To be honest, we were so anxious to conduct this exclusive interview with Mariana VOINOVA, Brand Ambassador of FABERGE, that we were ready to fly to a meeting in another city, another country for the sake of a personal meeting. But fortunately, things came around so that Mariana was right in London and we also arrived for work for a couple of days, and we managed to agree on the meeting exactly in this incredible city. In the city where the shooting of the legendary advertising campaign took place, in which Mariana acted as an ideological mastermind .
As we learned later, we were very lucky, because, usually Mariana rarely gives interviews, and, especially, so frank ones.
Mariana has appointed a meeting in one of the historic cafes in central London. I arrived 15 minutes before the meeting and anxiously awaited a personal meeting with Mariana.
Exactly at 12:00 Mariana entered by the door and it was hard not to recognize her. Remarkable, charismatic, confident - she headed toward me as if we had met before and she knows me in person) She was wearing a luxurious silk, blue jumpsuit Elie Saab and a coat of heavenly shade.
The first thing I wanted to say out loud was WOW. This day I will remember for a long time. Mariana has gently laughed, and politely having taken an interest «how am I doing», she has suggested to pass to an interview in order to have time to discuss everything, as today she is having shooting for L'officiel Baltic.
–Mariana, tell us everything from the very beginning: how did you meet with Faberge and how you were chosen to become an honorable ambassador?
By the twist of fate and quite unexpectedly for me. On the eve of the holiday on February 14, 2017, I got a call and was invited to take part in the photo-shoot to the St. Valentine's Day for the L'Officiel magazine. Since I love everything connected with the word "love", I gladly agreed. Exactly at the photo shoot I learned that the jewelry will be only of one brand, namely of Faberge.
After the publication of the photo, the Faberge company, whose main office is located in England, London, invited me to the company for a meeting, asked for my presentation and said that they want to consider my candidacy for the post of the Faberge ambassador. They saw my energy resemblance to the brand, my noble personality and pure reputation. I replied to this that this brand is really like-minded for me, and it will be an honor for me to become a part of its history, and especially to get an opportunity to influence its development. I am a very freedom-loving person and before giving an answer and agreeing, I said that since I am ambassador, I should be an ideological mastermind, producer and companion in the movement of the brand, to which they responded with guarded consent (smiling - editor's note). I am very grateful for the support and trust. Although being torn between the work and projects of my company, which in any case comes first for me, and I'm present in decision-making and its movements every day. I managed to survive and do everything to the maximum from myself.
– How did the idea of your shooting in London come, the style, the direction of the locations? Mariana, every photo is a masterpiece! The photos are sincere and vibrant, really!
Frankly speaking, I don’t have my own ideas. My brain is just a receiving device, and my heart is intuition. God communicates with human through signs and intuition in the heart. That’s personally my experience. Information and signs come in the form of riddles, in proportion. My task is to understand what is required of me.
– In your case - this is a whole project, a period of life. How did it get started?
It all started with the fact that I came to the Faberge boutique to choose jewelry to go to the event. And I was shown a man's watch, for my husband. I answered that I like them, but my husband is in America and when he arrives, we'll ask him for a fitting. I was told that they flew for a couple of days made-to-order, as the men's line is represented only in London. I really love the men's watch, I have three pairs of men's watches, I sometimes buy things from the men's line and reduce them to my size. There was a time when I wanted to open a men's fitness club in Kiev. For some reason I immediately was outraged that men do not have information about the men’s line of the brand. But watches and cufflinks are really very stylish, modern and youth. I said that they need to make a man's ad campaign separately. I was told that this is not part of the company's plans. And I replied that if so, my next advertising campaign will be jointly with the men’s one and that’s it. I remember I was driving a car and asking: "Lord, what is this you thought of? What next?
I have no idea about this in my head ...
The first understanding that the location of shooting is already predetermined - London, since the entire men's collection was located in the main boutique of the brand. The question is settled, but who will represent the men’s line with me? For me it was an interesting question, do I need to roll a globe or what? ...
– Mariana, this is very interesting! Casting, the choice of the model, that one who will represent the men’s line was behind you or together with Faberge? How did you stop at Philip?
