She’s the multi-talented writer, broadcaster and public speaker who puts a modern face to Iran and delighted every woman who has longed to leave the rat race behind, with her book Bella Figura: How to Live, Love and Eat the Italian Way. While her journalism has been nominated for both an Amnesty Human Rights award in the UK and a National Magazine Award in the USA, there is nothing remotely serious about Kamin Mohammadi’s sartorial style.
Passionate about championing her Iranian heritage and combining it with London girl attitude, bold colours fill her wardrobe. From Persian turquoise and Lipar Lake pink to plenty of slick black, statement looks abound, whether ensconced in Vogue House producing British GQ Style or writing in the Italian countryside.
1) Describe your style in 3 words
Utilitarian, kooky and comfortable.
Photo by Olivia Rutherford
2) What’s your go-to outfit?
Jumpsuits. I have lots of them in different styles—fitted or voluminous—and for each season! For this spring my go-to is a black jersey belted jumpsuit which I wear with a 1980s asymmetrical black bolero jacket in taffeta.
3) Favourite piece you bought recently and why?
I bought a vintage jumpsuit from a place in Brick Lane in London. It is one-shoulder in navy lurex with baggy trousers and a nipped in waist. I pair it with a gold Versace chain belt from 1980s (stolen from my mum!) and even though it cost £15, it has trodden more than one red carpet in the 9 months I have had it!
4) What is the best fashion advice you have received?
There is nothing less chic than being a slave to fashion; find your own style.
Photo by Bernardo Conti
5) What’s the most precious item in your wardrobe and why?
Apart from my Kurdish traditional outfits (I am half Kurdish, half Persian, 100% Iranian!), I have a tiny silver sleeveless polo-neck top that my mum knitted herself in the 1960s before I was born. Its fine silver threads are older than I am, but still the epitome of glamour to me. I need to be at my slimmest to be able to wear it, and it is knock-out with a tan!
6) Who are your style icons?
Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Rizzo from Grease, my mother and my friend Antonella Mugnai from Florence.
7) What’s your personal style signifier?
I love colour, especially turquoise and don’t shy away from putting lots of colours together.
Right: Photo by Kicca Tommasi
8) Where do you love to shop?
Markets and those brilliant independent shops that Italian provincial cities do so well. I hate mass anything in high or low fashion.
9) Less or more?
Depends on mood and occasion! I can be very utilitarian and pair capri pants with a polo neck, a pair of discreet earrings and some lipstick, or I can go full Middle Eastern bling and put jewels in my hair!
Photo by Alexandra Dao
10) If you could have anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be and why?
I don’t really have wardrobe envy, but I would love a rifle through my friend Luke Day’s wardrobe. He’s the Fashion Director of British GQ and Editor of British GQ Style, and he just kills it every day with audacious and fabulous looks. Plus he has an amazing collection of vintage Versace that I rather fancy.
Photo (from left): Robert Spangle for British GQ; NYC Looks; Fashion to MAX
11) If a museum asked you to donate one item from your wardrobe that represented you what would it be?
My favourite Kurdish outfit which I had made for me in Sanandaj in Iran about 20 years ago and which sheds sequins and glitter so that I leave a trail!
12) What is a must-have clothing item everyone must own?
A really clever pair of jeans. I love the skinny jeans and Kochab wash of this Italian eco brand called EcoGeco.
13) If you were an item of clothing what would you be?
I would be a caftan—of which I have many, from beach-friendly to embroidered evening numbers. My go-to brands are hand blocked styles from Turquoise, and glamourous styles from Marie France Van Damme and Mia Hatami an Iranian designer based in Italy.
Left: Photo by Bernardo Conti
14) What will we never find in your wardrobe?
Anything uncomfortable that requires me to suck in my stomach or teeter on my tiptoes. At the grand age of fifty I refuse to give in to the tyranny of discomfort in clothes or shoes, I think it’s just another way of controlling women.
Right: Photo by Bernardo Conti
15) What’s your number one fashion rule?
Left: Photo by Bernardo Conti | Right: Photo by Mary McCartney for Turkish Vogue
16) What is your dream project?
So many! To see my last book Bella Figura brought to the small screen (currently Netflix is interested). To write a musical about my country Iran as this has been going round my head for about 15 years! And I would love to produce a dinner in which the plant-based ingredients had all been ‘sonified’ by my friend Jason Singh and we ate to the soundtrack of the music of their energy! He literally records the vibrations of plants—which sounds like singing—and then makes music from that.
Photo by Bernardo Conti
17) Dream collaborator?
Novelist and screenwriter Clare Naylor. We have wanted to create something together for decades, I hope the right project will come soon.
Photo by Michael Newington Grey
18) Top 3 accounts to follow on social media?
@kiccatommasi is a fine art photographer living in the countryside outside Rome.
@luke_jefferson_day for his beauty and the fashion.
@theamoriststylesiren publishes beautiful vintage fashion photography and the great Hollywood stars, her feed is pure style.
19) Favourite fashion apps?
Don’t have any.
20) Where were the last three places you travelled to and what are the can’t miss shops?
Went to Utrecht last autumn and loved it and its many vintage/charity shops (and the ‘coffee shops’ haha).
Arezzo in Tuscany for the flea/antique market that takes over the whole town one weekend a month (the main on is in September) and it’s a double whammy of discovering amazing treasures and this beautiful Tuscan town.
London was the last place I went to before Italy locked down and there are still pockets of the authentic Portobello Road market to be found in the midst of the tourist tat if you know where to look (I’m not telling!) .
Follow Kamin Mohammadi on @kaminmohammadi or her website here.
Cover photo: Bernardo Conti