Real Style with Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret darlings. Many….many…..many moons ago I once competed in the Miss America system. I never made it as far as the final competition in Atlantic City but I did place in the top 10 for Miss Washington DC. Like many other little American girls, I wanted to grow up and become Miss America. Kira Kazantsev on the other hand actually accomplished this goal.

This week I had the pleasure of having breakfast with Miss America 2015 Kira Kazanstev while she was in Montreal visiting with the Joseph Ribkoff team at their headquarters. You might be surprised to find out that this venerable Canadian line actually dresses an American icon during her year of service. We spent the morning chatting- sharing shopping tips, our shared loved of historical dramas and anything with a hamsa on it, travel, and even discussing the current political climate in Russia. That’s the thing with Kira, she’s so much more than a pretty face. She truly embodies the Miss American ideal, beauty and some serious brains. Charming and intelligent, Kira is also deeply committed to social justice and helping to give a voice to and advocating for victims of domestic violence.

Make sure to check out her interview below where she dishes on her favorite trends and designers and one of the most rewarding experiences of being one of the most famous women in America.

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Tell us a bit about yourself

23 years old and originally from Walnut Creek, CA. Spent the last 6 years in New York and won Miss America as Miss New York. Daughter of Russian immigrants, plan to go to law school, strong advocate for women’s rights. More information can be found at kirakazantsev.com.

What inspired you to start competing in the Miss America system?

It’s always been a dream of mine, 2 years ago I decided to take a leap of faith and try it. The scholarship money that I have earned has been an immense help and was a huge incentive to wanting to compete as well. Miss America is all about education and it’s something I’m very proud to be a part of.

Tell us a bit about your platform

My platform is called Love Shouldn’t Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence. It’s aimed at inspiring women to know that regardless of what you’ve been through or where you come from, that you have the power to control the outcome of your future. I also hope to raise awareness and to educate people on the issue. You must change people’s minds in order to achieve real change.

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What trends are you loving for fall?

I love layering plaids and sweaters with edgy jewelry. Love anything with cool mesh cutouts. Big scarves and sleek classy boots are my essentials, especially for travel days.

Who are your favorite designers?

As Miss America I get to wear Joseph Ribkoff. It’s PERFECT for traveling because the clothes don’t wrinkle, I can get straight off the plane and go to an appearance without worrying about steaming or ironing and they’re extremely comfortable. Not to mention so cute. I also love Patricia Bonaldi, Kora Rae, Zac Posen, Cynthia Steffe, All Saints, Alice and Olivia, and Brandy Melville…among a million other things. Pretty sure I love clothes.

 You spend your year of service basically living out of a suitcase. How do you manage to do this and still look so wonderful?!

Like I said before, Joesph Ribkoff makes this possible. Their clothes are so easy to travel with and I know that no matter what I pull out of my suit case, I can look great at a moment’s notice.

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Dress: Joseph Ribkoff (style number 144896)

Do you have any fashion icons that you find particularly inspiring?

I’ve always been inspired by Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn. It’s a timeless style that will never loose it’s touch. I also love finding cute and creative looks on Pinterest and Instagram. People find ways to put things together that I never would so it’s great to get inspiration there, especially if you’re on a budget.

What’s been your favorite experience as Miss America so far?

The experiences that I get to have as Miss America vary greatly. Everything from star studded events, to media appearances, to children’s hospitals. One day in particular, I was having a really rough day. The media can be ever so cruel. But that same day I visited the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. These kids had so much positivity and unconditional love for me that it reminded me that no matter what I might think might be challenging in life, things can always be much worse. Seeing those kids live through their circumstances with such joy in their lives brought me so much happiness and reminded me to live every day fully. I have so much to be thankful for, no matter how hard things get.

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