Today we are talking with Violetta Malakhova – fashion/lifestyle contributor, journalist, consultant, trend expert and production specialist based in Manhattan, New York.
With a Master’s degree in International law in Ukraine, she has switched her working field to fashion business in 2012 as a magazine editor and artistic director.
In media sphere Violetta has become a part of the teams of L’Officiel, Forbes, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan as a lifestyle author and fashion week correspondent worldwide. Her professional schedule in France, Italy, United States and Israel has significantly expanded the media connections and production experience including fashion styling.
What was the reason you decided to reorient your life from law to fashion industry? And how was a beginning as a specialist of another field?
Fashion laid in the field of my interests since very childhood but in my country a “serious” profession was a must and I chose politics and law. On my second year of studies I realised that my soul feels alive only when I create and research something visually beautiful. Then I made a huge list of inspiring movies, books, artists, designers and started to get the needed information every single day in my free of law time. And I saw a huge difference between the results of so-called education and self-education. After getting my diploma I worked in courts, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, in private law practices until 2012 when I finally made a decision to take the right path. I did a huge research on my favourite fetish aesthetics in fashion, wrote my first article about it and brought to the local magazine. The editor accepted it and offered me a job. And the story began.
Actually I didn’t feel any transitions at all as I just turned my life hobby to a profession, I simply got that click somewhere deep inside: “Oh now things are at the right place”.
What is a typical workday like?
I keep myself freelance working with several magazines around the world so it doesn’t require a particular schedule. I can be totally free on Monday but a weekend might appear fully packed with meetings, events and interviews. Funniest thing but staring on Instagram is a part of my typical daily routine too because it is a great source of discovering new names in design and fashion. The busiest time is fashion weeks when you barely have time for your basic needs like sleep and food. December and August are the slowest so that time I just browsing my sources of inspiration: museums, old French movies and Russian literature.
What are the most interesting differences you have noticed already between Europe and America? Do you combine those differences at your work?
I would talk about Europe and New York as this city differs a lot from the whole America. To my mind and experience, NYC society encourages and supports you, people don’t see a rival in you but a colleague or partner. I appreciate it a lot. Plus variety and choice of everyone and everything make a huge impact on business approach — a customer is a real boss here. On the other hand European mindfulness in design and quality is incomparable and sometimes missed a lot in the crazy rhythm of a Big Apple treadmill.
The biggest challenge or client required the biggest efforts so far?
I had a chance to assist Bea Akerlund in her projects with Nicki Minaj. Her tremendous scale of work, professional attitude and talent clearly showed me I haven’t had any real challenges in my career yet.
What do you consider to be your biggest satisfactions and dissatisfactions with your profession?
Fashion media opens enormous opportunities to meet the smartest and the greatest people from around the world. Those connections is the most precious thing to me. Dissatisfactions? Deadlines come faster than expected all the time. 🙂
The biggest achievement you are proud of?
My worldwide activity in fashion media. I’m really grateful for all those chances and opportunities which let me erase all the boundaries with no big budgets or powerful people behind my back.
Since you have a lot of experience in different cities, such as Paris, Milan, Florence, Tel Aviv, New York, how would you describe typical client and their requirements in different parts of the world based on cultures?
Fashion is a very globalised industry and all the big players have international background so I didn’t face big differences honestly. However German professionals are incredibly punctual and precise and I enjoyed every single minute of working in Berlin.
How much of your work is related with social media? Do you think it have changed people habits of shopping, view and choosing one or another brands based only on their activity on social media?
99% related. As I already said Instagram is a perfect connector nowadays. All those creative networking apps make things easier and easier. It’s all about how you use it. Sure it all gives a big impact on shopping habits engaging more people to buy online which leads to even faster fashion, more temporary brands and short capsule collections.
Violetta also shared some advices with readers, how not to afraid to reorient your life and get into a fashion industry:
- do what your heart says — your passion will give you energy for everything you need;
- focus on knowledge and human connections — this is the best currency;
- don’t listen to anyone but yourself — if you feel like changing your life path, do it, create the product and the opportunities will come;
- appreciate yourself rather than criticise;
- the doors you need are open — fashion is a pretty interactive industry where talent is always wanted.
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More about Violetta Malakhova: http://violettamalakhova.com