Interview with Nataly Osmann

I have a lot of things from talented Georgian designers in my wardrobe and I am very happy to attend fashion Weeks in Tbilisi

Everyone knows famous couple who travels around the world and takes breathtaking photos à la #FollowMeTo. As a follower myself, little did I know that one Easter break I would have a pleasure of meeting Nataly and Murad Osmann in the showroom where I worked. Nataly has an exquisite sense of style and always created marvelous looks on her travel pictures. Therefore, this came as a no surprise that today she is one of the leading fashion influencers, with over 1M followers. You can follow her around the major fashion weeks and red carpet events, see preparation and behind the scene videos on her Youtube channel

Nataly’s content is something to always look forward to and quarantine was no exception. This inspiration led to the interview, which I hope you will enjoy too!

  •  As a person who has been a traveler for years, how is the lockdown treating you? (Any guilty pleasures or lifesavers maybe?)

My husband – Murad and I have never stayed home for so long. But we tried to use self-isolation to our advantage. I started making live broadcasts with interesting people on my Instagram account. All videos are saved on IGTV, so you can watch them. We also held a #FollowMeToHome contest for our followers. People posted #FollowMeTo-style photos from their homes on Instagram and we gave gifts to the most creative ones. Also, I finally found time to cook delicious breakfasts and dinners for my husband, read books, dance and shoot our fun in TikTok to share positivity with everyone.

  • I noticed in your Fashion Week videos on Youtube, that even on the craziest of the days you still find time to do Yoga. When did it became part of your life and what does it mean to you?

Yoga is an important part of every day for a very long time. I start my day with practice and also find time for meditation and breathing exercises throughout the day. Even if I don’t have time or feel very tired, like at Fashion Weeks, I still try to spread the yoga carpet and do at least 10 minutes of exercise. So, I keep my mental balance and calm my mind.

  • In your experience, what is the formula to becoming successful travel/fashion influencer?

This may sound predictable, but the formula is simple — be yourself, don’t adapt to someone, don’t copy other people. You can be inspired by people, but it is extremely important to remain sincere. 

  • You work with number of the biggest international fashion brands. Could you please share one collaboration that is special to your heart? 

There are many of them, but one of my most favorite brands is Bulgari. This is not even a collaboration, but rather a sincere love for everything that the brand does.

I also want to mention Dior, I admire the brand! 

And one of the most exciting collaborations was my first commercial shoot for Michael Kors. It was about 8 years ago, when Murad and I were in New York, designer Michael Kors wrote to us and offered to participate in the charity project “Watch Hunger Stop”. Every purchase of the branded watch sponsored hundred breakfasts for children of Africa. The face of the campaign was Halle Berry. We posted some photos of #FollowMeTo on social media in support of the campaign and they ended up on the screens of Times Square.

  • Name 3 fashion accounts that you love to follow and why?

I will name a few recognized icons that I like to watch — Anna Venture, Victoria Beckham, the Hadid family. From the bloggers, I would mention Amina Muaddi, who launched her fantastic footwear brand. I also follow Bryan Yambao, also known as @bryanboy (a Filipino fashion blogger). I am inspired by what Maksim Sapozhnikov does, he created online fashion magazine @fashiontomax. 

I love the stylist Julie Pelipas, she is the fashion Director of Vogue Ukraine. And it is also very pleasant to follow Maria Mikhailova — the gossip editor of Vogue Russia magazine. There are a lot of them, it is impossible to note only 3. 🙂

  • We met few times in Tbilisi and I know you are familiar with Georgian fashion designers. Can you please share if you have any favorites?

I have a lot of things from talented Georgian designers in my wardrobe and I am very happy to attend fashion Weeks in Tbilisi. My favorite brands are Dots, designer Lalo Dolidze, ANOUKI, Dalood. I also like very conceptual and intricate items of MATERIEL TBILISI.

  • Are there any future projects you can share with my readers? Something to look forward to.

Recently I launched my first online course about yoga and meditation for beginners. It is for people who don’t know how to start the path to yoga. I share the knowledge that I have collected over 15 years in Tibet, India, South America, the Himalayas and Egypt. I share my rituals for maintaining inner balance, talk about my favorite stones and aromatherapy, share a list of books and playlists with mantras, and do meditations with singing bowls. This is a really important project for me, in which I have invested my experience and soul.

