Misha Gillingham may have created the most unusual — and enviable — job in the lingerie business.
Co-founder of the California label Fair Verona, Misha refocused and relaunched the company this month after finding a way to combine her two passions in life — lingerie and travel.
Fair Verona is now part travel diary, part photography portfolio and part lingerie showroom. And Misha, who is front and center of all three aspects of the brand, has embarked on the world’s sexiest road trip.
A model and designer who debuted her first lingerie collection in 2010, Misha is also a longtime travel blogger who writes about her explorations in some of the world’s most appealing luxury destinations.
The new version of Fair Verona will see her travel the world, writing about new cultures and modeling lingerie in exotic locales and, ultimately, paying for it all through the sale of her own designs. The new Fair Verona website bills itself as “the lingerie diary of a travel addict.”
It’s a business model that best resembles the globe-trotting TV show Amazing Race … except with little clothing.
When Lingerie Talk spoke to Misha yesterday, she was shopping in Tokyo (above); today she’s in Beijing. And other recent posts on the blog portion of her website have documented recent trips to Jasper, Alberta (top photo), Monte Carlo, Bali and Palm Springs.
“I travel and take photos in each location featuring different designers, and I’ll also be doing reviews on luxury hideaways and different destinations,” she said. “The entire line will be inspired by my travels within each season. So people will be able to follow my travels and then see the corresponding collection afterwards.”
Fair Verona built an early cult following with its range of flirty soft lingerie pieces inspired by old-world romance and foreign destinations. Travel was always a theme for the brand, which called its last collection Jetset Daydream.
A small collection of new styles is now in production and will arrive in a few months. Fair Verona is currently sold in about 60 high-end retail boutiques around the world, but future collections will be sold only through the brand’s website and offered in small production runs.
Through her brand and her travel diary, the 30-year-old mother of two says she hopes to “inspire others to embrace their romantic side, love their curves and live out their dreams.”
“I am restructuring the Fair Verona brand and designs to be inspired by my travels, so why not let people follow the journey that leads up to the design process?” Misha told us. “Fair Verona is a labor of love and I am blessed to be in a financial position where I am able to do all of this. … It is just an expression of my love for travel and my passion for lingerie.”
Misha searches for new lingerie pieces wherever she travels, and uses pieces from other designers in her personal photo diaries on the FV site and in social media “knickergrams”. Recent shoots have seen her in Samantha Chang (above), Huit and her own designs, along with editorial suggestions for compatible clothing and accessories (or pieces to match your hotel room decor!)
And what’s the next stop for this one-of-a-kind globetrotter? After Beijing, she’s off to Shanghai and then Hangzhou, but after that is anyone’s guess.
“I am a very impulsive traveler and will usually go places without much notice or planning,” she said. “I go wherever my heart takes me.”