The choice of the model, however strange it may sound, I gave to God. Understanding that I will that one who chooses, that I won’t have enough time for my ambassadorship, I said that I will look and wait for a clue. Having choosed the first agency in London, "Elite", I went to the page of men’s models and stopped at Alexis Petite, noting that he looks good in a suit, I decided to watch his Instagram. I went to the page, saw a photo where he was with Philip. I turned off the phone and went to a meeting. I was first who went to the restaurant, ordered a coffee ... started drinking coffee, I let my glance rest on the TV screen where the fashion channel was turned on and I saw the guy - it was Philip in some light shirt at some show. So I realized that it was him, he was found.
– You were no longer looking anymore, you stayed on him and that’s it? How much time, days does it took?
I did not immediately agree, but there were many moments when I realized that I was not mistaken. It took about 40 minutes.
– Mariana, we are very interested in the stylistics of shooting, clothing, images. We cannot but note that this question was interesting to people in social networks. Did you participate in the selection or hire a stylist?
My team selected several stylists, I chose a very famous stylist, so that I had access to those things that I needed. I wrote everything I need, but these are things - they need to be seen, tried, photos could not be provided to me. I flew a day earlier to see all the looks for Philip and me.
– Tell us, what difficulties did you face with before shooting?
There were a lot of difficulties. But I skip the shortcuts, I choose the most difficult option of all. Or does it choose me? (laughs - editor's note)
As I already said, there were a lot of difficulties, but I don’t like to give a blaze of glory to bad things. I can only tell you that by good intentions, by inviting me, the Faberge company supplied me with a working seal, without much understanding (I did not have time for it) I was refused a British visa, although I had already visited London many times. This was a really unexpected blow, although, as it turned out later, everything was according to plan.
– Mariana, it's hard to believe, how you managed it? Did you stop preparing? What was happening at that time, how did you end up on the shoot?
There was no preparation at that time, except for difficult negotiations. I was told that I can do the re-submission after 6 months, realizing that I want no part in it at all, I personally called the embassy and said that I had an important project, and they put me in a tough spot and asked what should I do now? And what will they advise, what is the reason for such an act. They responded by raising my case, that I cannot enter for work with the documents that I submitted. I said that I'm not going to work, and that I need this visa. I was asked that Faberge London writes a letter that they made a mistake in printing and they will re-collect the commission on my case. I have passed this information along exactly like this. I re-submitted documents with a new seal. But no one promised anything, the examination of documents endures 1 month, and 3 weeks left before the shooting, I had to postpone the date to October 3. In truth, no one believed that the shooting would take place. Nobody, except me, of course. I realized that there was no time to wait and that everything is needed to be organized and I need to fly out after receiving a visa.
My faith, of course, was enough for me, but Faberge. Insurance, photographer, payments ... irrevocable ones... having put me at a dead end with such a situation, and Philip was already in Paris, he was waiting for the shooting. I said: "God, how could you put me in such a tough spot?"
He replied that everything was fine. Thinking of what that means, I really understood that everything was fine. I asked for my fee for the ambassadorship in advance and paid all the shooting costs, including Filip, so that everyone left me alone and did not stop preparing. Realizing that this was the will of the Holy Father, I dedicated this shooting to the 100th anniversary of Carl Faberge, who was taken away from the company in the early days of October 1918.
– Tell us about the new campaign?
The advertising campaign "stones and heart" was shot within the church of the XI century, which was dedicated to Saint Dustan, bishop of Canterbury, counselor and mentor of three English kings, who deserved love and respect of the people for the restoration of monasteries destroyed during the Viking invasions of the 10th century.
Having found this church and asked permission, I was waiting for the answer, when I was allowed to officially shoot for advertising, there was no doubt that I found what I was looking for, but in principle there was no doubt essentially.
– There is some kind of secret meaning in a shot with an umbrella and rain, tell me more?
The answer and tribute consisted in my Zilly umbrella, which was made in a single copy in London with my initials and a cross with the wings of an angel: "The barbarian who came to God is the most faithful! To fight not with the sword, but with the help of the cross is my mission in this life".
As for the sunshower - the properties of this rain are known for that they cleanse and heal from the energy of the evil one.
–Shooting so expensive products on the streets of London is hazardously. How was the security issue resolved, did you feel comfortable?
Insurance company was afraid, everyone was afraid, that is why I took lead on this insurance of all products. We were given security, the guards were very responsible, they very worried and did their best, I'm glad with their work. They knew what kind of responsibility lays on me and supported me as much as possible.
– Your work with Philip, was this project your first common project?
Yes, it was our first collaboration.
