We continue the series of interviews with fashion insiders who share their thoughts on the impact of technology on fashion in general and on their life in particular. The hero of the joint project “Kyivstar” and the editorial board of FWD was the Ukrainian supermodel Alina Baykova. At the moment, Alina lives and works in New York, and she also runs her own charity fund The Heart Fund, supports Ukrainian brands and leads an active social life. It seems that it is impossible to manage everything with such a busy schedule, but this is not about Alina Baikov. We talked with Alina and found out what motivates her and inspires her to work, and asked about her cooperation with Sasha Samsonova and the Cannes Film Festival – 2018
Alina, your schedule is extremely busy. What helps you to manage everything? Perhaps you use special gliders or applications on your smartphone?
I do not use anything at all and I forget everything. You can not even imagine how many meetings and phone calls I miss, because I never write anything down. I hope for a memory, but she fails. I really have a very busy schedule, I take part in many different projects – these are photo sessions, meetings, and other events. I live to the full (laughs), and to all have time, almost do not sleep: only 4-5 hours a day. I think that sleep is a waste of time.
How important is it for you to conduct social networks, what are the weaknesses and strengths of popularity on the web?
Social networks in our time are very important. More important than anything else. For example, Justin Bieber is in some ways more influential than Barack Obama, because he has more subscribers. One post of Bieber can level the opinion of all the authorities. To build such communication, it is necessary to exert a lot of effort, always post posts, monitor what you publish, and all this diplomatically and carefully. But hiring people to run your account for you is also wrong because they will never do it at the level you can do yourself. This is a very complex but powerful platform for influence, on which everyone today depends.
You have the service of Alina’s Flowers. How do social networks help you promote your business and do they help at all?
This business does not exist anymore, I have not worked in it for a year because of internal problems in the company, but the social networks really helped us to promote this service. And I think, if it still existed, we would go much further, certainly thanks to social networks.
Have you had time to try the Internet of the new generation 4G?
I now live in America and I constantly use 4G (LTE). I know that in Ukraine they are just starting to launch 4G, that’s why it’s great that Kyivstar is developing new technologies in our country.
What are your favorite gadgets?
There are no questions – this is a smartphone. There all the most necessary and vital. How sad it did not sound. It contains everything: email, calls, correspondence. There will be no phone, there will be no me.
What kind of smartphone are you currently using?
Have you ever tried to abandon a smartphone for a while?
I arrange a digital-detox for myself. For example, on Sundays, I use the phone less, but still, I can not completely refuse it, because on this day I may have meetings or work, and I should be in touch. Maybe someday, when I become rich and I do not have so much responsibility and deeds, I can completely abandon the phone, but I can not afford it yet.
The only time I had such a case. Once I flew to North Korea with my then young man, and at the border, I had a mobile phone. I spent four days without a phone. It was quite an interesting experience.
Remembering the recent scandal with Facebook and the leakage of personal data of its users, do you think it is worth fencing off social networks and how to protect yourself from such situations?
In fact, I also suffered from this. I have a special personal email that was pretty hard to get, and it was he who was tied to Facebook and Instagram. Soon a lot of incomprehensible letters began to come, and I stopped giving people the address of my mail because I was just lost in such a sea of letters. It’s too late to protect myself somehow, and I do not think it’s worth to give up social networks just because of this. It is up to you whether to agree to the terms that are offered to you or not. It’s still our choice.
How do you feel about the emerging trend in virtual models that look like real people?
I think this is an interesting idea. You live and think that everything is already there, everyone has already invented, and then such people appear. In principle, it is difficult to give an assessment of this – there is, but I think that this is a good marketing move.
Do not you think that virtual models can replace people?
No, I think that they will create several more types and this will end the trend.
Not so long ago you took part in the fashion-film of Sasha Samsonova. Tell us about this cooperation.
