I generally subscribe to the philosophy of not being impressed by social followings, and I enjoy making dad comments like, “Being popular on Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly!”—but with 5.1 million (MILLION) Instagram followers and a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, Negin Mirsalehi maybe warrants an exception.
It’s not difficult to understand the obsession: Mirsalehi is, well, gorgeous. As is her style (from iconic It bags to statement H&M denim), as is her life in Amsterdam, as is Mosey (her ridiculous goldendoodle puppy), as is her 12-year love affair with her boyfriend/business partner, Maurits. Oh, and that hair—although as founder of Gisou (Mirsalehi’s line of honey-based haircare products, the inevitable result of growing up with a beekeeper dad and hairdresser mom), really good hair is an occupational hazard.
Giving in to my desire to chat to someone who can pull off double denim and perhaps has advice on how to grow my hair really long, I caught up with Mirsalehi for a hot second ahead of fashion month to chat about important things like how weird and wonderful our doodle puppies are and where she buys such good jeans.
My full name is Negin Mirsalehi, but you can call me Neg.
In reality, my job title should actually be entrepreneur. During my studies, I always knew I wanted to work in fashion, but I could never put my finger on what exactly I wanted to do. I definitely dreamed of someday starting something for myself and inspiring others along the way.
The best style advice I’ve ever heard is to always be yourself. No fashion trend ever works unless you make it your own.
Aside from using delicious Gisou products, the secret to great hair is being gentle—minimize brushing, tugging, and washing your hair.
Maurits’s number one job is to drive me around, hold my coffee… LOL. That’s what people think. But in reality, he runs the entire business.
I want to work with people who are positive, have a can-do attitude, and believe nothing is impossible.
Two accounts I secretly love to creep on Instagram are Britney Spears’s fan pages, because I used to be the biggest Britney fan when I was younger. When I look at those pages, it brings me back to my youth. I also love to follow a dog named Buddy Mercury: This dog sings and plays the piano at the same time.
When it comes to buying clothes, I tend to splurge on shoes, bags, and good denim pieces, but never on pieces I know won’t be timeless.
The real reason I’m always holding a coffee in photos is because—aside from the fact that I genuinely like coffee—I often buy it to stay warm during photo sessions outside. And it instantly gives off a relaxed, relatable, and personal vibe.
My style crushes are no one specifically; I like to look on my Instagram Explore page and find cool everyday girls who might not have too many followers to see what they’re wearing at the moment.
The key to keeping your cool when you have 5 million IG followers watching is to take everything with a grain of salt, to not take anything personal, and to not take yourself (or the comments) too seriously.
My pup Mosey would tell you I’m secretly weird when I get ready to take him out for a walk. I really test his patience at this time because I’ll make him all excited for a walk and then make him wait as I run around the house to throw on more layers, grab my gloves, and look for my boots to make sure I’m super comfortable and warm before finally going outside.
One thing no one tells you about running a business is that it has two sides. Behind the scenes, there’s much more to a business than just the marketing and product development decisions. There’s a lot of administration, and the business really has to be your passion for you to be able to follow through and make it a success.
My current favorite accessories for this season are small shoulder bags. (The cutest way to wear them is with a fitted top and mom jeans for a full-on ’90s/early ’00s look.)
The best jeans look like they’re made to fit you, but the wash is also important.
The most wonderfully cringeworthy thing I posted on Instagram right at the beginning was something like a cheese sandwich I wanted at the time.
One thing hardly anyone asks me that I will talk your ears off about is my dog; I treat him like he’s my child, and not everyone understands that.