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The creative mentor of fashion in Ukraine cannot see herself in any other industry.

Photo by Anton Yeremenko. Daria wears clothes from Kenzo SS15

Called the “creative mentor of fashion in Ukraine” by Vogue Italy and “Kiev fashion’s Queen Bee” by Vogue UK, the always inspiring Daria Shapovalova has successfully put Ukraine on the world’s fashion map. Her career took off with the Ukrainian TV show “Fashion Week with Daria Shapovalova” in 2007. Since then she has, for instance, founded top10.ua store and the biggest fashion website in Ukraine: fw-daily.com. Additionally, she has become the organizer and creative director of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days. She is visiting all the main fashion weeks and scouts new talents at numerous local fashion weeks where she is invited as a special guest.

Daria is a true inspirer and the one to answer questions in this weeks How they make it last.

How would your mom describe your style? 

– My mom always appreciated that I have a lot of statement pieces in my wardrobe and that I am in love with fashion. I think I have a style she wanted to have herself, but couldn’t because of all the limitations her generation experienced in the time of Soviet Union, where all clothes were the same. So my mom would fly to a different part of the country to shop, or make deals on the “black market” to buy American jeans. Almost an equivalent to how desperately I can search vintage stores for some items I didn’t buy in the past – so years pass, but the efforts we put to look stylish remain the same.

Name an element that’s typical for your style? 

– Costume jewelry. I have tons of necklaces and clips, and many of my friends know it so they tend to gift me jewelry. So you won’t see me without rings, bracelets or earrings.

Most revolutionary fashion memory? 

– I am lucky enough to have plenty. I was at the last Alexander McQueen and John Galliano for Dior shows, so I think there won’t be more revolutionary moments in recent future than these. Also, I remember how Sonia Rykiel was celebrating an anniversary of her house with a great show and a party afterwards – I still think it was such a great moment of joy, success and appreciation.

In what way is fashion present in your life?

– It’s my life itself! I can’t see myself being in any other industry.

Paris str v RS15 8787 kopiera

Are you happy with that presence? 

– I am happy enough with the moment I am experiencing right now and I know what I want in future.

How do you reason when you shop for clothes or beauty products?

– Beauty products must be organic, otherwise they will damage my skin. Clothes must be fashionable.

Would you like for your consumption patterns to be different? 

– If I didn’t work in fashion, maybe. But as I am in this industry, there is nothing I can change.

Have you somehow customized a garment you already own? 

– I am sure that I can’t ruin someone’s creations. I work with a lot with different designers, and I know how much effort they put into creating each of their garment. So I rather won’t be customizing anything myself, I would ask someone to customize it for me.

What’s the best advice about how to live life in better balance with nature that you’ve ever been given?  

– There are a couple of great books written on this subject, and I don’t want to summarize them in one answer. But of course, everyone should be aware that the Universe we live in is created not only for our generation, but for all the future ones, and we need to understand how not to overuse the natural recourses of our planet.

If you had a billboard on Oxford Circus that all the shopping crazy people could see, what would you write on it? 

– I would put an advertisement for some of the brands I am working with – Anna K, Anton Belinskiy or Ksenia Schnaider. I truly believe they are unique. Do you remember the billboard Tommy Hilfiger had on Times Square when he started? I would do something like that. (Read about it here.)

Give us a few practical tips on how to make our lifestyles more sustainable! 

– Be vegetarian or vegan, travel only for a reason. I would love to say shop less, but it won’t be a fair advise from my side.

Who is your style icon? 

– Audrey Hepburn, Shan Marshall from Cat Power, Francoise Hardy.

Do you have a favorite eco website, instagram or twitter account that you would recommend?

– Yes I do, but it is in Russian, so I think the majority of your readers won’t be able to read it.

Slipping a note in Anna Wintour’s pocket, what would it say?

– I already sent Anna a note, but didn’t slip it to her pocket, I preferred sending it by post. I thanked her for coming to our showroom and seeing all the designers from Ukraine. Her attention was tremendously important for me.

Name: Daria Shapovalova
Instagram: @daria_shapovalova
Occupation: Multitasker

Current projects in life: co-owner of LMG group, creative director of Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, video director for Nowfashion.com.
Motto in life: I didn’t dream for success, I worked for it (inspired by Estee Lauder).

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