Style Profile: Madina Kalyayeva
When it comes to defining Madina Kalyayeva’s style, exotic doesn’t even begin to cover it.
When most of your childhood memories consist of watching your grandfather, a renowned jeweller in Azerbaijan, at work with rubies and sapphires, style is destined to be second nature. By the time she turned 19, Madina Kalyayeva had seen her jewellery sketches come to life.
Even though the 29-year-old spends her days now as a Grey Group ad exec, fashion is still in her core. When she’s home in Azerbaijan, she finds joy in refurbishing old jewellery with her mother; here in Singapore, she stocks up on Lanvin, Hervé Léger and Alexander McQueen on Orchard Road.
She credits her early exposure to various fashion cultures in the former Soviet republic, upstate New York, London and Amman to why she’ll “never be a boring office lady”. To illustrate this, she greeted me on the morning of our photo shoot in a body-con knit dress, accessorised with a matching Chanel brooch. I immediately noticed the black onyx and diamond earrings and ring she helped design.
“Style is not what you wear, it’s how you behave”
“I dress to conquer. Whether it’s a new project or a new client,” she says as a way of explaining why she’s trotting around her apartment, pouring me lapsang souchong tea in stilettos while carrying a bun in the oven—figuratively speaking. “I do what feels right for me. I’ve always worn heels. Frankly, I don’t know what I wore before.”
In her closet...
Photography: Lionel Lai/Acepix
Hair and make-up: Adelene Siow/Palette Inc, using La Biosthetique and KOSÉ ESPRIQUE