In an age where TikTok dictates the trend cycle and Instagram accounts like @DietPrada call out luxury fashion brands, social media has transformed the fashion industry as we know it. Quickly becoming one of the most influential forces in the online fashion world, Kim Russell – better known to her 133K Instagram followers as @TheKimbino – is carving out a new lane for herself in the industry.
As a self-proclaimed “curator of fashion moments,” Kim’s feed is a gold mine of iconic celebrity outfits and (often forgotten) runway throwbacks. But a glance at Kim’s social media will show you that her Instagram and Twitter page is more than just a collection of outfits. The 26-year-old is renowned for her comprehensive research and analysis of celebrity and runway looks of years past. Not only does she offer her hot takes, but she also shares the season and collection of each ensemble.
Centennial Beauty had the chance to catch up with Kim about her experience as a viral fashion curator, diversity in the Australian fashion industry, and her ambitions of breaking into beauty.
Born in South Africa and moving to Australia at the age of 6, a career in fashion wasn’t always on the cards for Kim.
“After high school, I went on to study sound production but found it ultimately wasn’t for me”, she shares. “[This] led me to study fashion business.”
That same year, Kim found Polyvore — a now-defunct website that allowed fashion lovers to create outfit mood boards. Kim’s Instagram page went viral after “posting Polyvore outfits and inspo pictures.” But soon, Kim made the switch to fashion research.
“I really appreciate the beauty and work that goes into collections, editorials, runway shows, and production,” she tells us.
And so, the @TheKimbino that we all know and love was born.
Followed by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid, Kim has earned the respect of some of fashion’s biggest names. The fashion curator even had the opportunity to work on the Yeezy couture collection shown at Paris Fashion Week in February 2020 — crediting this experience as her “first big break.”
From Polyvore to Paris Fashion Week, there is no doubt that Kim’s career in the fashion world is going from strength to strength. As for which path she hopes to take in the industry, Kim doesn’t want to limit herself.
“Styling, concept development, creative direction, writing, content creation, it’s all in my future,” she tells us.
Being a long-time fan of YouTube makeup artists, Kim even has hopes to break into the beauty industry. “I love doing my makeup and indulging in skincare and pamper sessions when I find the time,” she shares.
Balancing new motherhood and a career on the rise, beauty has become a grounding force for Kim.
“I put myself on the back burner ever since I got pregnant, and I’m still finding my way back to who I was and am trying to be,” she goes on to say, “Beauty has helped me do that.”
Despite all the opportunities coming her way, the lack of African representation in the Australian fashion and beauty industries has proven to be a challenge for Kim’s career development.
“I have found it really difficult to break into the Australian fashion scene,” she explains. “I’ve been invited to shows like Loewe, Thom Browne, Bottega, and Coperni but [I] can’t seem to secure a footing here… African Australian representation is very scarce.”
Advocating for a fashion industry that champions inclusivity and diversity, Kim is definitely swinging the pendulum in the right direction.