6 april mmxii
An interview with Paris-based stylist and street fashion darling, Kamilya Kuspan
Whether you like to casually peruse and virtually thumb through street fashion blogs, or you meticulously evaluate each image, studying every detail from the clever methods of layering to the hue of a matte rose lip to the curve of an impossible shoe, there is always an exciting sense of discovery when you come across a face that is unfamiliar. One that does not belong to a celebrity, fashion editor, It girl, or runway model. I came across one such face, a striking one with an arresting presence. There is a beautiful shroud of mystery and magnetism that envelops Kamilya Kuspan.
Kamilya has been on my radar ever since I first spotted her on Vanessa Jackman’s exquisite photography and street style website. Soon after, she started popping up on almost every single street fashion blog from Jak and Jil to The Sartorialist to Street Peeper. It’s difficult not to take notice. There is an ease to her dressing, slightly undone, but cleverly polished with natural poise. With her middle part, long loose waves, and bare face, she recalls a strong woman of the 70s embraced with a modern day one. I wanted to learn the story of this international lady of intrigue, so I did a little bit of internet sleuthing et voilà! The raven-haired beauty hails from Kazakhstan but now calls Paris home. Having accomplished an MBA and studies in art history, Kamilya is now exploring the world of styling. It’s only the beginning for this magnificent lady—we’re looking forward to her stalwart ascent into fashion. Onwards and upwards.
Nous voudrions vraiment remercier Kamilya du fond du coeur pour l’interview. Gros bisous, ma chère!
Doris: Besides being a style muse to many, what other talents does Kamilya Kuspan have up her clever sleeves?
Kamilya: I have no talents, only good taste. Which erase any limits, it’s very useful. :)
D: You’re originally from Kazakhstan, but you’re now residing in Paris, France. What was life like growing up in Kazakhstan? What prompted your move to Paris?
K: Life in Kazakhstan was quiet and nice. Home school gives you discipline and keeps you away from bad influences, but one day you need to make your own choices. Paris gives me energy I need.
D: What are some places you’d recommend for a perfect Parisian weekend adventure?
K: The best way to discover the city—just walk around and be curious and open. Believe me, adventures and inspirations are just around the corner! You can always find some great exhibition at Grand Palais, Centre George Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, or make a tour of galleries. Then enjoy macarons at Pierre Hermé and read a book at Palais Royal. Buy Comme des Garçons perfume at marché St Honoré, go to Deyrolle to see magnificent butterflies, to le Champo to watch an old movie, quick stop at Café de Flore, then in the direction of Marais for vintage shops, OFR book store, drinks at Café Charlot, le Progrès, or Candelaria. Dance at Silencio, then move to Baron, and go back home in the morning walking by the river. Ah, so many things to do! I could write pages.
D: Describe a few of your favorite daily rituals that make you happy.
K: A nice bath in the morning and breakfast. I love breakfasts!
D: Who are your favorite designers?
K: Hard to say, because I admire a lot of them. Good design is hard work and I am very respectful. Well, I cannot not mention geniuses like Miuccia Prada, Phoebe Philo, Nicolas Ghesquière, Haider Ackermann, and Alber Elbaz.
D: Who are your style icons?
K: All these elegant ladies from the 60s and 70s. To have style was their full-time occupation.
D: When you get dressed, what inspires you?
K: Honestly, I don’t need inspiration to get dressed. It’s something that is very natural and quick! I am probably the fastest girl to be ready to go out.
D: What is your philosophy when it comes to style?
K: Be yourself.
D: What does your every day uniform consist of?
K: I don’t like bags and when I have one I like, I always carry it around. For the rest it’s completely random.
D: Is there a special piece in your wardrobe that you rarely wear but will never give up? The one piece you’ve worn to pieces and will continue to wear until it disintegrates?
K: I have tons of them. :) Actually I am not a shopaholic, I buy only things I like and will wear. I have some pieces I don’t wear now but just because it’s not their time yet, and, yes, I always make myself shorts from old jeans because I cannot give them up.
D: You have impeccable style, but let’s not forget that amazing head of hair! My hair is the same length as yours and looks like a bird’s nest by the end of the day. Any magic hair tricks you can share?
K: Thanks! There is no magic formula here, it’s so simple! We need to eat healthy because we see results on our skin and hair.
D: What is your spirit animal?
D: What is the most sage piece of advice you’ve ever received?
K: Don’t remember. Maybe that’s why I am in Paris now.
D: What are you currently reading, watching, listening to, making, and dreaming of?
K: I opened a blog recently. To share music, movies, books and other things I like. So you can have a look. Dreams are a private field. :)
D: Five things you wish would come true!
K: I would say I’d love to fly or have a time machine but it’s too pathetic. Life is beautiful enough.
words Doris Ho-Kane
images Maria B. (1), Scott Schuman (2, left), Vanessa Jackman (2, right), Paris x 3 (3, left), Vanessa Jackman (3, right), Stockholm-Streetstyle.com (4), James Bort (5, top right), courtesy of Kamilya Kuspan (5, top and bottom left), Tommy Ton (5, bottom right), James Bort (6, left), Didier Malige (6, right), Dennis Stock (7), Bastien Lattanzio (8), Mark Borthwick (9), Georgia O'Keeffe (10)