We have just landed in Moscow, the first stop on our trip through Russia. Our friend Katja is waiting for us in the lobby of Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow and after we’ve checked in and dropped our bags, we sit down to discuss our schedule with her.
“When are we meeting Mira?” asks Anouk.
“At noon at TsUM, one of Moscow’s most trendy and fashionable department stores,” says Katja. “So I still have time to show you some of the city! What would you like to see first?” she asks as she pulls out a map of the city centre and shows us where our hotel is.
“Red Square of course,” I say. “The heart of Russia, the place where the tsars were crowned!”
“Quite appropriate before meeting one of the new tsarinas of fashion and style,” says Katja. “Let’s go!”
We take a left out of the hotel and head for the river. Our hotel is on the banks of the Moscow River, right opposite the Kremlin. As we cross the Bolshoy Moskovoretskiy Bridge we can see the multi-coloured onion-shaped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral rising up on the opposite bank.
“So tell me a bit more about Mira,” I say curiously. “She’s part of what they call the Russian Fashion Pack, right?”
“That’s right,” says Katja, “Mira – Miroslava Duma by her full name – is one of Russia’s most recognized and photographed fashion icons, part of a group of young women bloggers, designers and scene-makers who are redefining Russia’s sense of style and attracting attention in fashion capitals around the world for their love of colour and the bold outfits they put together. She’s the former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Russia and she also recently started an online media platform Buro 24/7.”
“Wow, impressive,” I say as we stop to look out over the water. “What’s the site about?”
“It’s a must-go-to for anyone who’s into fashion and style. It’s in Russian but she has ambitious expansion plans and I heard they’re working on English, Asian, French and Arabic versions, and even Buro cafés and bars.”
“That’s interesting,” says Anouk, “blending online and offline presence, I think that’s super smart.”
“And,” Katja continues with a smile, “she also established a cultural charity, Peace Planet, which implements social projects in the domain of culture and education.”
“Wow,” I say. “She’s not wasting her time!”
“Oh and finally,” says Katja, “she’s also the director of digital media at TsUM, where we’re heading now.”
Meanwhile we have arrived on Red Square: in front of us stands the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral, to the right the Kremlin with its golden-domed churches and palaces and Lenin’s Mausoleum and to the left the impressive neo-gothic structure that was previously the state department store GUM and that now functions as a shopping mall.
“Here we are!” says Katja triumphantly as she spins around in the middle of cobble-paved square.
“Amazing!” says Anouk as she pulls out her camera. “You see this square so often in photos, but being here is quite something else…”
“And it’s a great start to our Russian adventure, getting the inside view of the new Russia from Day One!” I add.
© 2013 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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Tags: Anouk Pappers, Maarten Schäfer, CoolBrands Influencers, Influencers around the world, Around the World in 80 Brands, Around the World, 80 Brands, Storytelling, CoolBrands, third party storytelling, cool storytelling, meeting mira, meeting miroslava duma, miroslava duma, fashion russia,online media platform Buro 24/7, buro24/7