Mariia Lapteva is a successful stylist, influencer, and teacher in the styling area. Mariia shares her insights on the future of fashion, the importance of mentorship, her exciting projects, and some fun facts in our FabFast5. In this interview, she also shares her thoughts on how she balances her personal life, self-care, and family responsibilities with the demands of being a fashion influencer and stylist. Get ready to be inspired by our exclusive interview with Mariia Lapteva, the head of Style Influences Group. Read on to discover how this highly qualified stylist and manager built her team in Russia and offers styling services online to clients worldwide.
Fab: Mariia, you have made a name for yourself not only as a stylist in the Russian-speaking world but also in Milan and Europe. Could you share with us how you got your start in the fashion industry and what inspired you to pursue a career as a stylist and fashion influencer?
Mariia: I began my career 12 years ago in Orenburg, a small provincial town on the border with Kazakhstan. At the age of 17, I started working as a makeup artist to support myself since my parents couldn’t provide for me. While working, I also took a state-financed course in fashion design at the university. I worked so hard that by the age of 21, I had earned my way to study at UAL in London, where I specialised in fashion styling. I worked on fashion shoots and magazine covers for small magazines while studying, and I’ve also worked as a personal and celebrity stylist. There was even a show BEFORE AND AFTER featuring me as a personal stylist, Transforming Looks.
Fab: Your show was very successful, and an English version would be very beneficial. Could you share any tips or advice for readers looking to develop their own personal style and build a wardrobe that reflects their personality and values?
Mariia: It’s essential to decide your goals and work on your image based on them. The right image can help improve communication and make the right impression on important people. I’m against giving general advice to everyone since we’re all unique, with different goals and aesthetic priorities. Therefore, a stylist’s work can be compared to a jeweller’s, who creates unique masterpieces and cuts and polishes precious stones. For me, every client is unique.
Styling for Diversity: How Mariia Lapteva Helps Clients Feel Confident and Comfortable
Fab: As a successful stylist and fashion influencer, how do you approach styling for clients with diverse body types and backgrounds and ensure that they feel comfortable and confident in their outfits?
Mariia: It’s important to consider not only comfort but also other factors when choosing clothes. Image is a way of influencing; it’s a powerful tool that should not be underestimated. Through our image, we can demonstrate the necessary characteristics to influence our important environment. For example, through images, we can show femininity or brutality, restraint or emotionality, creativity or conservatism. Each of us has different goals, and the right image and the right clothes can help us achieve them.
Fab: Can you share any stories or anecdotes from your time in the fashion industry that have had a lasting impact on you or your work?
Mariia Lapteva: I love reading biographies of famous fashion designers. Their success stories inspire me, especially when you learn about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them to return to success. My favourite book is “Fashion” by Charlotte Zeleng, full of stories and biographies that I highly recommend.
Finding Inspiration Everywhere: Mariia Lapteva’s Approach to Staying Ahead of Trends
Fab: Let’s talk about personal or cultural influences that have shaped your approach to fashion and styling and how you incorporate these into your work.
Mariia Lapteva: Studying religions, psychology, and working with different people and projects has influenced me a lot. It made me realise that each person is unique, as is their life path. The most important thing for a stylist is to hear the other person and understand their values and needs. I’m against imposition in my work; I’m for hearing and understanding needs, goals, and values. This applies to personal clients as well as fashion shoots. Of course, I can express my opinion, but I always listen to others.
Fab: As someone who has worked their way up and financed their education in both London and Milan and is also a teacher in the styling area, how do you balance your personal life, self-care, and family responsibilities with the demands of being a fashion influencer and stylist?
Mariia Lapteva: I am married and have two children. And it is very hard to combine career and family life. I love my family, but I’m not ready to give up my career because I love my business. I am endlessly in love with styling. So I have to find a balance, even though it’s very, very difficult. But I want to show by my own example that if you are a mom, you can still be self-fulfilling and do what you love. I don’t want to choose between my career and my family, so I look for opportunities, as the saying goes: Whoever wants to, looks for opportunities; whoever doesn’t want to, looks for reasons.
