‘It was a nice time’ when Trump owned Miss Universe, says decrowned Russian beauty queen-turned-designer

Oxana Fedorova in 2002. (Photo: John Roca/N.Y. Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

The former Russian Miss Universe, Oksana (aka Oxana) Fedorova, has come a long way since she was decrowned in 2002. She’s married, a mother of two, and the founder of her own fashion line, Oksana Fedorova Design Studio, which just debuted its latest fall collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia.

Fedorova was thrust into the spotlight 16 years ago when she became the first Russian woman to be crowned Miss Universe. Just four months later, Fedorova’s title was revoked because she “was unable to fulfill her duties.” Other reports suggested she was deposed because she was married or pregnant, two things that are forbidden, according to Miss Universe pageant rules.

Oxana Fedorova at a press conference in Indonesia in 2002. (Photo: AP/Dita Alangkara)

“It’s too bad it didn’t work out better with Oxana, but our new Miss Universe is equally beautiful and she is a tremendous crowd pleaser,” said Donald Trump, the then owner of the Miss Universe pageant. Justine Pasek, the first runner-up, subsequently became the new Miss Universe. 

But the Russian press had alternate reasons as to why Fedorova was fired. According to the New York Post, Russian media speculated that Fedorova was romantically linked to Vladimir Putin, who may “have used the power of his presidency to handpick Fedorova as Russia’s entrant in the international beauty contest.” The Inquisitr went as far as alleging that “Trump rigged the 2002 Miss Universe pageant so Putin’s mistress would win the title” — although this has not been substantiated.

In 2016, ahead of the U.S. presidential election, Fedorova was pulled back into the media spotlight when Trump’s controversial “fat” comments about Miss Universe contestant Alicia Machado came to light and were scrutinized by the public. “During the election campaign, I was often bothered by various international media that tried to find a loophole and defame him [Trump]. … But I only had a positive, favorable impression after interacting and working with him,” Fedorova told U.K.’s Express.

Fedorova reiterated her positive sentiment about Trump once more when Yahoo Lifestyle spoke with the designer after her fashion show in Moscow. “I can only tell you, for me, it was a nice time when he was the owner of the Miss Universe pageant,” she says. Fedorova especially admired his “large family … kindness … big heart and big soul.” She did not share much more than this, as her publicist quickly halted the conversation about Trump.

As for Fedorova, it appears she has since moved on from the controversy of her past. Her beaming face on the runway and backstage could not go unnoticed.

Fedorova’s fashion line is just a little more than three years old. But already it’s a departure from her first collection, which she described as “soft” and “airy.” This one is bold and edgy, embracing darker colors and sharp silhouettes.

The clothes can best be described as a blend between athleisure, workwear, and evening wear: the perfect day-to-night wardrobe. After all, the collection was designed for the modern businesswoman. The clothes are to be worn by women who “want to look beautiful … anytime, [whether] at the office or at dinner.” These women are also very “intelligent,” Fedorova says.

Photo: Courtesy of Oksana Fedorova Design Studio/Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

The most desirable pieces from the collection include a striped blazer, a white statement sleeve blouse, a white off-the-shoulder top, and a tan maxi skirt.

Photo: Courtesy of Oksana Fedorova Design Studio/Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

Other highlights include a maroon puffer coat and black metallic hoodie. Still, there were a few awkward design and styling decisions, like the ruffled neck pieces (seen in the blazer look), a few puffy arm bands, and — the most bizarre of all — a stretchy, sequined bandeau.

Photo: Courtesy of Oksana Fedorova Design Studio/Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia

Although it might seem like fashion has always been part of the former Miss Universe’s world, Fedorova didn’t always dream of becoming a designer. It wasn’t until she was sitting at home, pregnant with her second child, did the idea sprout up. Now it’s a path to which she is committed. “It’s really difficult to have a design studio and this is huge and difficult work,” she says, “but I always try to go to the end.”

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