One of Russia’s leading fashion media upstarts, Miroslava Duma co-founded popular Russian fashion and lifestyle digital magazine Buro 24/7 with Fira Chilieva in 2011 after identifying a gap in the market for a single news platform covering fashion, beauty, art and film. Her lifestyle media empire has now expanded Buro 24/7 to 11 markets across four continents and attracts advertising from top luxury-goods brands like Hermès and Louis Vuitton . Duma’s cosmopolitan outlook and success building Buro have helped give the outside world a glimpse of the potential that lies in Russia’s orbit and turned her into something of a soft power ambassador for the region, as well as a budding media mogul.
Duma graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations with a masters degree in International Business. Her break came at the local edition of Harper’s Bazaar, where she was appointed special projects director, running the magazine’s photo shoots while styling and writing. From there, she went on to work with many of the major fashion titles in Russia — Tatler, Forbes Woman, L'Officiel, Vogue — but after realising that none of them were really serving digital consumers, she decided to break into the market and founded Buro 24/7. Today, the company has captured a big slice of Russia’s fashion and lifestyle media market, ranking second behind Elle Russia with 4.9 million visits per month in Russia alone, according to data from web analytics firm SimilarWeb, and ahead of Glamour Russia, Russian Vogue and the Russian business news channel RBC’s Style offering.
Duma is a regular speaker and commentator on business and digital media. In 2015, she organised a panel on the “New Era of Commerce and Trade” featuring Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, for one of Russia’s largest economic forums, SPIEF. As well as being an active investor across a range of digital and fashion businesses — including RewardStyle, a monetization service for publishers, Reformation, a green fashion brand, and social media marketing company revFluence — she regularly contributes to magazines such Tatler and Glamour.
A firm fixture on the fashion week circuit, Duma has become something of an international street-style icon, attracting an Instagram following of 1.6 million and counting. The tech entrepreneur, however, rejects the idea of herself as a “Czarina,”. “For me personally, yes, the socialite label did bother me as it couldn’t be further from the truth,” she told BoF. “You’ll never see me drinking and dancing at fashion parties … After all the shows, presentations, meetings and business dinners [during fashion week], I’m straight back to the hotel putting my kids to bed.”
The entrepreneur is also an avid philanthropist. She sits on the board of Natalia Vodianova ’s Naked Heart Foundation, is on the host committee of the 2017 Stanford Philanthropy Innovation Summit, and founded Peace Planet, a charity that provides urgent medical aid to children.
In 2017, Duma announced the launch of Fashion Tech Lab, a “hybrid that combines an investment company, a multinational accelerator, and an experimental laboratory”, specialising in the development of smart textiles, wearable and nanotechnologies.