Today, we would like you to meet Magdalena — another person taking part in our initiative TRU-ST. Curious about the lifestyle of this young woman, we sit down on Saturday afternoon and discuss a bit of her past, inspirations and plans, that tie together her creative life.
Tell me something about yourself. Where do you come from and how do you deal with the relocation?
I was raised up in Suwałki, a small town close to the Lithuanian border. It’s called a Polish cold pole. It has the lowest average temperature in the whole Poland. My coldest winter was when the temperature went down to -30°C. But on the other hand, the winters there are very beautiful, we get a lot of sun and people often wear sunglasses during winter time. The town is surrounded by amazing nature, such as Suwałki Landscape Park. It’s a total opposite to the lifestyle in Warsaw, where I currently live. When I was younger, I was dreaming about living in the city. I felt like I was born at the end of the world. But as I was getting older, I started to appreciate the beauty of my homeland and every time I go for a visit, it feels like going on vacation.
How do you handle periods of self-doubt, is there any place in Warsaw, that recharges your spirit?
Although, I love living in the city, I have a great need of space and green. I really like Warsaw for its big amount of greenery. I have lived for a while in Antwerp and Paris. There is a lack of those. In Warsaw, I like to jump on a bike, go for a walk to Park Łazienkowski, or just lie on the grass in Pole Mokotowskie, it’s truly relaxing. I live in Mokotów district, where a small park called Morskie Oko is located, that’s my favorite one. This is how I charge my batteries.
Is there a special event or a person that has had a particular impact on who you are today?
I do not believe in destiny, but I believe, that everything in life happens for a reason. I want to believe that we get to the right people at the right time. When you are ready, you are able to draw conclusions. It is very challenging to meet people who can change your actions or push you forward by their negative or positive way of being. But it’s difficult for me to choose one; it’s more of a collection of various moments.
What do you consider the main source of the process of reflection?
For me, it’s mainly contact with people. But I do not consider myself a pure extrovert; I’m rather a mixture. It really depends on my current state of mind. There are times, that I constantly need to be with people, but there are times when I enjoy being alone and all I want to do when I get home from work, is just read some good book or listen to some podcast. I enjoy taking pictures as well.
Can you tell me something more about that? What kind of pictures do you take?
I’ve got my first analogue camera, when I was 15 years old. It was an old Russian Zenit, that I got from my dad. He was the first one, who showed me how to take pictures. At age of 18, I’ve got a SLR analogue camera. I was taking a lot of pictures during my studies, especially portraits. It has changed a bit. Now I take more pictures of landscapes. When I moved to Paris, I stopped.(Magdalena leads a tumblr, where you can see a tiny survey of her photos.)
Hmm.. Why do you think you stopped taking pictures while living in Paris?
You probably expect me to tell you how amazing Paris is. I’m sorry to tell you, that it didn’t leave that impression on me. I cannot say the exact reason why I stopped. It just happened... I felt a little overwhelmed by the city. I just couldn’t find my place there...
So you’ve decided to move out of Paris.
Yes, after two years, I moved to Warsaw. And I’m happy I made this decision. Paris just felt so old to me, there is very little space to do something new — people don’t have this need inside of them to make changes. Warsaw is total opposite. People are so active — they literally crave for new things.
I think, our generation is very lucky to observe such an evolution of urban space. I remember, when I was visiting Warsaw with a school group as a little girl, it was not so long ago as I’m 32 years old. Back then, Warsaw was completely different. The city is currently in its blossom — it’s really amazing to watch it grow.
I know you currently work in fashion industry. Is it something that have always been interesting to you?
No, I actually wished to become an art curator. After I graduated, I got accepted at a post-grad Contemporary Art Exposition at Paris-Sorbonne University, but when I moved there, the costs of living turned out to be too expensive, so I had to get a job. I ended up at COMME des GARÇONS and I loved it so much that I quitted my studies. I am extremely lucky to have had a possibility to start out my fashion adventure at a company like that one.
I currently work for showroom.pl — a platform for fashion brands. It used to collect Polish designers only, but now we also have labels from abroad. I’m in charge of Premium Labels. My role is to be their ambassador at the platform — represent their needs and grow their sales.
Let’s be honest, as an industry, fashion represents the worst values – egoism, lack of conscience, instant gratification, how do you perceive it?
Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with this industry. It brings all the worst in humans but also the best — that’s what keeps me going. It’s extremely creative and progress-driven. I was always interested in fashion more sociologically wise, then just as a garment production business. I am fascinated by how a simple covering purpose clothes can become a communication tool, a sign of belonging to a certain social, cultural or professional group. How amazing is the fact that a plain piece of fabric can be an item of clothing worn on a street but also an art exposition in a museum.
Do you consider it more as an art or business?
I think it’s both. It’s a perfect combination of creativity and commerce, which is a sign of our times. It keeps us grounded and free at the same time.
How do you see the future of fashion?
I am very curious which way will fashion go. Sometimes I am an optimist thinking that it’ll move more towards sustainability and workforce respect, but there are times when I doubt anything will actually change. In the end it all depends on us, the way we consume and live our lives. I am an advocate of an approach that a change always starts with an individual. Will we be really happier possessing more and more goods? I doubt that.
Do you have any certain plans for the future? Do you plan to stay in that industry, if so, why?
Nothing‘s ever certain for me and I’d like to keep it that way. I like to take advantage of possibilities falling into my hands. I’ve been learning for some time now how not to be over-controlling. A lack of a plan scared me in the past, but now it actually makes me free. I try not to get preoccupied with planning for the future. I try to adapt to circumstances on a day-to-day basis.
TRU-ST is a shortcut for our new initiative — True Stories. It’s a series of short interviews featuring ordinary people telling their personal stories.