Tuesday, October 7, 2008


The Czar of Luxury

Phillips de Pury & Co., better known to American collectors as Phillips Auction House, has been sold to a Russian company, the Mercury Group. That gives Phillips more money to operate their art auctions. Mercury has high-end boutiques, a luxury mall, and a department store chain. It has franchises with Fendi furs, Rolex, Prada, Brioni, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Patek Philippe, Maserati, Yves Saint Laurent, and other luxury brands. The CEO, Leonid Friedland, sometimes called the "Czar of Luxury," is 37 and we wonder if he collects modern art, a favored item in Phillips' auctions. He started his career selling folk art to tourists in 1992.

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