I heard a lot about Sasha from Dasha Shapovalova, and Dasha just adores her – both as a person and as a professional, she appreciates her work. We wanted to collaborate several times, but each time everything was canceled. And this time Sasha herself came out on me and offered to participate in some kind of project (then I did not yet know what it was). And I said, ” Come on.“. Dasha frightened me a little, saying that we would not have contact with Sasha, because we both have a strong character, and because of this I was a little worried. But when I met Sasha, she struck me with her vision, professionalism. It’s next level, really! It was a very good experience for me, and even with the Ukrainian director. I worked very hard with whom, but Sasha really has a unique vision, what atmosphere she creates on the set and how the process is going on is very inspiring.
By the way, Katya Panchuk, the designer with Ukrainian roots, provided things for the shootings. How important is it for you to support Ukrainian designers?
For me, it is very important, and at the slightest opportunity, I put these things on. I often wear Gasanova and clothes from other Ukrainian designers who, during my visits to Kiev, give me things or send them here to New York. In occasion of shooting with Sasha: these outfits are simply incredible and, probably, will approach at least for Met Gala. I would like to take everything for myself, but I simply have nowhere to go into such things.
What impressed you the most at the Cannes Film Festival this year?
It was one of my best trips to Cannes. Every year I flew there because of my charitable foundation, and it was always a job, although it breaks I had time to walk along the red carpet and go to events. This year my charity foundation did not take place, because we were a little late with the confirmation of the venue: we chose a yacht, but the weather turned out to be very bad, plus there were a number of other reasons. So we moved the charity dinner in New York. This year, the only thing I needed to do was take a few photos and show up on the red carpet.
Did you manage to rest or did you work all the time?
As such, I did not have rest. My stylist flew with me, and thanks to her I had a little more free time this year. But because of the mass of affairs, it was not possible to relax. I could have 20 events a day, so I went only to the most important.
When choosing outfits for the red carpet, do you completely trust the stylists or control the choice of the image yourself?
I control, but my stylist knows both me and my taste, so she always gets to the point. There are times when she says that this designer is important, but not quite in my style. I sometimes help her and “walk” certain outfits so she can build relationships with designers.
How do you feel about the gesture of actress Kristen Stewart, who, during the passage along the red carpet of the film festival, took off her shoes and went barefoot?
I hope her stylist will pick her the best shoes next time. (Laughs.) But it seems to me that this is already too much: if you do not want to wear shoes on your heel, then go along the street or sit at home. There are things you do not need to bend a stick. If you go to a beautiful restaurant and put on shorts, you will not be allowed, and I support it. If you are going to the red carpet, choose low-heeled shoes, but do not go barefoot. Even if Kristen wanted to say something, it’s disrespectful to the designer who gave her shoes, and to the stylists. For example, I really love heels and I think that you can always find an alternative.
What inspires and motivates you to move on in your work?
First of all, I’m just sick. (Laughs.) I constantly need to do something, I need an action in life, I need a drama because otherwise, I will be bored. Secondly, these are people who surround me. I am very lucky in this regard because I communicate with people like Daria Shapovalova. I wonder how she manages everything, I’m not even married yet, and I have no child, but I still do not have time. I’m motivated by my friends and friends, we give each other advice, support, and therefore we are moving forward. There is no way back.
Call or write?
Internet or personal communication?
Google or Safari?
Instagram or Snapchat?
Stories or publication in your profile?
The very first on Instagram.
Notepad: electronic or paper?
Shopping: online or offline?
What will change the life of Ukrainians with 4G from Kyivstar?
First, 4G is a great speed. And this means that in cities where the fixed Internet is poorly developed, people will be able to use 4G as a replacement for the home Internet – to watch films, lectures on Coursera, communicate with loved ones, watch videos with seals.
Secondly, the 4G bandwidth is much larger – 10 times compared to 3G. This means that even if you watch the entire family online, and everyone on their gadget, the speed still will not change.
Third, in the 4G communication standard, there is much less so-called ping (packet delay). For example, a video on YouTube takes an average of 3-4 minutes. In the 3G network, the clip is fully loaded on the smartphone for about 1.5 minutes. In 4G this clip will be loaded for 1 second. You just do not notice the download process.
The opinion of the editorial board may not coincide with the opinion of the reader’s Photo on the cover: Tatiana Chornenkaya.