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Maria is a 31-year-old mom based in Luxembourg who recently started a blog to share her fashion insights. With a strong inclination towards classic and comfortable styles, she avoids fast fashion to make smarter, sustainable choices. As a mother, it's crucial for her to maintain a lifestyle that's both active and stylish, setting a positive example for her daughter. Health and nutrition are also at the forefront of her priorities, complemented by her commitment to regular Pilates.


Moevir Magazine June Issue 2024 featured edition

[ Maria ]

Model: Mariia Nikolenko 

Photographer: Finegold Production @finegoldproduction

Photographer: Basanets Ekaterina 

Makeup Artist: Kateryna Zozulia  @katerynazozulia_makeup

Stylist: Sophie Nevedomaya 

Location: Blue Studio Paris 


Can you tell us about your journey into the fashion industry and how you became a successful model/blogger?

My journey into the fashion world began with my blog, where I wanted to share practical yet chic fashion tips for moms. Balancing style with comfort and functionality became my niche, resonating with other women who face similar challenges.

What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion and how do you stay motivated?

My inspiration came from the challenge of finding fashion that fits my lifestyle as a mom. I stay motivated by the positive feedback from my community and my desire to be a role model for my daughter, showing her that you can be fashionable and responsible.

As a fashion model/blogger, how do you keep up with the latest trends and maintain your own unique style?

I keep an eye on trends through magazines and online platforms, but I filter them through my personal style philosophy of 'classic and comfortable.' This allows me to stay trendy yet true to my personal taste and lifestyle needs.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a successful fashion model/blogger?

Find Your Niche: Focus on what makes you unique, whether it’s your style, passion for sustainability, or another angle that sets you apart.

Be Consistent: Regularly update your blog or social media with quality content that truly reflects your personal style. 

Engage Authentically: Connect with your audience by being genuine and responsive. Show your real self, not just the polished, curated version.

Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest trends and industry news to keep your content relevant and insightful.

Stay True to Your Values: Don’t compromise on what you believe in for popularity or financial gain; authenticity attracts loyalty.

How do you balance your personal style with the expectations of clients or readers?

I've found that being authentic is key. My readers and clients appreciate my practical approach to fashion, which aligns well with their expectations and my personal style. This balance has allowed me to build a loyal following.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry today and how do you see it evolving in the future?

One of the biggest challenges is the environmental impact of fast fashion. I believe the industry is slowly shifting towards more sustainable practices, and I see a future where eco-friendly and ethical fashion will become the norm.

How do you use your platform as a fashion model/blogger to advocate for important social and environmental causes?

As a fashion blogger, I use my platform to advocate for important social and environmental causes by carefully selecting the brands and products I promote. I prioritize brands that are committed to sustainability and ethical practices, and I share detailed insights about their processes and products with my readers. I also use my blog to educate my audience about the environmental impact of fast fashion and the benefits of choosing quality over quantity. 

Can you tell us about a particularly memorable or challenging experience you've had as a model/blogger and how you overcame it?

One particularly challenging yet memorable experience I had as a blogger involved modeling for a music video. The shoot lasted for three intense days, during which we worked almost non-stop. The pace was relentless, and the pressure to perform consistently across each take was immense. Despite the exhaustion and the demanding nature of the job, seeing the final result was incredibly rewarding. The video not only turned out beautifully, but it also showcased my ability to persevere through challenging situations. This experience taught me a lot about resilience and the importance of pushing through tough moments to achieve great results."

What role do you think diversity and inclusivity play in the fashion industry and how do you strive to promote these values in your work?

Diversity and inclusivity are fundamental to the fashion industry because they reflect the real world around us. In my blog, I make it a point to showcase a variety of styles that are accessible to people of all body types, ages, and backgrounds. I also highlight designers and brands that are actively working towards inclusivity, whether through their sizing, marketing, or employment practices. By sharing stories and products from a diverse array of voices, I aim to promote a more inclusive fashion dialogue. My approach is to create content that empowers everyone to feel represented and inspired to express their unique style, advocating for a fashion industry where everyone feels welcomed and valued.

Can you discuss your thoughts on the relationship between fashion and sustainability?

Fashion and sustainability are deeply interconnected, though the relationship has often been complex due to the industry's historical reliance on practices that are not environmentally friendly. In my work, I explore how the two can not only coexist but also enhance each other. I believe that sustainable fashion isn't just about choosing eco-friendly materials, but also about designing and consuming clothes that are meant to last. This shift not only reduces waste and the demand for resources but also challenges the fast fashion model that encourages excessive consumption

How do you think technology is changing the fashion industry and your role as a model/blogger?

