo, a centre for the textile industry, Zaitsev's first international recognition came in 1963 when the French Paris Match magazine wrote about his collection of overalls for female workers, according to a note posted on the website of his fashion house. The French press nicknamed him "Red Dior" in the 1960s, states a Reuters report.
Among Zaitsev's Russian clients were music stars, actors, socialites and politicians. The patronage of Raisa Gorbacheva, the wife of the last Soviet Union leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, elevated his international fame in the 1980s, states the Reuters report.
He also counted the former wife of President Vladimir Putin, Lyudmila, as his client, it added. She wore one of his dresses and accessories for a state visit to the UK in June 2003, which included an audience with Queen Elizabeth II.