A 2016 calendar and a cologne inspired by Russian President Vladimir Putin are the latest items for sale that Russians can purchase in order to “celebrate” him.
The developers used a photo of Putin for each month accompanied by a personal quote.
Putin's 2016 calendar. The gift that keeps on giving. pic.twitter.com/3ZAgMkhVrA
— Ryan Bassil (@ryanbassil) December 25, 2015
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) December 26, 2015
“No one will ever get military superiority over Russia. Our army is contemporary, capable, and as they now say, polite, but formidable,” says the Putin quote next to the picture of him in military clothes.
“Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one another,” he says in the picture of him with the animals.
Putin has also inspired a brand new cologne.
“Most people associate a leader with a President, so do we,” stated Maxim Fomichyov, Chief Editor of Leaders magazine, who developed the fragrance. “By creating the aroma, we did not just simply aim to make a men’s product, but to also devote it to a specific person.”
— Russia Direct (@Russia_Direct) December 24, 2015
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) December 24, 2015
Belarussian Vladislav Rekunov made the scent for men called “Leaders’ Number One.” He hopes to develop a fragrance for women in 2016.
“It’s a warm, textured and rounded scent. It’s very delicate, but at the same time firm,” he explained.
A cult of personality has formed around Putin since he invaded east Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The man, who once scolded America for trying to be exceptional, is the star of items that showcase his face and exceptional victories, including the conquest of Crimea.
In June 2014, a popup store with Putin merchandise opened at a GUM department store in Moscow, which is one of the most prominent Russian stores. During the age of the Soviet Union, the rich shopped at GUM while the common people had to stand in long lines for bread.
“These T-shirts are for everyone; we didn’t have a particular consumer in mind; it’s [for] everyone from a 10-year-old child to a proud pensioner,” said designer Anna Trifonov. “Two Olympic victories, the hockey, and Crimea. After all of this, it is hard not to see Russia as a victor-country.”
From The Guardian:
Several designs reference the recent events in Ukraine, with perhaps the stand-out of the collection a retro “Greetings from Crimea” print, featuring a summery Putin clad in a Hawaiian shirt and holding a long cocktail glass in one hand.
Another puts Putin in military camouflage, with the slogan “The politest of people,” a reference to the euphemistic term “the polite people,” used to describe the Russian soldiers operating unofficially in Crimea.
Fans of the president’s equestrian exploits can go for a mounted Putin on horseback, while for something a little more classical, the patriotic fashionista could opt for Putin in watercolours, decked out in full military uniform. There are also mobile phone covers featuring some of the designs.
Two months later, the merchandise resurfaced and American actor Mickey Rourke waited for two hours in line to buy a shirt.
“If I didn’t like him, I wouldn’t buy the T-Shirt,” he said. “I have met Putin a couple of times. He is a real gentleman, very cool, a regular guy. I have a Russian girlfriend, you know, that’s all I care about. Her father is a good person, her mother is great, her babushka is wonderful. To me it is all about family, I don’t give a fuck about politics.”
Then, in October, Mikhail Antonov, a political science graduate at Moscow University, collected paintings of Putin as Hercules in an art exhibit for the President’s 62nd birthday.
“We’re forming a different image of Putin because the western media constantly criticises him, and our media occasionally attacks him as well,” Antonov said. “But here we see him completing these heroic deeds. We see that the interpretation of these events is not so categorical.”
This year on his birthday, Putin managed to score seven goals in a hockey game with former Russian NHL players.
— The Moscow Times (@MoscowTimes) October 7, 2015