In this month’s Date with Diane, guest columnist Diane von Furstenberg sits down with entrepreneur Miroslava Duma.
InStyle March 2017 DVF - Lead 2017
Credit: Courtesy Diane von Furstenberg

Diane von Furstenberg: Mira, what are your earliest fashion memories?

Miroslava Duma: When I was growing up in Russia, my mother showed me photos from 1959 when Dior débuted its collection on Red Square. I remember looking at the models on the streets of Moscow—they were so graceful, almost like aliens. It made a big impression on me. At the time, I also looked to Raisa Gorbachev, the first and only Russian first lady with elegant style, in my opinion. She was modern and empowering.

DVF: Was your mother your style role model?

MD: Yes, my mother was my first guide into the world of fashion. She had a big collection of Thierry Mugler dresses and suits at the beginning of the ’90s. My favorite was a dark blue suit that made her waist look super-tiny. I also adored my mom’s Chanel 2.55 bag, which I recently got from her. It’s more than 25 years old.

DVF: Why did you decide to create your media company, Büro 24/7?

MD: I had been an editor and a writer at Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler, and Vogue, and even though I loved it, I realized that the future was digital. I found myself turning to social media to get information and entertainment, yet it was really fragmented. So I decided to create one destination that has the pace of social media but still offers curated, high-quality content by editors and journalists. We cover contemporary culture—art, architecture, fashion, and more.

DVF: Do you consider yourself Russian first—or more a citizen of the world?

MD: We live in a digital era with no borders, so the notion of citizenship goes by the wayside. I consider myself a citizen of the world, but I’m a huge Russian patriot. I’m proud of its history, heritage, and scale. Now I’m trying to help other Russians—my Büro Fashion Initiative connects young talents with buyers, stylists, and editors.

DVF: How has fashion impacted your life?

MD: When I was growing up, the fashion industry didn’t really exist in my country, but I always had the passion inside me. Back then, I thought that men had more opportunities in life than women. I later realized that fashion is actually one of the advantages that women have. Men have few clothing options besides jeans, T-shirts, and suits. But there are no limits to what women can wear. Fashion can make us feel beautiful, different, and powerful.

DVF: You also met your husband, Aleksey [Mikheev], at a fashion party, right?

MD: Yes! I met my husband at the opening of a Moscow Louis Vuitton store 14 years ago. Fashion brought us together, but the funny thing is that he’s not into fashion at all—and he’s one of the most antisocial people I know.

DVF: And now you’re a mom to two children [George and Anna]. How has motherhood changed you?

MD: Motherhood is what I live and breathe. I have to be the coolest, funniest, and best example in life for my kids. There’s a Russian saying that translates to “The more you do, the more you manage.” I always have several projects in development, but family is still the most important thing. I make a top-five priority list every year, and when a project comes to me, I always look at it from the perspective of “Will this help me in my top five?” If the answer is yes, I do it; if it’s no, I don’t.

For more stories like this, pick up InStyle's March issue, on newsstands and available for digital download today.