Lena Perminova has been appearing on my blog for quite a while now.
She is more of a fashionista than a show off Barbie doll and her great style has been a true inspiration for many people in the fashion world.
But who is Lena Perminova? What is her story?
Full name: Elena Perminova
Age: 27 years old, born 1987
From: Berdsk – a city in Siberia, Russia
Family: 2 boys, 1 baby girl and her husband Alexander Lebedev
Lives: London & Moscow
Occupation: Full time mom & Fashionista
There is something unique about Lena that makes her stand out from the rest of the Jet set Babes.
It’s not the fact she is a well known fashionista with her 750k Instagram followers, but more her down to earth aura that keeps surrounding her.
After researching about Lena, I came across an interesting cinderella story on how she became a Jet set Babe.
In 2003 Lena was 16 years old when the police caught her dealing ecstasy in the night clubs of Novosibirsk.
She was at that time a well known model in the area of Siberia which became a humiliating factor getting caught in the eye of the public.
Despite the fact Lena was not using any form of drugs herself, her trouble was her boyfriend at that time, being twice her age who had been forcing her to deal drugs for him.
That disastrous night in Novosibirsk came as a blessing in disguise, Lena got sentenced to 6 years in jail for trafficking, a sentence that in the end never fell through.
Instead a well known Russian oligarch stepped in to her case, he did not only become her saviour but also her future husband. His name is Alexander Lebedev.
Alexander Lebedev is a man of many labours.
He started off as a spy for the Russian KGB in the 80’s being the brain in their Foreign intelligence service.
After leaving KGB he created his own bank which became one of Russia’s national banks (until 2012 when it closed down).
Today he is a well known business man, a Russian politician and the owner of several top newspapers in UK like the “Independent” & “London Evening standard”.
In 2012 Forbes listed him as a billionaire with an estimated fortune of $1.1 billion.
But shortly after, in 2013 when his national bank closed down, his worth went down and the title of billionaire gone.
But what happened exactly that made the destiny of Lena to cross path with her future love?
This is how Alexander recalled the troublesome situation:
“Lena was arrested and convinced by the police to co-operate in a sting on another much bigger drug dealer. She was wired up, involved in a very dangerous car chase, and then still ended up in court, alongside this drug dealer, who was threatening to kill her. There is no plea bargain in Russian law, or witness protection. She was going to go to prison for six years, despite helping the police, and her life was in danger. I was campaigning for this law to be instated in Russia at the time. Elena’s father heard me on the radio and wrote to me. I contacted him, and then met Lena”.
Lena was only 16 years old when she met Alexander – he was at that time 43.
After the turbulent time of trials was over, Lena went on to study economics at Moscow State university. When she was 19 years old, she got married to Alexander and later became a mother of three.
Today they live on a full time basis in Moscow in the famous “Rublyovka” area where all the wealthiest people including president Putin have their homes. (As a side note, the couple are forced to have 4 bodyguards working 24/7 their house and drive their cars with black toned windows, this is Russia baby!)
But on a part time basis they live in London, where the couple has a 10 bedroom mansion in Richmond (Hampton Court Park).
Although their lifestyle is comfortably situated between various homes in Europe and they are spoilt enough for regular vacations, Lena & Alexander seem to be two down earth people very similar to each other.
I like this quote from Lena she gave Harpers Bazaar in an interview;
“On my very first trip to New York, Alexander said, ‘Please go to Bergdorf and buy something,’ but I was so impressed by the clothes, I couldn’t make up my mind,” she recalls. “So I bought jeans and wore them with his hooded sweatshirt and his huge Stephen Webster cross. [While I was] walking around, everyone looked at me—and I started to understand what I wanted and how this outfit was best for New York. But I could’ve bought a Dolce gown!”
But what I truly enjoy is the sum up of the character of Alexander by russianmind.com;
“Despite being a billionaire, Lebedev’s dress sense is odd for a middle-aged man – skinny blue jeans, black tailcoat and designer plimsolls without laces. With his cropped white hair, he looks more like a sports star than a glitzy oligarch. Only his enormous Panerai watch flashes his wealth. “He looks more like a successful nightclub owner than a newspaper proprietor”, said one observer. “He is part 19th-century landowner, part member of ‘Take That’”, said the Guardian’s fashion editor.
These contradictions arise from his conscious effort to distance himself from the more rapacious oligarchs like Berezovsky and Abramovich. He portrays his wealth as a means to fund social projects and he regards himself as a man of intelligence and good taste, rather than a hedonist. His hobbies are tennis, fishing, scuba diving, Russian literature and politics rather than jet-skiing in St. Barts or partying in St. Tropez
When asked about the other oligarchs, Lebedev commented: “We all come from different backgrounds. I am more keen on reading books, writing and travelling. I am not into yachts. I get sick on a boat. If I started buying luxurious planes and yachts I would feel ridiculous. I don’t like birthday parties, I get bored. I do not know what to say. Sometimes I do not go and send a present later”. Instead, he will stay home and read classical literature. He once made the rather staggering claim that he has “read almost everything that is worth reading in literature”. “
After following Lena on Instagram I cannot help but feel that these two quotes of her and her husband are just describing them so perfectly. I don’t know them, but they both stand out from other jet set people because of their comfortable but not a show off-type lifestyle.
It was also interesting reading Lena’s story because of how original it was.
I mean come on, the chance of meeting a billionaire future husband while expecting jail sentence is probably smaller than winning the actual lottery!
No matter what, this was her destiny and now Lena is inspiring the rest of the world with her style & story, like a true Jet set Babe.