The month-long Matreshka Festival was launched in grand style by its well known brand ambassador, Miss Russia 2003 and TV presenter Victoria Lopyreva with Russian folkloric dance shows and the opening of the Matreshka Doll Exhibition. Aviamost spoke to her to discover more…
Tell us about what you feel about the unique blend of different cultures in the UAE.
I am proud that I am Russian. When I visited UAE ten years ago, I was surprised to see so many Russians living here as it’s not our kind of habitat or environment to live in a warm climate like the UAE. But on the other hand it’s very good as because of this Russia’s art and culture can be spread more easily in such an exciting multicultural ambience. The Matreshka Festival’s aim too is to help spread our art and culture.
How will you describe Russian fashion and style?
Nowadays there are more new designers appearing and you can see Russian designers and their collections being showcased during the Paris Fashion Week such as the renowned Russian couturier Ulyana Sergeenko who is known for her theatrical, Soviet-inspired style with their mix of traditional Russian influences and modern sophistication and A la Russe the innovative fashion brand founded by Russian designer Anastasia Romantsov which is suited for modern aristocracy, complete with European niceties, perfectly blended with Russian culture.
What’s your opinion about how Russian designers can compete with European fashion brands?
My friends from high end society and I are very fond of creations by the world’s top brands but we also buy local designer brands because they produce very good collections in very good styles. This proves that they can compete very well with leading European designers.
How she feels to be Miss Russia and a beauty icon?
Sometimes I used to feel shy that though I was crowned Miss Russia way back in 2003, I am still called by that title in public events and by the media. But now I have got used to it as I realize that it is similar to be called an Olympic champion as you are always one all your life.
Do you want to create your own collection some day?
I do, but I’m not ready yet. I like to take up something and do it with total dedication and justice. But right now, due to the various demands on my time, I will not be able to devote time and attention to a collection of my own. But I do have plans.
Tell us about your career as a TV presenter and about your charity foundation.
I became a TV presenter after presenting a football match and it was the success of this show which made me highly popular, leading to more offers as a TV presenter. Several people link the show saying I met my husband, the Russian footballer, Fedor Smolovof who is part of the Ural Football Club through the first show I did on TV. But this is not true. In fact I told myself that I would never marry a footballer. But life had other plans and I ended up marrying one.
Regarding my charity foundation, it was founded by me in 2006. But I never mention it or talk about it usually as I feel that this is not something one trumpets about as it would seem boastful to do so. But recently I changed my attitude about this due to the situation in Ukraine. I was born in Rostov city and it shares its border with Donetsk in Ukraine. But before there was no border and we used to live as like one family. But now with the onset of the crisis, there are many people who are starting to migrate to Russia from Ukraine for a better life. And as they have had to abandon both their livelihood and all their things they need to be supported to start their life right from scratch with practically nothing. This prompted me to put up my status on the social networking sites and contribute whatever I could, I urged people in my circle and others in society to contribute to this noble cause. In fact I used to gather donated goods and drop them off at the collection centre. My foundation was established to support talented children from poor families.