When we met up with Doina Ciobanu on a sunny afternoon in London, it was style-crush at first sight. She was instantly recognizable by her enviable hair, impeccable suit and well-placed jewelry topped off with a dash of confidence.
As we strolled through bustling Borough Market it was a pleasure to get to know Doina better. Behind her glamorous Instagram is a young entrepreneur who is ambitious, charming, and determined.
As a Power Ambassador for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12, she’s got a big role to fill. With half a million followers and growing, she’s fostered a strong voice and manages to strike a balance between talking about fashion—one of the major polluting industries in the world—and sustainability. I sheepishly admitted I was wearing a fast fashion coat that I’d purchased in desperation as I was going on three days without luggage (thanks, American Airlines!). We had a good laugh and a frank chat about what it means to do your best to apply a more environmentally friendly approach to building one’s wardrobe.
Read on to learn more about Doina’s work with the UN and how this stylish globetrotter dresses city by city with jewelry as a major highlight. -Emerald Carroll for The Stone Set
You’re an ambassador for the UN’s sustainable development initiatives. Why are you empowered by this cause and how do your fashion choices reflect your commitment?
It has made me so much more aware. For instance I have implemented a policy of no PVC (unless it has some amazing recycled and repurposed story behind it), and I apply that even for job opportunities around those products or with brands that I really love. As a whole I try to be honest with brands I interact with and give them my advice, if I notice an unnecessary unsustainable practice I will do my best to talk to the team and suggest changes they can make.
You’re based in London but from Moldova. How have these two places shaped you?
The exposure of very different economical, political and social situations has definitely shaped me in becoming more pragmatic and open. You learn that judging is the easiest thing to do but society is very complex and cultural differences really shape experiences to be different, not necessarily for the reasons we assume.
How would you describe your personal style? What’s a go-to look?
My style is so versatile, it changes depending on my mood, the location. In Italy for instance I’ll be more feminine and elegant, wearing a lot more colour; in London or NY I love being more masculine and minimal, involving more leather and black.
What’s your approach to jewellery? What are your favourite everyday pieces and special occasion statements?
I love wearing things that mean something to me.
• My Maurice Lacroix watch was my dad’s 18th birthday gift. It used to be his and he knew how much I loved masculine watches so he adjusted it for my wrist size.
• My engagement ring of course which has been in my fiancé’s family for the past few generations.
• My latest addition is the Clash de Cartier ring, which is a super cool modern interpretation of Cartier’s heritage.
• Also for the past two months I’ve been wearing the APM Monaco earrings which have honestly been my favourite pair. They go with absolutely everything and are so elegant.
• My BVLGARI B zero ring is in rose gold, which works perfectly well with my engagement ring.
Who are some of your favorite jewelry designers and brands? What’s on your wish list?
Oulala that’s a long list ahaha. In terms of favourites, Cartier has always been one of my favourites and it’s such an honour to work with the house now. I also love APM Monaco for how affordable it is and how cool the designs are. In terms of pieces I want, I‘ve had my eyes on quite a few Cartier pieces since I was a teenager. The love bracelet and ring, Juste un clou ring, a classic masculine Rolex watch, and a Jaeger-Le Coultre Reverso watch.
Other than jewellery and sustainability, what are you passionate about?
Music, writing, politics, driving (which I guess is a weird passion), interior design and so many more!
As an entrepreneur, what advice do you live by?
Being direct and honest. I think that saves everyone so much more time, rather than being hesitant or trying to be overly nice when involved in decision making, which a lot of times involves revisiting the work later on just because there was no “no” said.
What’s something about you that may surprise people?
I’m a geek, boyish and very unpretentious (even though I think my followers know that by now). I love comics, sci fi, fast cars and bikes; but I’m also not bothered by not being surrounded by luxury at all. I’ll choose a good low key restaurant over a fancy one any time. Luxury is privacy and good time to me, and that can sometimes be found in the least luxurious places.
Photography by Emerald Carroll for The Stone Set