Technology is profoundly transforming the fashion industry and my role as a blogger in several significant ways. Firstly, digital platforms and social media have democratized fashion, allowing me to reach a global audience and interact with my readers in real-time. This has also given rise to influencer marketing, where bloggers like me can have a substantial impact on brand awareness and consumer choices through our content.

How do you stay authentic and true to yourself in an industry that can sometimes prioritize appearance over personality?

Staying authentic in an industry often focused on appearance over personality is crucial to me, especially since I don't profit from my blog. This independence gives me the rare opportunity to post exactly what I want and truly believe in, without the need to cater to advertisers or sponsors. This approach not only aligns perfectly with my values but also brings me genuine happiness.

I engage with my audience in a transparent and honest way, sharing both my triumphs and challenges. This open dialogue helps to build a trusting relationship with my followers. I make it a point to discuss more than just fashion, delving into topics like body positivity, mental health, and the importance of self-care, which resonates deeply with my community.

How do you approach working with brands or designers whose values may not align with your own?

When working with brands or designers whose values may not fully align with my own, I approach the situation with careful consideration and clear communication. First, I assess the extent of the misalignment and decide whether it's something I can address through dialogue or if it fundamentally conflicts with my core values. If I believe there's room for positive influence or compromise, I engage in open conversations with the brand to express my concerns and see if we can find common ground.

Can you share any tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a fashion model/blogger?

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance as a fashion blogger involves setting clear boundaries and prioritizing tasks to manage time effectively. I designate specific hours for blogging, ensuring I have time for family and personal activities. Using tools that streamline workflow, like scheduling and project management apps, helps me stay organized and productive. I delegate tasks when possible, freeing up time for important personal interactions. 

Regular exercise and hobbies outside of fashion are crucial for my mental and physical well-being. Finally, staying connected with family and friends provides essential support and fulfillment.

How do you see the role of fashion evolving in society and culture, particularly in relation to self-expression and identity?

Fashion plays a pivotal role in society and culture, serving not just as a means of self-expression but also as a reflection of our times. As we continue to embrace diversity and individuality, fashion becomes a powerful tool for personal identity and cultural dialogue. It enables individuals to communicate their beliefs, moods, and affiliations without saying a word, which is increasingly significant in our visually driven world.

Moreover, as social awareness grows, fashion is evolving beyond aesthetics to embody values such as sustainability, inclusivity, and ethical production. These shifts are influencing how brands operate and how consumers choose to spend their money, promoting a more conscious consumer culture.

Can you discuss any personal style icons or influences that have inspired your own fashion journey?

While I don't have specific style icons, I draw a lot of inspiration from the vibrant and diverse fashion content on Instagram. Scrolling through Instagram, I encounter an array of fashion influencers and everyday people who showcase their unique styles. This wide-ranging exposure allows me to absorb a plethora of visual ideas and styling techniques, which I then adapt to enhance my own sense of style. This approach keeps my style dynamic and evolving, as I'm continually influenced by the creativity and personal expressions of others across the globe.

How do you think the pandemic has impacted the fashion industry and what changes do you see on the horizon?

The pandemic has profoundly impacted the fashion industry, accelerating digital transformations and shifting consumer behaviors towards online shopping and virtual experiences. It disrupted traditional retail and supply chains, compelling brands to adapt quickly to maintain their operations. Increased awareness around sustainability and ethical consumption has also emerged, with consumers demanding more transparency and preferring quality over quantity. 

The industry is seeing a rise in interest in upcycled and second-hand garments, reflecting a shift towards slow fashion. Looking ahead, I anticipate the fashion industry will continue to integrate technology, like virtual fittings and augmented reality shopping, to enhance consumer experiences. Additionally, there will likely be a stronger focus on local manufacturing and sustainable practices as brands and consumers aim to reduce their environmental impacts."

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to find their own unique style and voice within the fashion industry?

To find your unique style and voice in the fashion industry, start by exploring a wide range of influences and experimenting fearlessly with different looks to discover what truly resonates with you. Let your personal values guide your style, ensuring it reflects who you are and what you stand for. Be patient and receptive to feedback, as developing a distinct aesthetic and voice takes time and thoughtful refinement.

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