Although she’s not a model, with her tall, slender frame, sharp cheekbones and chic blonde lob, Elena Perminova certainly looks the part. During Fashion Month, photographers swarm around Perminova and her squad of genetically-blessed, Russian fashion-darling friends, snapping their impeccably-edited designer wardrobes.
Impossible to miss at the heart of the commotion is Perminova, who turns 29 today. While these days, she’s dressed in just-released Chanel and Dior collections, she actually comes from very humble beginnings, and has the kind of rags-to-riches story that sounds more like a fairytale than real life.
More than a decade ago, a 16-year-old Perminova found herself facing a six-year prison sentence for dealing ecstasy on the Russian club scene. Her now-husband, billionaire Alexander Lebedev, came to Perminova’s rescue at her father’s pleading, and the pair quickly fell in love. “He was my angel,” she told Harper’s Bazaar. “There is no other word for it.”
Not only did Lebedev save her from serious jail time, but he also introduced her to a life of unimaginable privilege—and with it, incredible fashion. Ahead, we’re spotlighting 31 of Perminova’s most perfect street style looks.