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Profile: Alla Verber

Career in fashion and memes on t-shirts.


On August 6, it became known that Alla Verber, fashion director of the Central Department Store and vice president of jewelry company Mercury, died in the Forte dei Marmi hospital in Italy at the 62nd year of her life. According to media reports, the cause of her death was a heart attack due to blood poisoning.

Verber was not only a major figure in the Russian fashion market, but also an Internet person: online media and Instagram subscribers noted her spontaneity, self-irony and sincerity, and expressions with a characteristic accent became local memes that got on T-shirts and stickers on Telegram.

“Fashion aroused my interest literally from birth”

Verber was born in St. Petersburg in a family of doctors and managed to study at a medical school for three years, but in the mid-70s she left her and went to Rome. She lived in the Italian capital for a year and learned a lot about the fashion world, which attracted her from childhood.

In Soviet times, I really did not understand what fashion was, but I liked to dress people, dress up myself, change clothes. I am not a designer, but I can take a person and turn him into the person I see him.

Alla Verber

She studied abroad and, by her own admission, “traveled the whole world”, lived in Canada for a long time, where she worked in a ready-made dress store and began to study the specifics of fashion retail. In the 80s in Toronto, Verber opened her own clothing store.

Returning to Russia after a ten year absence, she discovered that the country has undergone radical changes.

We grew up in a closed communist country, and now Russia has become ultra-capitalist, open, beautiful and significant. Everything has changed. Today, people are very fashionable, international, open-minded and very spoiled.

Alla Verber

“In the 1990s, only my determination saved me”

Verber more than once told the domestic gloss how in the early 90s she decided to “build the fashion industry from scratch.”

It seemed to me that the Russians, who love to dress up in beautiful things in their blood, lack only the opportunity to go to the store and buy everything they want there: clothes, accessories, cosmetics, gifts for loved ones. So that in the trading house “Moscow”, where I came to work, there was something to look at, first of all, it was necessary to build relationships with brands and bring them to Russia.

Alla Verber

She herself flew to Paris to personally meet with the head of the Chanel brand, and to Milan to meet Dolce and Gabbana. Not without embarrassment.

Do you know how I got my first Fendi bag? Carla Fendi refused to have dinner with me when I came to her for lunch with a Prada bag. She put forward an ultimatum: “First a Fendi bag – then lunch.” You understand, I had to order a new bag in Rome.

Alla Verber

The Business of Fashion publication included Alla Verber on the list of 500 most influential people in the fashion world three times (in 2013, 2014, 2015).

“Give me another chance, and I will do things differently!”

In an interview with Forbes in 2015, Verber said she had been fighting cancer for five years and was treated – first in Russia, then in Israel and New York.

When this happened to me and I struggled with the disease for a long time, I swore to God: “Give me one more chance, and I will do everything differently!” And I am grateful to him that he heard me. Of course, I try to follow my promise so that he does not get angry with me.

Alla Verber

According to her, the announcement of the diagnosis was “the most terrible thing that could happen” for her, after which “there are no things that you cannot overcome.”

Gess Ver Aym

Alla Verber actively maintained a personal blog on Instagram, where she had almost half a million followers. “Given my age, this is very funny,” she claimed. And she talked about her trips, regularly recorded video messages, published numerous photos with stars, commented on fashion trends and sometimes joked.

The “phone” in Verber’s hand is actually a clutch bag from Judith Leiber

In 2018, the phrase “Good morning! Good morning! Guess where I am? ”, With which Verber began her travel videos. Subscribers picked her up and began to publish their own options, sometimes trying to repeat the peculiar talk of the TSUM fashion director.

At the beginning of the year, TSUM offered its own stickers on Telegram, which included Verber phrases.

TsUM stickers

And in September of the same year, she presented a collaboration with designer Artyom Krivda.

T-shirts: official and not

Krivda created a collection of T-shirts and hoodies with characteristic Verber phrases. It was announced that all profits from the sale of these things will go to charity.

Shortly before this presentation, Maxim Kirevichev , an SMM manager from Moscow , demonstrated his own mercury dedicated to Verber . He came up with the idea of ​​placing her quotes on T-shirts and praised her ability to laugh at herself.

However, unlike the official collaboration, TSUM lawyers considered that the image of the store’s logo and portraits of the fashion director were used illegally. T-shirts removed from sale.

“Illegal” T-shirt Kirevicheva

“Forte dei Marmi strongly reminded me of my childhood”

The last photo on the Verber instagram is dated August 4. She rested in the Italian resort of Forte dei Marmi, which she called one of her favorite places on the planet.

Why is this small Italian village so fond of?

Forte dei Marmi strongly reminded me of my childhood, our cottage near Leningrad, Olgino, Sestroretsk, Komarovo. That carefree summer vacation, the warm and bright sun and bike rides.

Alla Verber

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