A Quick Q&A with Daria Shapovalova
By: Jessica Michault
"I never dreamed of success, I worked for it."
Daria Shapovalova is one of the most driven, determined and dedicated women working in fashion today. She pretty much single handedly put Mercedes-Bens Kiev Fashion Days on the map. And has been a dynamo fashion plate ambassador for talented young designers who are coming out of Ukraine. Shapovalova is known for attends fashion shows around the globe in one eye catching number after another from designers that most of the world hasn’t heard of…yet. Her endless energy, up beat attitude and her impressive drive rightly placed her on the Business of Fashion’s list of 500 people shaping fashion today.
Here she opens up about how she got the ball rolling with Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days, her big break (thank you Anna Wintour) and the motto she stole from Estee Lauder.
How did you first get interested in fashion?
I always loved fashion, I think I was born with this love. But everything started with a book from my parent’s library. It was on the history of fashion from a cultural point of view. I read it and I felt in love with a notion of beauty which meets functionality.
What made you finally decide to launch out on your own and organize Kiev Fashion Week?
Me and my team founded Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days seven years ago, and since that time our fashion week has completely changed how the fashion industry works in Ukraine. Previously, designers were focused on private clients and local market, and now within their priorities – International sales and PR, development abroad. We did an extremely successful showcases at the main exhibitions around the world – the recent project we staged was together with Pitti Super, More Dash: The Eye on East, when we brought 10 Eastern-European fashion designers to the relaunched exhibition space in Milan. Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days opened a new page for the fashion industry in Ukraine, set its standards and I am proud that I was a catalyst.
What was your big break?
When, thanks to Sarah Mower, Anna Wintour came to see and meet Ukrainian designers.
Who inspires you?
My friends, my son. Also among my muses are Françoise Hardy and Audrey Hepburn – in terms of style, first of all. Every successful person within my circle of friends or those I read about inspire me to work harder.
Who living or dead would you love to be able to have dinner with?
I am sure that I will meet with everyone who is alive and whom I want to meet, so among dead – Grace Kelly, Albert Einstein and Coco Chanel.
What is your favorite trip?
My next trip is always my favorite!
When are you happiest?
In the morning, when I start a new day. When I am about to embark on a new journey – I love to start something new.
What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?
To do everything I want to do – properly an on time!
What is your secret talent?
I think people know too much about me. So all my talents are revealed. But I am sure that soon I will learn something new and I will be able to answer this question!
What is your motto or the best piece of advice you ever got?
It is from Estee Lauder: I never dreamed of success, I worked for it.
What emoji do you use the most?
Red heart as my love to people and my own life is endless. I am an absolute optimist and I am in love with whom I am, what I do and which people surround me! So my little red heart is spreading love to all my friends!
What is the latest Instagram feed you decided to follow?
The young, but extremely talented designer and artist @jahnk0y