If anyone holds the record for most consecutive appearances in a brand’s ad campaigns, it’s Karmen Pedaru. The Estonian model has been the face of Michael Kors for four years running, and this fall, she’s fronting the campaign for the designer’s new Gold fragrance collection. We knew Pedaru was girl-crush material—just take a look at her striking features and killer off-duty style—but it wasn’t until we chatted with the beauty about fashion advice, her obsession with furry coats, and swapping closets with Victoria Beckham that we completely fell head over heels.
Get to know Pedaru a little better with our exclusive interview below.
Who What Wear: You’ve been working with Michael Kors for years. What do you think makes the MK woman so appealing?
Karmen Pedaru: For me, the Michael Kors woman is a free thinker, open-minded, sporty, but also sophisticated and elegant. I relate so much to that.
WWW: Who are some women that inspire you?
KP: Strong women inspire me. I love Audrey Hepburn and Faye Dunaway; they are my all-time favorites. Also, I admire Angelina Jolie.
WWW: What have you learned about your personal style, working in fashion for so many years?
KP: In the shows and at photo shoots, I get to wear such amazing clothes that sometimes may not be the most comfortable. I also have to wear a lot of makeup and my hair full of hairspray. It’s a great departure for me. In my personal time, I like to stick to the basics; I wear simple, easy clothes and minimal makeup.
WWW: What five pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?
KP: All you need is a good classic blazer, leather pants, a great pair of heels, a nice black dress (nothing too fancy), and a timeless coat. With those five pieces, I think every woman can look amazing, and they are so versatile!
WWW: What item is on heavy rotation in your wardrobe right now?
KP: I like to stick to the basics with my wardrobe, but right now, I’m having fun playing with texture and jewelry. I love leather and fur; both are great ways to elevate your wardrobe. Of course, a simple gold necklace or bangle is always the perfect accessory.
WWW: What is your must-have item for fall?
KP: A fur coat. It is such a classic and adds that extra something to every outfit! I always feel so sophisticated and glamorous wearing a fur coat, even if it’s over a T-shirt.
WWW: Is there a trend you never get tired of?
KP: I’m not sure it’s a trend, but I will always love wearing leather pants and a T-shirt with high heels. It’s the ultimate simple outfit that’s still so edgy. It’s my go-to when I want to feel great in what I’m wearing.
WWW: If you could swap wardrobes with anyone, who would it be and why?
KP: Victoria Beckham. She’s such an amazing women who for so many years has had fabulous style. She must have closets of incredible clothes!
WWW: What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
KP: Style is all about owning what you love and what makes you feel like your best self. I always try to channel that.
WWW: You are constantly on the go for work. What’s your secret to staying healthy and fit?
KP: As I fly a lot, I drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Also, I carry a jum prope with me whenever I’m traveling; it’s great exercise on the go. I also generally try to eat healthy and drink green juices.
Hong Wu/Getty Images for Michael Kors
WWW: Can you tell us about your beauty regime? What products do you take everywhere?
KP: I love La Prairie products; they never let me down. I also get massages and facials regularly. It’s a great way to destress and treat yourself. I always leave feeling so refreshed with my skin glowing.
WWW: If you were a perfume, how would you describe your scent?
KP: I love fresh woody notes! They’re so bold and invigorating. That’s what I love about the Michael Kors 24K Brilliant Gold Eau du Perfum ($100). It mixes light florals with a bit of woodiness.
WWW: Do you have any dos or don’ts when it comes to applying perfume?
KP: I always spray it in front of me, walking through the perfume cloud so that the scent settles in my hair and on the outfit I’m wearing. That way, it lingers all night!
Horst Diekgerdes for Muse Magazine
WWW: What has been your most memorable experience working as a model?
KP: I love my job, because there have been many great experiences over the years. I’m not sure I could choose just one as the most memorable.
WWW: Where is your favorite place to visit in the world?
KP: My home [Estonia] and the Maldives. They’re the places I feel most relaxed and happy.
WWW: What do you think is the biggest social media faux pas?
KP: I can be pretty private. My biggest faux pas is over-posting—people posting about every second of their lives. I prefer to post less frequently and make sure that it’s important to me and to my followers.
Who is your model muse? Sound off in the comments below!