Russian Mail Order Catalogs and Advertisements with Boys Clothing: Chronology


Figure 1.--These tights were avilable from the Russian Web-shop Lukomorie in 2014. We note a wide range of coloes and patterns for primry school age boys and girls of all ages.

The mometous political changes that Russian has undergone in the 20th century has significantly affected the availability and even existence of advertising. We assume that up until World War I and the Russian Revolution there were clothing advertisements in magazines and newspapers. These advertisements seem difficult to obtin. I'm not sure to what extent Tsarist-era publications surived in Soviet Russia. We are not sure if there were mail order catalogs, I think this was more of an American phemonenon. After the Revolution I do not think that there was advertising in newspapers and magazines, but have no actual information at this time. We do not Russian fashion magazines after World War II. These were not, however, commercial publications in that they did not actually offer clothes for sale. In fact the editors would include interesting notices advising readers not to bother them with requests asking where the fashions shown in the magazine could be obtained. We assume that since the dissolution of the Soviet Union that adverising now can be found in Russian newspaper and magazines. We do not yet have examples of this advertising. Nor do we know if there is a national mail order catalog. Hopefully our Russian readers will provide some insights here.

The 19th Century

We know nothing about Russian advertising in the 19th century. Russia at the time was extremely baxkward. The aristocrcy had extensive contacts with the West, often preferring to speak French than Russian. The monarchy was of largely German origins. The great bulk of the population was, however until mid-century still trapped in feudal serfdom. By the end of the century, Russia had begun to indistrialize at a very rapid base, albeit over a small base. There was a relatively small, but growing middle-class. As a result, Russia with the largest population in Europe, had a relatively small consumer market. We do not know if there wre Russian mail order companies in the 19th century. We assume large stores in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other big cities had store catalogs. And ther must have been newspper advertisung, Only at this ime we do not yet have informtion.

The 20th Century

The momentous political changes that Russian has undergone in the 20th century has significantly affected the availability and even existence of advertising. Until World War I and the Russian Revolution there were clothing advertisements in magazines and newspapers. Russia began the 20th century with advertising and store catalogs similar to continental Europe. he few examples we have look like European adverisemnents and store catalogs. These advertisements seem difficult to obtin. We are not sure to what extent Tsarist-era publications surived in Soviet Russia. We are not yet sure about mailorder catalogs or if mail order companies even esisted. We think mail order was more of an American phemonenon. All of this changed with World war I (1914-18) and the Resulting Revolution (1917). Ar first production of military uniforms, shortsges and economic dislocations affected the fashion industry. With the Bloshevik seizure of power, private ownership of factoris and business ceased. we are not entirely sure what happened as a result of Lenin's short-lived New Economic Program. The Bolsheviks dod not blieve in zdvertoiing, it was considered a useless vestiage of capitalism. After the Revolution I do not think that there was real advertising in newspapers and magazines, but have no actual information at this time. Theoretically the fruits of poduction were to go to the workers, not retailers, wholeasalers, bankers, and advertisers. In reality, much of production went to building a massive militarty and zustaining an econmic system that destroyed rather than created wealth. Advertising did not totally disappear, but it served a different purpose than in the West. We do see Russian fashion magazines after World War II. These were not, however, commercial publications in that they did not actually offer clothes for sale. In fact the editors would include interesting notices advising readers not to bother them with requests asking where the fashions shown in the magazine could be obtained. We assume that since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1992) that adverising now can be found in Russian newspaper and magazines. We do not yet have examples of this advertising. Nor do we know if there were any national mail order catalog conanies founded.

The 21st Century


The 2000s

We still have not found any Russian clothing catalogs and as far as we know none existed. After 2000 the economic situation began improving in Russia. And we begin to see clothing being offered iver the internet. We have found some interesting packaging on clothing items. One example is a package of tights in 2005. The packaging makes the point that they are for both boys and girls.

The 2010s

We note Russian webshops in the 2010s. It became [possible to buy almost everything on the internet with the delivery to your doorstep. The most popular Russian Internet stores is Ozon. We are not xure yet just how much web shopping for clothes the FRussians do. A Russian reader tells us, "I think most Russian people prefer to buy clothes in stores and markets. There consumers can touch the garments and try them on etc. But I know many people who love to order clothes online, especially specialty clothes for hunting, fishing, etc. The Usual stores and markets often do not have a good seection of such clothes, unlike Internet stores. Quite a number of manufactierts have internet sites to sell their product. Lukomorie is a popular company based in Moscow produces and sells hosiery for children. Consumers can buy at the store or order iver the internet. The Lukomorie offering here is a good example (figure 1).







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Created: 7:23 PM 6/11/2005
Last updated: 4:15 PM 11/14/2014