The second interview in my Fashion Insiders series is with the lovely Daria Andronescu; a personal shopper and the founder of Wonder Wardrobe. I was excited to talk to her as I didn't know a lot about the life of a personal shopper and always thought it sounded like the best job in the world! Daria didn't disappoint, she told me about living life between Moscow, Milan and Paris and then how she adapted her life so she travelled less.
Over the past 7 years, she has worked as an international personal shopper, creating wardrobes for clients all over the world. After building her experience and knowledge she developed her own method of building the perfect wardrobe. Daria is now based in Düsseldorf and shares her method via the Wonder Wardrobe; an online video course for anyone who wants to build a sustainable wardrobe of fully interchangeable outfits.
I'm a fan of her, very successful, YouTube videos. Daria shows how to make our current wardrobes work harder; she is passionate about using this approach to tackle the problem of sustainability in fashion. As someone that's scared to death of creating their own Youtube videos, I was reassured to hear that Daria still gets nerves before uploading hers!
Hi Daria, thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.
Congratulations on the success of Wonder Wardrobe. You started out as a personal shopper, when did you know you wanted to work in this role?
Thank you so much! When I decided that I wanted to work in fashion, I started researching different industry jobs and that’s how I found out about image consultant and personal shopper jobs. I thought working with real people privately, helping them to achieve a better image, might be very fulfilling. Plus, you get to shop in the best and most luxurious shops in the world and work with clothes from any brand you want.
Tell me a bit about how you got to this point in your career?
My fashion journey started when I won an internship at Cosmopolitan (Russia) and had a chance to assist stylists in photoshoots. I found that so exciting that I decided I definitely wanted to work in fashion. Then I went to Milan to the Up-to-Date Fashion Academy and studied image consulting for women and men, personal shopping and etiquette. After graduating, I had a chance to get another internship, this time in Milan and in personal shopping, that gave me a huge amount of experience. After that, I went back to Moscow, where I am from originally, and decided to start a personal shopping business.
Of course, it wasn’t easy in the beginning, so I had to find a job. At first, I was working as a brand specialist in a fashion concept store and was teaching sale assistants about the brands we had there. It was an interesting job but wasn’t creative enough. I’ve also worked for an online shop as a stylist, where I had to dress the models for the photoshoots.
Then, finally, I started to get more and more clients for personal shopping and it became my full-time job. I was working non-stop for 5 years, travelling and living between Moscow, Milan and Paris. Some trips were amazing, some were very tiring. It’s not an easy thing to work with rich Russian clients. Most of them hire a personal shopper just to show off or out of boredom. It just made me feel useless. At some points, I got very tired and started wondering what else I could do, and how I could evolve professionally. I wanted to do something meaningful, useful and fun and that’s how the Wonder Wardrobe was created.
How did you come up with the idea for Wonder Wardrobe?
I was thinking about a way to help more people with their style without having to travel so much. An online course seemed to me like the perfect solution. I already had my own system of building multifunctional and interchangeable wardrobes that I’d created while working as a personal shopper, so I just had to record it and put it out there.
What advice would you give someone wanting to do what you do?
Don’t be afraid to show the world your ideas. If you believe in them, people will eventually believe in them as well.
What does a typical day look like?
My typical day starts with yoga and meditation; it helps me to be more focused and calm during the day. The first thing I do is answer all the new questions and comments from the students of my online fashion course. After that, I work on the next Youtube video or blog post. This includes creating visual content, writing a script, shooting and editing.
Where do you go to keep up with current trends?
I don’t follow trends that much anymore. I just watch the runway shows or seasonal lookbooks and decide for myself what I like and find interesting.
Has the importance of catwalk trends changed over the years?
Trend reports have become so commercialised that I've lost my interest in them. Now I only focus on ethical and sustainable fashion. I like to explore new brands that have a strong and unique identity, interesting ideas, beautiful designs and that innovate in the production process.
Do you have any ultimate goals?
I want to help the fashion industry to become more sustainable and eco-friendly. The damage that fashion causes to our planet is so significant that we can’t wait any longer, we need to change it. I believe that brands have to slow down, stop using unsustainable materials, regulate their suppliers, and get more involved with technology and innovations. On the other hand, consumers also have to slow down and stop buying and throwing away so much clothing. This is where I believe I can help and share my experience and knowledge with everyone who wants to learn how to buy less and wear more. I won’t stop until I see the difference.
What kind of satisfaction do you get from your role?
I receive letters from my students and youtube viewers where they share how my techniques and lessons helped them to change the way they build their wardrobe. It gives me energy, courage and desire to keep going.
How do you keep balance in your life?
I try to keep balance in my life by letting go of work on the weekends. It’s not always possible, but I do my best to have these days where I can relax, unwind and spend time with my family. Daily meditation and yoga also help. I don’t really feel a lot of pressure, I work alone and can do whatever I want and spend my time how I see suitable. Though I feel a little bit nervous before uploading a new video on youtube. Or sad if it wasn’t successful. Sometimes I start questioning myself and asking if I'm good enough. But fortunately for me, my husband always knows what to say to make me feel better. He is also involved in the Wonder Wardrobe Course and helps me a lot with marketing and advertising.