International Model, Designer, Entrepreneur Behind FashIcon
Ekaterina Lambert wears many hats; she is an international model with over a decade of experience on the runway, she is a designer of her very own haute couture brand based out of Shanghai and if that wasn't enough - she recently launched FashIcon APP and managed in between to also get married and have a daughter. All this and in her early 30's. Find out the story of a woman who never gave up, persisted and got everything she's ever wanted.
Ekaterina was nine years old when she opened her first fashion magazine, that's when she knew she had fallen in love, with people, with style, with fashion. Now a decade later she owns and operates FashIcon, an app designed for all fashion needs providing style inspirations to women worldwide who are becoming, in their own way fashion icons. You've seen her grace the pages of Bazaar and Vogue - we present the one and only Gossy, Ekaterina.
How did your modelling career peak your interest for business?
At 16 years old, I made my first step on a runway. I love modelling but I felt like there was more, it was the backstage life[ I craved]. It was a place where I could learn style. Going through clothes hanging in line, designers choice to mix and match them. I could spend hours observing their work and learn, tried not to miss any small detail, any additional pin to the garment. I believe that's when FashIcon started - 21 years ago when this little girl with big dreams started to explore the world of fashion.
Why did you decide to launch FashIcon APP?
I believe everyone has style and clearly, no one in an exception! But as much as we hate to admit it, our personality isn't the first thing people see - the way you dress is the very first tiny but extremely important step to a successful business in every day.
I wanted to create a community of people who would help each other find their voice in every day fashion and celebrate who they are through their style. Your wardrobe is basically a starting point of your day. Make it perfect and the rest will follow.
Can you tell us a struggle that you surmounted in your career that changed the way you do business?
To be honest all my life I feel pressure, but don't get me wrong I put myself under pressure. I'm a perfectionist. I love a good challenge. Once I have a goal, I will do anything to make it happen. I enjoy every moment of it. Now I have a big one. FashIcon is not only for me, it's for people. The goal is to build a community to help each other be more confident, happy, think bigger. Sure it's a lot of pressure, but my Gd how happy I am when I open the App and see people helping each other by giving very valuable advice, when users are happy as a child to win prizes from FashIcon weekly challenge. It gives me energy and tones of inspiration every day and I just want to keep going and make FashIcon a better platform for everyone.
How did FashIcon come to life?
Right before I graduated from IFA Paris, I was trying to make sure which direction to go. I was constantly being asked by my friends about fashion advices especially when they shop - that's how my idea about "immediate advice" was born. I was always looking at people on the street and seeing how hard a lot of them try to look good but maybe missing a little bit of knowledge... I strongly believe that if you walk out of your house confident about yourself, your day will better, then a week, a month, a whole life! When you are happier you are open to welcome new opportunities and new exciting things in your life. It took me twenty-one years to build myself and it shouldn't be that hard. Especially for a woman. To be a woman in a man's business world is challenging enough. Most of the time we have only one minute (the very first minute we step into a room) to grab someone's attention (WOW attention in fact) in a meeting, dinner party, or while giving a speech...To simply be heard! I wish FashIcon App will help a lot of people recognized how beautiful they are in a matter of days!
FashIcon is a community of dreamers. This App is very personal. It's personal to me because it's my baby which I was growing up to 21 years old finally feel my baby can stand on it's own and make its first steps into a real world. And it's personal to other users as they feel free to show who they are, promote their business, find opportunities meet other people with big dreams, help each other and even who knows make some dreams come true.
I like helping people, or at the very least trying to make their lives easier. That's what my personal and professional ideologies are based around. As a designer, [in Shanghai] it combines the glamour, sophistication, and luxury of Shanghai with downtown Bohemia, casual and practical. Classic with a twist. For me it all starts with the fabric - because fabric talks just like an artist or a sculptor. The luxury of making a garment and making it by hand is the artistic side of me. I can proudly call it Couture as every garment has a lot of hand embroideries, stitching and fabric transformation.
As an Entrepreneur and Founder of FashIcon APP I'm building a safe and friendly community to make peoples lives a bit easier; some will grow their confidence and be happier, some (like young designers for example) will have a way to get great exposure for their brands and be noticed.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I've learned that inspiration can strike at any time. Once you start to create something your mind never stops. You have to be always ready to catch your brilliant idea from millions of thoughts you may have every day.
All my design projects I've worked at made me clearly realize that if your plan is not working, then change the plan but not your end goal. If you believe in your design, idea and business model stick to it! Make it work! You will find your way. Just don't give up!
What does success represent to you ?
Success isn’t measured through superficial metrics such as money. It is the ability to do what you love every day and what you love changes over time and having the ability to change what you are doing to match your passion is true success. To me success also means creating and maintaining balance in my life. It’s important to work hard and accomplish your goals, but it’s critical to remember to take care of yourself –eat well, spend time with family and loved ones. A balanced mind is a smart mind!
What advice would you give young entrepreneurs ?
1. Do not be afraid to fail.
You have to move outside of your comfort zone. Resumes that include failures are great proof that you have taken the necessary risks in your journey. Often, women are more affected by failure and let it affect their confidence. Don't let it. Failure is a part of success, from which we learn.
2. Become an expert.
You can showcase your knowledge through speaking, public relations and/or even blogging. You want to be as visible as possible. Guest blogging is another great way to gain exposure.
If you want to build a large and successful business, you cannot do it alone. You need to get over your fear of rejection and network like it's your job. The amount of collaboration and connections that can be gained by a large but close network is invaluable.
4. Be confident.
Believe you can do it. Entrepreneurship looks more like a staircase at best. It is important to maintain confidence and believe that the journey is worth it, because the world needs your impact.
5. Dream big!
Women often underestimate their own potential and fail to dream big enough. Part of being an entrepreneur is being an innovator. I would love women to be the unstoppable force that makes the future what you want it to be. Pursue your passion. And remember “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.". I am proud to be a woman and mother and create a startup. Simply put, I like wearing dresses and kicking ass in the meeting room.