Termed “the first female oligarch”, Goga Ashkenazi made her first fortune in oil and gas before moving into fashion after buying Vionnet in 2012. Originally from southern Kazakhstan, Stowe, Rugby and Oxford educated Ashkenazi’s “close friends” and companions have variously numbered The Duke of York, Fiat heir Lapo Elkann and Saif Gaddafi, the second son of the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Of her humble origins, she once commented: “I’m sensitive to what people think of me, because, I admit it, I was tacky at first”. She now lives in a much more sophisticated world, paid £28 million in cash for a house in Holland Park in 2007 and then spent a further £10 million on renovations. In 2010, this divorced mother of two was termed “definitely not a lady who lunches” by the businessman Rob Hersov. “She is the real deal”, he added, before remarking: “She was in the right place at the right time and made a lot of money very quickly”.