The project feels like a natural evolution of Dua’s influential Instagram account, where some 75 million followers lap up the star’s every Balenciaga-clad move. (Recent lo-fi snaps find her stopping for stroopwafels in Amsterdam, hitting up a natural wine bar on a girls’ trip to Paris, and flitting from gym session to cult west London sandwich shop – all in her signature mix of high fashion, emerging designers and playful neon jewelry.) “My photo dumps are very much a blog about my life,” she agrees. “Now there will be a website where people can go and actually search for everything.”
It’s not all food and fashion, though. Dua, whose non-profit Sunny Hill Foundation recently cut the ribbon on a kindergarten in her parents’ native Kosovo, will also use Service95 to spotlight inspiring figures and the causes closest to her heart. “For young people, looking at the news can be quite intense,” she says. “You want to help but you don’t really know how to help. I want to help give young people the tools to make a difference.” The project will also encompass a podcast, At Your Service, with an eclectic mix of guests including grassroots activists as well as Dua’s A-list friends. “It’s very interesting being on the other side of the interview!” she says. “All the guests I’m speaking to have very inspiring stories, and hopefully [as listeners], you will learn something about yourself.”
Comparisons to Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop empire – which started life as a free email newsletter containing the actor’s recommendations and product reviews – seem inevitable, but though Dua’s Service95 universe will touch on beauty and wellbeing, she seems less preoccupied by jade eggs and X-rated candles than she is providing a platform for grassroots voices, or breaking down pressing issues in an accessible way. “That element is really important to me,” says Dua, who has always believed that being of service is her mission in life (hence the name Service95, which also nods to the year she was born). “The whole idea is sharing information and helping each other.”
As such, subscribers can look forward to an artfully curated mix of think pieces, travel tips, and advice as well as insights into Dua’s life dropping into their inbox each week. “There will be lots of different voices, interesting articles, and my own personal note about what I’ve been up to and what I’ve discovered,” explains the singer, who, for the record, is currently devouring podcast thriller The Left/Right Game, starring Tessa Thompson.
The passion project comes hot on the heels of Dua’s runway debut at Milan Fashion Week, where she opened Versace’s spring 2022 show, and her third number one single, “Cold Heart”, a collaboration with Elton John. Service95 will go live in early 2022, just as she prepares to kick off her Future Nostalgia world tour. Does the woman ever sleep? She’s simply become an expert planner, Dua shrugs. “I’m crazily organized,” she says. “I plan every little thing, almost down to the minute. Especially because I’m so busy, I really try and make the most of my time – otherwise I feel like I miss out!”
With Service95, she hopes to help her followers do the same. “I want to be able to experience things,” she goes on. “I don’t want to go to an amazing city and stay inside my hotel then leave and just say that I’ve been there. That has always been a massive thing for me. No matter what, I’ll make an effort to do something fun.”
Subscribe here to receive the first Service95 newsletter in January.