London-based fashion editor, stylist and designer Kim Hersov loves merging different cultures and interests, a sensibility fuelled by her passion for flea markets, art galleries and antique fairs, and reflected in Talitha, a bohemian lifestyle brand she co-founded in 2013. Conceived as the ultimate travel wardrobe, Talitha was inspired by the rich cultural heritage of India’s arts and crafts, and although Kim has since moved on, the brand is informed by her funky yet timeless aesthetic and interest in traditional craftsmanship. Kim’s sharp fashion sense and eclectic taste has also led to an illustrious career in fashion publishing. Starting at US Vogue, she joined Harper’s Bazaar as Editor-at-Large when she moved to the UK, a position she held for 12 year before she joined Net-A-Porter where she created her style column “Runway to Real Life” for The Edit, hosted “Master Classes” for its online edition and was Editor-at-Large for the brand’s Porter magazine until 2019. She is currently a sought-after consultant working on global digital styling projects with brands like Ralph Lauren and Dior, as well as a leading personal stylist for many celebrities. And if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she’s about to start a new vintage focused lifestyle business. We recently caught up with Kim to ask her about her career, her passion for collecting vintage designs and her favourite destinations.
A project/initiative you’re most proud of?
I was co-founder and Creative Director of Talitha since 2013 and although I resigned from my role in 2018 it was a project that was close to my heart and that I am proud of.
As a columnist for The Edit, Net-a-Porter’s weekly magazine, I had a film segment called “Runway to Real Life”, hosting regular style workshops with various fashion personalities. I am proud of these columns because I wasn’t a natural in front of the camera, and it took some practice and determination to host these segments.
Other highlights include a sandal collaboration with Alvaro last summer - an exclusive for Matchesfashion. Alvaro is a dream to work with and has impeccable taste, plus I love the sandals we created.
Which colours are you currently enamoured of?
Turquoise, burnt orange and white.
A timeless design piece you own?
I collect vintage so there are many timeless design pieces residing in my wardrobe. My favourites vary according to season and mood, but a current favourite is a patchwork coat from the 1940’s and a sleeveless Ottoman embroidered full length waistcoat. I am also obsessed with a recently purchased cropped Mexican serape jacket from the 1970’s.
What’s an accessory you had for ages?
I have a set of gold bangles that was a gift from my grandmother - as well as a black Chanel handbag she gave me when I graduated from university. I also have a silver Navajo concho belt and a silver Kielstelstein Cord belt that I bought with one of my first pay checks out of university when I worked as an assistant at American Vogue. It took me ages to save up for that belt!
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from everything around me: art, film, books, people, etc. Travelling is also an important inspiration. I am also fortunate to live near the Portobello market, so antiques, textiles and vintage pieces also inform my creative process.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
I guess jeans are my most worn item, followed closely by a coat! (I am always cold.)
The beauty product you can’t live without?
There are actually a few beauty products that I swear by. Best skincare essential is Sarah Chapman’s Overnight Facial, followed by Augustinus Bader’s Rich Cream and MZ Skin’s Tint and Protect (SPF 30). Then Tan Luxe’s The Butter self-tan cream. When it comes to make up essentials, I can’t live without Pat McGrath Lab’s Xtreme black eye pencil and Nars lipstick (Tanganyka).
Favourite destination and hotel?
My favourite hotels are definitely in India (I am spellbound by that country and miss it very much): Rambagh Palace Jaipur and Oberoi Raj Villas in Jaipur, Aman-I-Khas, a tented hotel near Ranthambore National Park (home to Indian tigers), and Taj Lake Palace Udaipur, a former palace in the middle of the lake.
I also travel to Cape Town regularly as my son is currently studying at University of Cape Town and the Mount Nelson is another familiar favourite. I love its characteristic pink exterior and its Table Mountain views.
As a family we also holidayed regularly in Hawaii and the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has a special place in my heart. It was originally Rockefeller’s holiday home designed in a mid-century style and has one of the loveliest beaches on the island.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
I’ve had a few adventures in my life and standouts are: The tiger safari in India; a walking/camping safari in Kenya; a 5 day train trip on the Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Zambia to see the total eclipse of the sun and then a journey to the middle of the bush for the eclipse itself; a trek in Colombia.
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
I’ve had a few adventures in my life and standouts are: The tiger safari in India; a walking/camping safari in Kenya; a 5-day train trip on the Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Zambia to see the total eclipse of the sun and then a journey to the middle of the bush for the eclipse itself; a trek in Colombia.
What do you miss most when travelling?
I made several trips to India when I had Talitha and what I missed most was my family - and my bed! The nicest thing about being home after travelling is always returning to your own bed.
Which city would you chose to live in if you had to move?
I would definitely live in LA if I were to move. I am from California (San Francisco) and living in London for 20 years I miss the sun and the outdoors!!
What souvenirs would you bring back home?
I am a maximalist and a bit of a magpie - so I am always collecting/acquiring wherever I go. Over the years I have brought back baskets, beads, hats, shawls, plates, art and vintage clothing treasures, the list goes on. I am always on the hunt for new discoveries
Your latest discovery?
My latest discovery is an old factory cart (found on Etsy) which I plan to use as a coffee table in our family room. It arrives tomorrow so we’ll see if I love it or not.
What is on your bookshelf?
One of my best friends started a Zoom book club during lockdown so I have been reading a book a week for the past five months so my shelves are full of interesting and eclectic reads thanks to the group. Some favourites are Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, A Month in Siena by Hisham Matar, Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson (set on Hydra in 1960), Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconmer, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gelhorn, and lastly A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.