Taking a look at her Instagram profile, the one is stunned by elegant dresses, hats, large sunglasses and a bunch of well-known designer names signed on unique handbags. Admitting that her personal style is inspired by fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, Maja Ilić (Instagram: @maja_ddk) is a big fan of high fashion, art and hedonism. For MAG, she answered ten questions about herself, her childhood and her attitude towards luxury.
Who is Maja Ilić?
I am foremost a mother to a boy who is already five years old (can’t believe how fast the time flies), but also a businesswoman, immediate fashion lover and a person, who enjoys sports. I’ve been training regularly for ten years and that’s what keeps me fit and healthy. In my limited free time, I like to read and stay informed about fashion, art, smart investments and other topics.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is characterized by simplicity. I combine classic pieces in monochrome color schemes with a little bit of extravagance and a cheek patch in terms of details, such as a hat, statement sunglasses and a unique bag. My favorite sunglasses brands are Chanel and Linda Farrow, I adore their uniqueness, aesthetic and retro vibe, especially from the Audrey Hepburn era. When it comes to bags, I mostly have them in black and white. My all-time favorite piece is Chanel’s classic flap, I think it fits perfectly with any piece of clothing, no matter if you go with elegant or sporty look.
You’re a big fan of fashion and all things beautiful, which luxury fashion houses inspire you the most?
The brand that inspires me the most is Chanel by iconic French fashion designer we all know – Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel. She left her mark on the world of fashion that lives on today. Millions of women look up to her style, which she nurtured while she was alive – it has both a feminine and a little bit extra-masculine character with which she wanted to empower women and encourage them to express their strengths and femininity more persistently. One of the iconic and, for me, most precious pieces from her legacy is the Chanel classic flap bag, created in 1955, with a unique partition at the back for the letters that the ladies of that time wrote to their lovers.
Your collection of ready-to-wear, shoes and accessories is very impressive. Which pieces occupy the most important place on your wardrobe shelves because of their exclusivity?
I love anything to do with pearls, black and white, which is why Chanel and pieces from the Karl Lagerfeld era take up most of the space in my wardrobe. Before his revival of the brand, around 1982, the house of Chanel was something that become boring, bougie and uninteresting. Karl Lagerfeld (then also working for Chloé and Fendi) took up the challenge and transformed Chanel into what it is today. I deeply regret he is no longer with us to keep expressing his uniqueness and creativity.
To continue, besides Chanel I am also very fond of Fendi, Saint Laurent and Hermès, even though it’s slightly hard to get your hands on their most wanted pieces, such as iconic Mini Kelly’s, Birkin’s and other handbag models. I own lots of their shoes, especially slippers and boots. Moreover, I also like Lanvin and their Pencil Cat bag: I have it in no less than three different colors and I am planning to buy even more.
How do you perceive luxurious goods – are they an ornament, a status symbol, an investment or something else entirely?
I see luxury goods primarily as a source of satisfaction and a way of expressing myself and my identity. However, I also see them as a profitable investment that can often double or triple the initial price. For this reason, I invest mainly in pieces from Hermès, which are known for their collector value. It is also wise to invest in gold, as its price has been rising for decades.
If you had to choose just one handbag and one pair of shoes, it would be …?
If I had to choose between one bag and one pair of shoes, it would have to be a Chanel flap bag and Louboutin Pigalle pumps in a nude color. I think that both pieces are very fashionable and can be worn on any occasion that requires a calm and elegant tone of wardrobe.
How about a luxury holiday destination?
I perceive luxury tourism as overrated. What I try to appreciate more instead is the quality of time I spend with my loved ones, no matter where we are. However, if I had to make a choice, my favorite holiday destination would definitely be Dubai. I adore their hospitality, kindness and the treatment you receive by personnel in hotels, restaurants, luxury boutiques, et cetera. Consequently, I dare to think that Dubai is the only destination where high prices are justified, their approach to tourism is simply unique.
Where does your love for fashion and all things beautiful come from?
The love of fashion and hedonism comes from my parents, especially my mother. She is a great esthete and a perfectionist, so my brother and I both adopted values that are dear to her as well: modesty, care, diligence and a sharp eye for all things beautiful. She has always loved a very feminine style and for as long as I can remember she has been adorned in Chanel tweed, designer handbags and sophisticated accessories. The first Chanel brooch I saw in my life was on her scarf when I was just 3 years old. When you grow up in this kind of environment, it is impossible not to see such things as beautiful. I thank to my mother for everything I have achieved and for everything I have become in my life.
Approximately how many handbags/pairs of shoes do you have in your closet?
Believe it or not, I never counted my pieces. Since I’m a big fan of fashion accessories, my favorite answer is that there are simply never enough of them. A nice pair of shoes and just the right bag is what every well-chosen outfit needs regardless of whether the labels on the clothes belong to a higher or lower price range.
Do you ever sell your clothes, shoes, accessories to extend their life cycle?
I handle each piece with great care as all my purchases are very thoughtful. I mostly invest in unique or limited-edition luxury goods that you won’t find easily. To be perfectly honest, I don’t sell my clothes and accessories, I prefer to give them to people I love and care about. Nothing can compare to smile on their face when I surprise them with a pair of shoes or a bag they adore, it warms my heart.
Shop Maja’s favorite fashion brands, including Hermès, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Fendi, Saint Laurent and others on The Real Luxury!