The Kimbino on Y2K fashion and the time she wore a fake Louis Vuitton to a Justin Bieber concert



Iconic 2 Me is a column that explores the most beloved objects of iconic people on the internet. From prom dresses to first perfumes, we’re going deep (but like, in a quick-fire Q&A) with our faves. 

26-year-old fashion researcher Kim Russell wasn’t around for some of the era she frequently posts about as The Kimbino on Instagram and Twitter, but that hasn’t stopped her from going deep into the ‘90s and 2000s archives and pulling out fash gold. Known for her unique ability to match celeb shots from the era to the collections said celebs are wearing – from Mariah Carey wearing Miuccia Prada’s influential Spring 1996 collection to the airport, to Sarah Michelle Gellar wearing Stella McCartney for Chloé to the Emmys in 1998, to Eve at the 2000 SoulTrain Awards in Dior – Russell is a well-researched island in a sea of nostalgia accounts. She’s an arbiter of all things cool, churning out fantasy visions of Lenny Kravitz, Carrie Bradshaw, and Naomi Campbell, that speak to the foundations of today’s aesthetic sensibility.

“At the moment, it is my full-time gig,” she says from her home in Perth, Australia. In between raising her young son and answering requests on OnlyFans, that is. Currently, Russell is one of the only fashion influencers using the platform – known predominately for its host of sex workers – to engage with her community, often hosting tutorials on how to make it in the industry with no connections (she finessed her way backstage at New York Fashion Week in 2017, for example). We’d all be wise to take note – in her time on social media, Russell has racked up celebrity followers including Kim Kardashian and Rihanna.

Eventually, Russell hopes to parlay her platform into a career in the fashion industry, perhaps as a creative director, research consultant or stylist, but first, we take her way back for the latest installment of Iconic 2 Me, a column that explores the fashion origin stories of iconic people on the internet. Here, The Kimbino tells us all about the fake Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami bag she fell in love with at age 13.


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How did you get into 90s and 2000s fashion?
My earliest memory of being excited by fashion moments was probably Destiny’s Child live on DVD – one of their last performances before Beyoncé went solo. Their tour outfits were always so over the top: short, sexy, sparkly. That’s So Raven was also a big inspiration because you see Raven chase her dreams of becoming a designer.

Your knack for tying celebrity outfits to the runway is impressive, how much time do you spend researching? 
I spend a lot of time researching. I’ll pick a person or a year and just go through pages and pages of research. I also love Tumblr, especially my own archive. I study and look at runways so often that I’ve familiarized myself with the looks and it’s easy to identify on red carpets now, but it took lots of time to get here.

Who or what do you love the most from that era and why?
I love Mariah Carey because so many of her moments are surprising to me. I’m such a LAMB, so when I stumble on a high fashion moment [of hers] it’s always so exciting.

I know Kim Kardashian is a follower and friend of yours. Is there anyone else we’d be surprised to know about? 
Rihanna has followed my private account since she started her Instagram way back. I was the 33rd person she followed! Somehow some way she’s remembered me all these years later (close to a decade) and we’ve promised each other to link up the next time I’m in the States.


So, how did the Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami Speedy bag come into your life?
One day in the summer my family and I went for a drive and there’s a particular thrift store that always had good stuff. So, I begged my parents to stop there and stumbled upon this cute little bag.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you while wearing it? 
I would say going to the Justin Bieber concert (yes, I know) when I was a teen. One of the best nights of my teen life!

And is there anything embarrassing that’s happened to you while wearing it? 
Now everyone knows I took this fake bag to a Justin Bieber concert circa 2010. That’s super embarrassing to admit.

If said item was a celebrity, who would s/he be and why? 
I feel like it could be Doja Cat, she’s absolutely fucking fabulous but there’s nothing pretentious or uppity about her. A Rockstar of sorts.

What does it make you nostalgic for?
It takes me back to a time of just carefreeness, lots of giggles and laughs and music being played in my room on a CD player. I had no clue the impact of the bag on fashion, it is one of the most popular collabs in bag history and I had no knowledge of it at the time.

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