From the first Russian it girl to a conscious consumption advocate – Miroslava Duma revised her views on fashion in general and her wardrobe in particular in order to connect fashion and science.
The 33-year-old digital entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist has just made a major bet on the future of the fashion industry, which has long been called out for its destructive practices from sustainability issues, animal rights, and consumerism to poor working conditions. With her new Future Tech Lab initiative, Duma is our long-awaited champion that will change the game of the fashion industry.
With an impeccable sense of style and charming features, Miroslava Duma quickly became a beloved guest on the Fashion Week scene and a Street Style guru.
After graduating from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) with a master’s degree in International Business in 2008, she took posts at the local offices of several major magazines, such as Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour Russia, Forbes, Vogue, Tatler, and Ok! Magazine. In 2011 she launched her digital media platform Buro 24/7, followed by The Tot, an e-commerce website selling eco-friendly and sustainable products to mothers and children, in 2016. In March 2018, Miroslava sold her shares of Buro 24/7 in order to focus on the new project – the Future Tech Lab, designed to combine fashion, business, technology and environmental care.
It is also worth to mention that for Duma, the beginning of 2018 was turbulent due to the scandal that took place at Paris Fashion Week when on her Instagram story Miroslava showed off a bouquet that a clothing designer Ulyana Sergeenko had sent her with a note “to my niggas in Paris.” Naturally, this didn’t go unnoticed by the international community that accused both of racism. It was followed by accusations of homophobia after a six-year-old video of Duma emerged displaying her opinion about a fashion blogger Bryanboy and a transgender model Andrej Pejic.
Later, Duma published an official apology, on her Instagram page she said: “As we all know, the world is evolving at an extraordinary pace, and we as humans evolve too. The person I was six years ago is not who I am today.” She also added that her actions must speak louder than her words on social media and promised to gain back people’s trust and respect by hard work.
As we can see now, Miroslava Duma kept her promise. She is at the forefront of the battle against overproduction and, as a result, environmental pollution, with a new project Future Tech Lab that promises to turn around ideas about clothing, finally finding a long-awaited compromise between fashion and technology.
Duma established a laboratory, the purpose of which is the study of environmentally friendly materials, bio- and nanotechnologies, portable electronics, fabrics and threads with high-performance characteristics. To fashion-journalism, unlike Buro 24/7, this project has little relationship: instead, FTL, which is a hybrid of venture capital fund, a business accelerator and experimental laboratory, focuses on financial support for innovative trends in the fashion world and promotes the introduction of advanced technologies in the fashion industry.
The Future Tech Lab’s portfolio already includes several promising companies. Orange Fiber, for instance, learned how to create fabric from orange peelings, Diamond Foundry grows real diamonds up to 15 carats in the laboratory, the cutting-edge startup Vitro Labs grows leather from stem cells without harming animals, and Hydrop has unique nanotechnologies that can protect fabrics from liquid contamination and give antibacterial properties to clothes.
Miroslava Duma believes that consumer preferences are changing and the fashion industry needs to be prepared when the time comes. Surely enough, these mind-blowing technologies will stimulate designers to become even more creative, and we personally can’t wait for it to happen.
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