When it comes to street style, the Polish model Anja Rubik is arguably a superstar. Certainly Laurent and Arik Bitton, the brothers behind the Parisian sportswear label IRO would agree. It was her sexy, somewhat masculine approach to dressing that led them to propose a design collaboration with her last year — something that Rubik, whose extracurricular gigs currently include editing her annual fashion magazine 25 and starring as a host and judge of the Polish version of “Project Runway,” readily agreed to. “The IRO woman is confident, comfortable, feminine but tough,” she explained. “I really identified with that.” Based on her own personal style, the collection of cool wardrobe essentials hit net-a-porter.com this week.
Were you a fan of IRO before they approached you? I’ve been wearing the brand for a while. I had a ton of t-shirts from them and a leather jacket. All the tees are from their men’s collection. I do that a lot — shop the men’s department. Especially with Dries Van Noten. There’s just something about the fit — an ease — that appeals to me. Sometimes women’s clothes can be so complicated.
There’s definitely a sense of ease with the collection you designed. That’s the thing: I wanted to do a collection that’s not trendy or tricky. They’re all pieces that you want in your wardrobe, that are chic, and you’ll wear time and again: A tuxedo dress, a tailored blazer, a well-fitted pant, a men’s white shirt, a leather mini skirt. I call them “your savior” pieces.
It’s a predominantly black and white collection. Do you have an aversion to color? When I first met with the IRO team, they had printed out all these street-style images of me, and I had never realized it, but I wear a lot of black and white. I think it’s because I travel a lot, and black and white works everywhere. But there’s a print that I used for a blouse — it’s olive and black! Patryk Wojciechowski, a contestant on “Project Runway,” designed it.
What pieces are you looking forward to wearing and how will you style them? There’s a suede and leather trench that I love. It has a very 1980s Kim Basinger vibe — a bit masculine, hardcore. It would look cool with a pair of flat, over-the-knee boots. Or a pair of heels. I love balancing sexy pieces with more masculine ones.
You designed a successful shoe collection with Giuseppe Zanotti a few years ago. More recently you released your own fragrance, Original. Would you consider starting your own line?
No, I have no interest in doing that. I love to explore different projects outside of modeling — they give me so much energy — but I prefer collaborating with people.