10. Alla Verber

Moscow Merchant

Alla Verber is a woman who knows what she wants. On this hot July morning in Paris, that would be three electric-green Lanvin dresses. And no, she does not want them in rust or peach. "If you give a client too many choices, it's confusing," she says.

By lunchtime Verber will have bought some $87,000 worth of Lanvin goods (with a retail value of about $236,000). It's a sizable amount for a brand in the midst of a turnaround like Lanvin but mere peanuts to Verber, vice president of Mercury, a Moscow-based Russian retail company that has recently become known as...

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