Fab: How do you stay current and ahead of trends in the ever-changing world of fashion, and what sources do you rely on for inspiration?
Mariia: I am inspired by life itself, of which fashion, art, and many other things are a part. I can find inspiration anywhere: in ordinary everyday life, paintings, movies, stories, and books. And life itself will never go out of fashion, so trends are reflections of the mood of society. I’m a keen observer, so it’s not hard for me to stay ahead of the curve and even create trends. Stay up to date on the newest in the world of Fashion, Arts, Beauty and Lifestyle; Follow FAB on Instagram.
Balancing Career and Family: Mariia’s Story of Self-Fulfillment and Success
Fab: As a stylist and influencer, how do you balance your personal taste and preferences with the needs and wants of clients and followers?
Mariia: I always work with clients’ needs without imposing my personal taste. As a stylist with extensive experience, I clearly separate my taste from my clients needs. Sometimes my taste and my client’s aesthetic priorities coincide, sometimes they don’t; it’s normal that we are all different.
Fab: Is there a particularly challenging project or collaboration you’ve worked on as a stylist, and how did you approach it creatively?
Mariia Lapteva: As someone who not only creates but also runs her own business. I’m the CEO and founder of STYLE INFLUENCES GROUP, which provides personalised services to create a personal style and image. I can say that it’s important to be able to coordinate the expectations of all participants in the project. And if there are difficulties, which means a lack of coordination between the participants, it is necessary to sit down at the negotiating table and figure out exactly where there are disagreements.
Fab: How do you see technology and social media shaping the future of fashion, and what opportunities and challenges do these platforms present for stylists and influencers?
Mariia Lapteva: The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and social media and technology are playing a significant role in shaping its future. While there are many opportunities for creative people on these platforms, achieving success takes a lot of hard work. One of the biggest challenges is the reliance on the virtual world, which can lead to less time spent in the real world. However, understanding your goals is essential for success.
Fab: You mentioned that you have built a team in Russia and offer your services online. Can you share with our readers how you manage your team and pass on your styling skills?
Mariia: Yes, I am the head of Style Influences Group, and we offer wardrobe capsules, wardrobe disassembly, and online hairstyling services with highly qualified stylists. My experience as a manager has been beneficial in building and managing my team. However, passing on my styling skills requires constant learning and education, which is why I am currently finishing my studies at the NABA Institute.
Fab: Mentorship and community are essential in the fashion industry. Can you tell us how you have benefited from these relationships in your career?
Mariia: While mentorship and community are vital in any industry, the fashion industry is particularly reliant on them. For me, vocational education has been crucial in developing my skills, and I am always learning. Additionally, the relationships I have built with mentors and peers have been instrumental in my growth as a stylist and manager.
Fab: Have you ever faced criticism or backlash for a style choice or social media post, and how did you respond?
Mariia: Constructive criticism from professionals in the fashion industry is always welcome, and I take the time to consider their feedback. However, when faced with criticism that is not constructive, I respond with humour or by using language from Aesop’s fables.
Fab: Can you share with our readers any exciting projects or collaborations you have in the works?
Mariia Lapteva: I am thrilled to announce that I have been invited to style a film, which is a new experience for me. I am looking forward to translating the characters’ emotions through their images.
Fun Zone: #FabFast5
- If you could time travel to any period in history, where and when would you go?
I would have liked to visit all the eras, to be in each one a little at a time. It was unrealistically interesting.
- Your current favourite TV show?
I prefer historical films, or films and series based on real events. However, it’s hard to pick a favourite
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you could be any animal for a day, which one would you choose?
- If you had to pick one song to be the soundtrack of your life, what would it be?Beethoven Moonlight Sonata