Russian fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin dies at age 59

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian couturier Valentin Yudashkin, whose designs drew eyes at international fashion shows, sports events and military ceremonies, has died at age 59, Russian news reports said Tuesday.

The reports cited his wife, Marina, as confirming his death but did not state a cause. Yudashkin was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2016 and reportedly was hospitalized last week.

News of his death came two days after Russian media reported that Yudashkin's mentor and the Soviet Union's most renowned fashion designer, Vyacheslav Zaitsev, had died.

Yudashkin attracted attention with highly dramatic fashions and began showing at events in Paris and elsewhere. His intricate, embellished designs were a sharp departure from the dull, Soviet monoliths of Odintsovo, the city on the outskirts of Moscow where he was born.

As acclaim for his work grew, Yudashkin was commissioned to design the Russian Olympic team's uniforms for the 1994 Winter Games and 1996 Summer Games.

He later created uniforms for the Russian army, but they were criticized after their 2008 debut for being unsuitable for Russia's cold weather. Yudashkin claimed the military manufacturers corrupted his design.