– Tell us your impression of Philip?
I'm glad to meet him and work together on the project! In the process of work, I saw different traits of his personality and I can say with confidence that the bright side in it dominates. You can observe this yourself on our common photos.
– Mariana, continue the phrase "love is…."? In Faberge - Story you personally wrote an artistic text. What is love for you in everyday life?
There is no love without self-sacrifice! Personally for me every day is like this. And this is also my strength. I do it consciously. All the rest is deception and power, boredom, unwillingness to be self-sufficient. Love is not to cuddle and giggle watching a comedy, and not a romantic candlelight dinner. These are all additions to the basis, and the basis is the daily work of thoughts and actions. Do not ask for love and not wait, but love. Be not intrusive, but be close. Be faithful in heart and at your own choice. Despite the actions of others. Do not hate, but forgive, do not doubt, but believe until the end. To please in the sadness, to give light in the darkness. Love is not nearly "hearts - emodjies". This is much more.
– Mariana, if we have already started talking about love and values. What are your life priorities?
1. God (and my mission for him).
2. My family.
3. People who meet me on my way and my mission in their lives.
4. Work and projects that come to me and my mission in them.
All the rest is like everyone else has...
–You are together with your husband for 11 years, what's the secret? Does your husband value you? How do you hold him? Share your secrets.
The first secret: I never hold anyone, and I myself do not hold on to anyone, and my husband knows this perfectly. He respects this very much in me. There is such an expression "a slave does not need freedom, a slave needs his own slaves." So you cannot confuse egoism, affection and deception with love. It is necessary to ask this question the spouse, of course, I do not like talking about myself. But he always says that there is light with me, and there is darkness without me. A day without me is in vain. But I teach him that God is always in the first place. And he does not dare to put me in this place. It is forbidden by me.
There are two types of women: some came to this Earth to bring the man’s soul to hell, the latter (there are much less of them, of course, but they are) help a man to make good, teach him, shape his energy and mission before God. To be resistant to the evil one and its temptations, to recognize deception over his "angelic" guise. By the way, a man does not know his mission and cannot learn himself without a woman. This is the essence of the union. But, it is true, not all men are worthy of such a woman.
– Mariana, what would you do for love? Were there examples when your words are backed up by actions?
Of course! And it is known first of all to God, my husband, my loved ones and those who know me in different situations. I never say what I did not do. And in principle, I never prove anything to anyone, I'm free of it. I cannot be defeated, I do not fight.
– Can you give an example, at least one, please? I think it will be very interesting for readers.
I saved my husband's life when he was dying, there was a case. I won’t tell you the details, he had a clinical death, I pulled him out. I caused the energy of death and said: 'He won’t go away, he will stay, God wants it so. And I want so, he has a chance'. And I received an answer that he has no chance that I’m the only one who can give him a chance only if I decease, but I knew that God needs him, God told me in my heart and I agreed! I stood firm. And he stayed, and me, but I was burnt to ashes. I had to endure and restore my husband and myself for about two years. In general, I tell him "do not flatter yourself, all is for God's sake, not for your personally. After all, only his Word is in the first place. If he answered in my heart "let go", I would have to let go. Therefore, each has his own test and tasks. Love needs to be tested and situations to know for sure that this is not a deception and not a distracting maneuver from the important things in your life.
– Did you remain satisfied with Faberge? Did you like everything?
The best indicator of our advertising shooting is that the people wanted Faberge from EVERY shot - to make a separate advertising
–- I would like to touch on the questions of stylistics, clothes, how did you choose such harmonious pair images?
There were a lot of things .. a whole lot) I remember how my number was literally a "clothing store" and, from all the proposed, I had to compose images that would be harmoniously paired up .
I like to plan and prepare everything in advance, but it was extremely difficult to remotely collect images without seeing the whole list of clothes if not to say "impossible". That's why I collected images right on the day of shooting. But I love creativity and I always know what I want, so I quickly coped with this task!
Mariana, completing the interview, I’m anxious to wish you great success, may your work was appreciated by FABERGE, because I have communicated many times with different " brand persons" and "ambassadors" and very few people are ready to invest in the project as YOU did. Renounce fee, pay brand development literally with your money - opening up new horizons! For many, it's just a job and making money but you have put the meaning, soul and all of yourself into every shot, and believe me, and it shows. It remains for me to wish you more success, interesting projects, and the right people alongside.