EFM goal was to interview the Fashion Editor of ELLE Russia.  Thanks to Fashion Editor Nina Nabokova, I was introduced to Editor at Large Elena Anurkina.  Elena was very delighted to answer all of my questions and as Nina says, “she is great.” 

Elena Anurkina is the former editor of ICONS magazine and Life Style editor of Vogue Russia.  Elena’s didn’t start in the fashion industry. “Funny thing: as a child I wanted to be a professional dance performer or a singer.  I also use to read a lot.  I was born in a small town in Belarus.  I lived there till the age of 26.  I then decided to move to Moscow.”  Elena is married and is the mother of two.  She earned a Master’s degree in linguistics, “two years of experience as an interpreter at a huge state oil refinery enterprise.  In a year after my move and relocation all of a sudden I started my career in media (occasionally and rather for fun I participated in Vogue Talent Contest and won it). Four years at Vogue, development from a scratch and launch of ICONS magazine, as well as a bit of editing for AD Russia and Fashion TV Russia.  In summer 2008 I joined ELLE DELUXE editorial team at Hachette Filipacchi Shkulev.”

I wanted to know how Elena became the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of ELLE DELUXE.  She felt that it was the opinions of the company authorities to answer my questions.  “They know better and see ahead.” She says to me.  But in her own words, “I can say that after nine months of working as Deputy Editor-in-Chief for ELLE DELUXE I was made an offer and took the challenge. And since then I have worked hard. Really. But I love it.”

Since Elena didn’t have a degree in Fashion I wanted to know if she always had a love for fashion.  “Naturally,” she says.  “are there women that do not love fashion?  I think it’s innate.  And global.”

Elena shares with me what her day is like at the ELLE Russia office. “I think my day is much alike your day as editor-in-chief and any other editor-in-chief in the world.  Meetings, discussions, web-surfing, e-mails, brainstorms, hundreds of phone calls, lots of coffee, occasional cigarette.  And constant eye on competitors and search for means of leaving them behind.”

Working for ELLE Russia as the Editor at Large comes hectic schedules.  How does she keep herself organized and balanced?  Elena responds. “Just keep doing and moving.  Found efficient assistant.  Sleep at night; get up early, have breakfast and lunch.  Do morning exercises every day together with my husband and my children.  Smoke less. Laugh more.  Avoid TV. And regularly go shopping.

Elena told me that ELLE Russia, “rather have contributing authors, photographers, stylists, etc.”  Elena looks for in an intern or an assistant, “he or she has to be young, fashion and style-conscious, smart, curious, eager to learn, with good sense of humor and healthy to be able to work hard.”

It’s a very long process in choosing a model or an actress for a cover, a lot of brainstorming.  Much goes into it, “it’s a long story,” she says, “that’s all I can say!”   Is there any difference in ELLE Russia vs. ELLE United States?  “It is not more than the difference between Russian women and market and the American and not less either.”

I am not at all closed minded to fashion from around the world.  I love Moscow Fashion Week.  So of course I had to ask Elena if there were any Russian designers to look out for. “Alexander Terexov, Igor Chapurin, Alena Akhmadullina, Serguey Teplov, Konstantin Gayday, Arngoldt, Biryukov, Pustovit, IRFE. And the number of young and talented Russian designers grows and grows from year to year. Some of them already participate in Paris, Milan, London and New-York fashion shows.”

Who are the “it” Russian models to look out for?  Yes there are - Sasha Pivovarova, Tanya Dyagileva, Natalya Vodyanova, Vlada Roslyakova, Natasha Poly, Ranya Mordanova, Anna Seleznyova.  To name a few.”

Elena says that the fashion trends in Russia are, “the same as in the world.  What is special about Russia is that our women really follow them.”  In Elena wardrobe she cannot live without her, “little black dresses (and not only black), high heels and earrings.”

Elena shared with me great advice, and describes her work ethics.  “Read/watch magazines and the media.” “Do your best.  Work hard.  Stay tuned involved passionate and open-minded.  Be original.  Trust yourself.  Keep learning and sharing.  Do not cheat. Treat people with love, sympathy and respect, especially competitors.  Bring big money to your company on a regular basis so they have means and grounds to pay you ‘big’ bonuses!”

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