MINT Journal founder and street-style star Irina Lakicevic was born in Serbia and spent her youth in Norway as a war refugee before pursuing a career in dentistry and becoming an editor, ultimately leaving her Scandinavian home town Bergen for the hustle and bustle of London. Her unusual path to fashion icon status also seems to translate to her unique dress sense; she’s a layering expert with a penchant for vintage Manolo’s and Céline. Her balancing act between masculine and feminine and unusual style is nothing less than noteworthy. With a great love for vintage, she’s also passionate about sustainable fashion and re-wearing items as much as possible- in short, our kind of girl! As the editor of MINT Journal she brings contemporary and curated views on art and lifestyle to the digital space. Intrigued by her individual trail of thought and effortless style, we couldn’t wait to explore her ideas on career, fashion and sustainability. What’s more, as a fashion week regular, her packing tips are on point and will sort you out on any trip.
Tell us about your platform MINT Journal and what makes it unique in the digital stratosphere?
I think MINT is one of the few websites that’s targeting an audience that print has covered so well. It is essentially an intersect between fashion, art and design that’s meant to provide a deeper insight into a myriad of topics concerning young people of today.
Is there a tried and tested way for you to unwind and tackle the hectic of fashion month?
I have just arrived from two-week holiday and as soon as I have landed I started cleansing my wardrobe. Tasks like that, as a way of decluttering, provide much needed clarity and help you tackle whatever comes to your mind.
What is the most challenging part about your work and how do you manage to stay creative?
I think balancing the act of business and creativity is a tricky one. The same goes for the thought of staying fresh and doing something relevant when we are constantly involved in a ceaseless stream of photos - I feel everything and everyone merges into one another so staying fresh and bringing new ideas to the table is a tricky task.
As you are always on the go, what are your expert tips on packing shoes and handbags for travel. What is your foolproof system?
Shoes should always be packed at the bottom of the suitcase and they always need to be kept in their dustbag. Bags go on the top. A swift trick is to fill bags and shoes with smaller items like socks, t-shirts etc. so that they keep the shape of the accessories and save space at the same time!
You are an avid supporter of circular fashion, why is this an important subject to you?
I am not sure how obvious it is but our society needs a new way to dispose of waste, and right now fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world, contributing to more waste than we can ultimately handle. In all honesty, how many off-shoulder tops and wrap skirts does one need?
How do you decide which pieces to invest in and what are your best buys to date?
I like interesting designs that work in day-to-day wear. If I can’t think of at least five different ways to wear an item I won’t purchase it anymore. I love my woven Céline Cabas that I got on Vestiaire Collective alongside a vintage Chanel jacket.
What are the items in your wardrobe you can’t live without and how do you take care of them?
If I would have to pick a uniform it would be an all black look with pointy mules. I love vintage shoes so they need some love from the moment you purchase them; re-soling and cleaning is always a must.
We recently had the pleasure of restoring your Céline and a few other items at The Restory, what is it that you enjoyed most about having your pieces repaired?
I think giving back the va-va-voom effect to something that has lost its lustre is incredible!
What was a turning point in your career and what advise would you give anyone that aspires to work in fashion?
I always ask myself how can I contribute to what is currently happening and my turning point was all about going for what makes me happy and what I enjoyed doing. Ultimately we only have one life and it’s our own responsibility to make the best out of it.
What is the vision you have for your brand and which upcoming projects are you most excited about?
MINT is currently having a facelift, which I am very excited to see how it will continue to develop in the future.