How old were you when you decided to pursue fashion?
I was 17 years old.
Is there anyone in your family in the creative industry?
Actually, no. My mother is a lawyer, and my father is an entrepreneur.
What aspect of fashion do you enjoy and why?
I enjoy the fact that fashion helps people to express who they are. It gives freedom and expression to everyone one of us. It can help you to show your mood of the day, either you are happy or sad.
Who is your dream designer or company to work for?
I would love to work at Burberry, as it is my favourite brand.
What is your favourite fashion magazine?
I do not have a favourite fashion magazine, as I find interesting things in different magazines.
What is your favourite fashion capital London, New York, Milan?
It depends on the style of fashion. London is the best for street wear, Milan is famous for haute couture and New-York is for mostly commercial fashion. Personally, I prefer London as a city and Italy as a country of fashion.
What is your view on sustainable fashion?
I support sustainable fashion and try to be a part of this positive change. I think that it has become a crucial aspect of our lives. The change in the fashion industry has been recognized and hopefully will continue to develop. Fashion industry is the second most harmful after the oil industry. Hence, the awareness of sustainable fashion needs to be raised further.
What do you think about unpaid internships in the fashion industry?
I had experience with several unpaid internships, and I can confidently say that I don’t think they offer fair conditions. Every internship I have ever done involved responsibilities of an assistant at least, but not an intern. I strongly believe that internships should be paid as free labour goes against ethical labour conditions.
What would you like to see change in the fashion industry?
I would like to see an improvement of labour welfare in the fashion industry. For instance, to make all internships paid as a mandatory rule for fashion companies. Moreover, racial and gender equality still have a long way to go.
What are your go to looks?
My favourite piece of wardrobe are blazers. So, most of the time I wear pants/jeans and a blazer on top with some accessories. It looks classy and casual at the same time.
What advice would you give anyone pursuing a career in fashion?
Be sure that it is what you want, as it is much harder to build a career in the fashion industry than it looks. The competition is increasing yearly and most of the time connections play the key role.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would probably tell myself that working in fashion is not all fun, but hard work. I guess that is something I didn’t give much thought to at 17.
What is the best life advice you received?
The best advice I received was from one of my guest lecturers in my university. This lady said that it is essential to have work experience by the time you graduate because it is the only way to get a good position and build a successful career. She mentioned that working during the summer will pay off in the future and you can always party later on, once you achieve something.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself working for a high fashion street brand in the Marketing / PR department, as this is the direction I would like to pursue my career at.
Thank you Olessya for your time and your fashion insights. I wish you the best for the future. Hannah x