And I was going to open a new well-being space Ashram, but the quarantine and the situation in the world have made their own adjustments. I believe that in the near future I will be able to open this magical place and will invite you there)

Interview with Vanessa Hong

Hmmmm. Maybe a Celine piece I’ve waited for something special to wear to. Definitely want to make a splash to celebrate this when it’s all over.

I discovered Vanessa many years ago. Back then, no one used the term “influencer” and Vanessa ran her own blog names Haute Pursuit. Her website was a home to the inspiring outfits, New York City lifestyle and exquisite blogging skills. She is one of the few original fashion bloggers who created a new niche in the fashion industry and established new types of partnerships in it. She constantly collaborates with brands such as Chanel, Bottega Veneta and Prada and also hosts a podcast channel VanessaWantsToKnow.
Vanessa has served as an inspiration for my blogs in the past. Today I am happy to share our interview and introduce her firsthand. So let’s dive right in!

  1. Unfortunately, we are all going through a very difficult situation with COVID-19 and lockdowns all around the world. Could you share your personal experience, including the biggest challenges and/or tips?

It’s definitely been strange living in NY, one of the busiest cities in the world & have it be still and quiet except for sirens. The lockdown has really helped me see what is important to me in my personal and work life. Hopefully people have enjoyed all the IG Lives, IG TVs and feed content I’ve created during this time. It’s come from a place of curiosity, expansion and wanting to help in whatever way I can.

My yoga community has been so important during this time. I do class every day and have tried to be consistent with my meditation practice. Slowing down in general, spending less time on my phone and reading more books has also really nourished me.

  • Everyone following you can tell that along with the exquisite style you also bring spirituality and consciousness to the table. How well do you think the brands are responding to the challenges of sustainability of the planet?

To be honest, I want to be more optimistic about the industry as a whole, but sustainability and the fashion industry are ideologically, diametrically opposed. The onus on fashion brands is to create new seasons, make more clothes, add to what has been made already. I love fashion, I consume fashion myself and this is a realization that is very hard to stomach.

Hopefully one of the outcomes of this global event is a real, intentional review of how we do business in fashion.

  • Being an influencer you probably have a large wardrobe. With the items you have accumulated, (including the gifts from the brands) is there any method/rule you approach to keep your wardrobe mindful?

One of the ways I’ve tried to counteract this is not accepting gifts but rather working with brands on a sample loan basis. So this means I’ll borrow a piece from the runway or studio, shoot it, and then return the garments. When I am gifted (and this too happens) I give most of it away. When I started my career in fashion, I had limited funds and could not afford many of the things I wanted. So i know the value of receiving a gift, no strings attached – and I try to do this as often as possible.

  • What are your thoughts about vintage and second hand shopping? If positive, what are your favorite destinations online and offline?

For me, I like to collect old Celine pieces from Phoebe Philo’s era. I find those on Vestaire and The Real Real. Alternatively, I love going to vintage stores in Europe, i feel the curation and quality is so much better. One of my favorite people and stores is in Copenhagen, a placed called ‘Paloma’s vintage’

  • Is there an outfit or just an item you can’t wait to wear once this pandemic is over?

Hmmmm. Maybe a Celine piece I’ve waited for something special to wear to. Definitely want to make a splash to celebrate this when it’s all over.

  • Vanessa, can you share 3 influencers that inspire you?

my friend and a mentor @therealphilliplim (Phillip has the best cooking stories and his content is like a breath of fresh air just like him)

food stylist @lailacooks (I love Laila’s approach to food. It’s artistic, funny & very educational)

my facialist @joannaczechofficial (Joanna is one of the funniest people I know and she’s been doing faces for 20+ years and has so many great tips)

  • You created a great platform, especially for this particular situation. Is there anything additional project/idea you can share for our readers to look forward?

Yes, you can look forward to weekly podcasts from VanessaWantsToKnow. We’ll be having fun, uplifting conversations with all sorts of people from the Creative world. Definitely a must listen.

ქართული ვერსია ნახეთ აქ