H&M’s cousins: Zarina, befree, and Sela

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Entering any shopping mall in the city, you can be sure that one of these, if not all three, will keep you company. By now, these Russian fast-fashion brands have become the most popular substitutes for H&M, Pull&Bear, Zara, and others that are no longer on the local market. All of them are part of one group that produces affordable garments for different niches: befree is in charge of youth clothing, Sela offers casual-style clothes for women and kids, and at Zarina, you can find more feminine and business casual items.

Usta k Ustam

  • Price range: ₽₽

The store sells items that were not only carefully designed but also made in St. Petersburg. Head here for a wide range of neat everyday clothes, from socks to winter coats, at the prices of any popular European mass market brand. With four shops open, you can drop by here after classes on the Lomonosova campus or when walking around the city center. 


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This St. Petersburg-based brand started out making raincoats and now can dress you up from top to toe with smart, sensible clothes for men and women. But it’s still outerwear that remains the brand’s calling card: at least two of my friends wear winter coats from SHU, and I hope one day I'll join this never-getting-cold team, too. You can shop online and at several locations around the city, including one where they keep discounted items and old collections – just in case you want to play thrifty and eco-friendly. 

Credit: Keagan Henman (@henmankk) via Unsplash

Credit: Keagan Henman (@henmankk) via Unsplash

Urban Tiger

  • Price range: ₽₽

To support an eco-conscious approach to fashion, check out another brand from St. Petersburg. Caring about the planet, they make clothes only from natural or recycled materials, like recycled ocean plastic, nylon, or polyester. Here, you can build a male or female capsule wardrobe, and, in addition to that, get yourself some accessories or a ski kit. 

Unique Fabric 

  • Price range: ₽₽₽

This is where some of the most adorable dresses come from. This slow-fashion brand builds its identity on unique designs and natural fabrics. The color palette is worth a mention, too: no screaming neon, only calm shades of graphite, walnut, and wine red, which look just as good as they sound. Like in every high-end shop, prices here are quite above average, but if your mind is set, it will probably be a worthy purchase that won’t go out of fashion for a long time.

Want to learn more about local thrifting, too? Check out our guide to second-hand shopping in St. Petersburg.