Full disclosure – I am not a fan of street style nor do I look at street style blogs. That being said, I was curious to meet Mira Duma when she visited Asia/Hong Kong for the first time a few weeks ago as a guest of Chanel.
Although the fashion world knows Mira via photographs on style blogs like Jak and Jil and The Sartorialist, her influence extends way beyond that. Mira is a former editor of Harper’s Bazaar in Russia and most recently founded digital fashion website Buru 24/7, which covers everything from style and health to design.
What I find most intriguing about her is the fact that she represents the modern woman in Russia, which is quickly becoming one of the most important luxury markets in the world. In fact that are many parallels between the luxury consumer in China and Russia right now, which is a topic we discussed during our interview.
One thing I did learn after meeting her: Mira is also highly opinionated and not afraid to speak her mind. Read on to find out what makes her tick (hint: bloggers!) and her style secrets.
What’s your must-have fashion item?
A coat! Eight months out of a year we have to wear a coat in Russia because it’s always cold! Right now I am loving this Celine green leather coat with leopard print on the bottom.
Do you plan your outfits?
Not really. If its fashion week, yes, honestly I have to plan. I am not a model or a super beautiful woman who can pull of everything. I have to see what works with my body, and what doesn’t. Fortunately I love fashion and I know how to deal with it so it doesn’t take time. Usually for everyday I wear something comfy, casual and warm like jeans and flats. Dressing up for me is like a puzzle; you have to see what works and what doesn’t.
How would you sum up your style?
It’s very much experimental. I am still young and I love working with fashion and trying different things. One day I could be wearing a Chanel dress and tomorrow I will wear jeans and a T-shirt and motorcycle Balenciaga jacket.
Everyone in the industry is talking about Suzy Menkes’ recent article about peacocking and street style icons. As an icon yourself, what’s your opinion?
There’s a Russian saying that states, when there’s too much of something its not good. So when I see so many strange bloggers with bad blogs, wearing bright things at the same time – to me its not fashion.
Honestly I never visit blogs. First of all I don’t have time and secondly I don’t really care what a 16-year-old girl thinks about a designer. If I want to know someone’s opinion its usually Cathy Horyn or someone who knows what they are talking about.
It all started with Tavi Gevinson, who was dressing like a 90-year-old woman even though she was 14. If there is a girl like Giovanna Battaglia or Taylor Tomasi Hill and they are shot by photographers I get it – their style is inspiring. People like Tavi, Bryan Boy and the others – for me they have nothing to do with fashion and their view is not authorative to me. I don’t even like the way they look. I don’t understand their purpose.
How is fashion in Russia changing?
Russia reminds me of the Middle East because they also got a lot of money in the 1970s from oil. Russians right now want to show off, they want logos all over the place. For me, I think Asian girls are so beautiful and stylish. It’s more sophisticated…Russians and Middle Estern women are more into their bling.
What were your favourite shows from the autumn/winter 2013 fashion weeks?
Valentino and Chanel. I also loved Celine, Stella McCartney and Peter Pilotto. Paris especially was amazing. New York seemed very boring to me.
What is one item that makes or breaks an outfit for you?
I used to really love necklaces, but now that it’s become an obsession everywhere, I don’t wear it that often. I am into pendants now.
Who’s on your list of designers to watch?
Ostwald Helgason – they are from Iceland and they show in London but hoping to move to New York. I also love Vika Gazinskaya, who is also a friend. Today I had 15 minutes to go to Joyce and saw some cool designers from Korea and China. There’s so much talent in Asia.