By Abigail Wootton
Just like the world around us is constantly changing, so is fashion. During my first week in Ukraine I had the privilege of sitting down with the country’s number one fashion blogger, Anna Pogribnyak. We met at a very quaint, very small coffee shop and I interviewed her about fashion, her career, and her culture. Pogribnyak was awarded the title “Ukraine’s #1 Fashion Blogger” by FashionHyper.com, a website that promotes and highlights lifestyle and fashion blogs. Fashion was not always her calling. In fact she did not write her first blog post until she was in her senior year of high school. She admits she was not confident enough to publish it anywhere and instead kept it to herself. Now, years later, she regrets not starting sooner. This summer will be two years since her first post on her blog, cityfashionfood.blogspot.com. She has numerous inspirations for her style, but made it very clear that she never recreates or copies other people’s clothing.
For Pogribnyak, it’s more about following bloggers to be inspired by their success and to keep up with trends. Some of her inspirations include Leonie Hanne, Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni and Sonya Esman. Most are Ukrainian bloggers. She says that her favorite clothing store is Topshop because she is a huge fan of their shoes and coats. Her go to shoe brand is VAGABOND. She admitted, “I’m literally in love with their pairs” because they are so unique, edgy and simple at the same time. The problem is that there are a lot of clothing brands which are not presented in Ukraine officially. Many of their clothing comes from the United States. For summer 2016 in Ukraine, off shoulder tops, flare jeans, culottes and pointed toe shoes are all the rage. Thanks to social network trends, fashion spreads so easily from one culture to another, which makes for certain universal trends.
Pogribnyak always enjoyed when somebody took nice pictures of her and one day realized that taking photos just for changing her profile picture on Facebook (or VK, which is a super popular social network in Ukraine and Russia) is not enough. She then decided to collect sets for blog posts, just for fun. Her fun soon turned into a hobby, and then into a successful blog and Instagram page with over 11k followers. She admits that fashion is great, but that her biggest achievement so far is getting her bachelor degree in computer science. She currently attends Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and will be attending another university next summer to get her master’s degree. She admits she hates thinking about the future, which is why she does not have any certain plans later than the end of this summer. Right now, she plans to keep blogging, travel and enjoy her life. She has been working in the IT sphere for a year and a half now and her co-workers are always making jokes about her fashion hobby. She loves that her professional occupation and hoppy are totally different because it helps to improve her brain skills and stay creative at the same time. There are a lot of people in Ukraine whose biggest dream is to see New York, but she is not one of them. Pogribnyak says, “Of course I’ll come to US one day and make a heap of nice pics for my Instagram, but currently I am more interested in traveling around Europe.”