Why Is a Russian Fashion Influencer in the Mueller Report?

Miroslava Duma. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Congratulations to whoever had “influencer makes appearance” on their Mueller report bingo card. Russian mega fashion influencer Miroslava Duma showed up in the 400-page report as someone who passed an invite from the deputy prime minister of Russia to the Trumps. Reporter Kim Bhasin caught the mention and posted the finding on Twitter:

In December 2015, Duma gave then-candidate Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump the invitation to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, courtesy of the deputy prime minister of the Russian Federation. The forum was started by Putin, and Duma has been a speaker there twice. Sadly for Duma, the Trumps declined the invitation.

How did an influencer end up in the middle of the deputy prime minister and the Trumps? Duma and Ivanka are at least acquaintances – a smear campaign against Duma that circulated during New York fashion week included a photo of Duma and Ivanka together, and Ivanka was featured on the Tot, which Duma co-founded but is no longer affiliated with. But Duma is also politically connected in Russia through her father, former senator Vasily Duma, and her husband, an entrepreneur who works with the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry.

This isn’t the first time Duma’s been embroiled in a messy situation. Last year she made headlines after a couture designer sent her a note including a racial slur. The fallout uncovered other times Duma had been offensive, including a video where she said that men wearing women’s clothing should be “censored.” Many in the fashion industry have disowned her, but she’s pivoted to sustainability. On her Instagram, she calls herself the CEO of Future Tech Lab, a sustainable fashion firm, but she’s not featured on the lab’s website (not even under the tab labeled “Miroslava Duma”).

This post as been updated to reflect that Duma is no longer affiliated with The Tot.

Why Is a Russian Fashion Influencer in the Mueller Report?