From 1914 In 1904, the Tsar nationalized the Russian vodka industry and Vladimir Smirnov was forced to sell his factory and brand. During the October Revolution of 1917, the Smirnov family had to flee the country. Vladimir Smirnov re-established a factory in 1920 in Constantinople (present day Istanbul). Four years later he moved to Lwow (formerly Poland, now Lviv, Ukraine) and started to sell the vodka under the contemporary French spelling of the name, "Smirnoff". The new product sold marginally well but not nearly as it had in Russia prior to 1904. An additional distillery was founded in Paris in 1925; however the company was a shadow of its former self.