Russian beauty, Katya Bychkova’s sense of style comes with a strong lesson in history. She teaches us not to take our freedom of fabulous taste and diverse clothing store options for granted! What we love most about Katya is that she allows her rich heritage to influence her vibrant wardrobe and confident attitude. Discover how she got her start in blogging and is living her American dream with our interview below!
-Who are your biggest muses/inspirations?
I love what Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn brought into fashion. I’m in awe of their original styling ideas and exquisite taste in clothing. Speaking of pin-up role models, I love what Dita Von Teese is doing. She emphasizes her natural beauty (look, for instance, at her paper-white skin that never sees the sun) and isn’t afraid to look dated. In fact, whatever she wears immediately becomes super trendy as she has what all style icons are famous for, a unique sense of what works specifically for her.
-Where did you get the motivation to start a vintage-style blog?
I started blogging in Russian when I first came to the U.S., but I always knew it would only work out if I wrote in English. I took a corporate job for a couple of years to learn the language and eventually realized that I was confident enough to start pursuing my American Dream and blog in English. That’s how Style Sprinter blog was born.
When it comes to my style, it is not exclusively vintage. In fact, I was afraid of purchasing any used pieces until last year, when I explored Buffalo Exchange. For Russians, wearing previously owned clothes is not a typical thing to do, as prior to 1993 there were no couture or high quality clothes—people wore all the same pieces created in communist factories. It took me years of research and experimentation to start truly appreciating vintage pieces. I was also hooked on the idea of recycling clothes as opposed to throwing them out. In other words, yes, I finally found my way to the world of vintage.
-What is the one thing you would go back and tell your teenage self?
I would tell my teen self to believe in herself. It took me a long time to realize that there are different standards of beauty and that one doesn’t need to be affected by other people’s opinions. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this when I was in my teens. When I was 14, my parents tried signing me up for modeling school and I remember one of the judges saying, “What the heck is she thinking? She is too short to be a model” (well, Russians are sort of known for being rude). I got accepted to the school anyway, but those hurtful words stayed with me for a while. I guess immigrating to America has helped me to find myself and to realize that there is a different type of “beautiful” for everyone. Not to mention that it’s not important to be beautiful if you want to be happy. I am glad I understand this life lesson now that I’ve just turned 30.
-What are your hopes for your blog?
One thing I’ve been planning for a while is to start translating my blog into Russian. I am a native speaker so it should not take a lot of time, but I need to make some technical adjustments prior to launching a Russian version. I am also planning on starting a YouTube channel. It’s much easier to explain how to apply makeup when you actually see it, so I am definitely looking into it.
Finally, I’m looking forward to connecting even more with my readers on social media. I love chatting with like-minded people over Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and I definitely make sure to respond to every request I receive.
-How would you describe your personal style?
It’s feminine and sophisticated, but also affordable and fun. As I mentioned before, there are definitely Russian influences in my style as it’s a part of my culture and who I am. Also, as a New Yorker, I have to say that my wardrobe is very functional. I can easily transform most of my pieces from day to evening and night.
-What are your favorite hangout spots in NYC?
I love eating out in restaurants that serve organic and local food. That’s why ABC Kitchen is one of my favorites. I also don’t mind a good Korean restaurant and I have a few favorite spots in K Town. When it comes to parties, it all depends where the action is. I’ve been invited to so many events that sometimes I can’t keep track of them all.
-Does your Russian background influence your style/inspirations?
Yes, definitely! However, I started embracing my ethnic background only recently. When you’ve grown up in post-USSR Russia where any European or American clothes are very rare, the last thing you want is to wear something Russian. It’s too close, and that is why it’s not too cool. However, when I immigrated to the United States, I became more nostalgic and I don’t at all mind having some Russian influence. For instance, I love styling Russian scarves—they are gorgeous!— and jewelry. My iPhone case features a typical Russian print and—yes!—I did wear a Russian Doll costume this Halloween.
-What’s the coolest beauty/fashion advice you’ve been given recently?
The biggest beauty revelation for me was that I finally started using Botox. All the women in my environment have been using it for years, but I was the one who always found excuses to postpone using it. I was thinking that my face would look frozen and unnatural and I tried to avoid it at any cost. When I finally agreed on a procedure, I was upset with myself that I hadn’t started using it earlier. After injections, my face looks like my former self—but with no wrinkles. Botox was indeed the biggest revelation of 2015.
When it comes to styling, I recently saw a YouTube interview with Anna Wintour where she says she would wear any color except all black. To be honest, I’ve often been an all-black sort of girl. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing all black (in fact, it is a uniform for many people working in fashion), but I decided to give Anna’s advice a try and never regretted it. Yes, a lady in black looks mysterious and chic, but it is too easy to get too many dark-colored pieces in your wardrobe. So far, I love my color experiment and recommend it to anyone else who believes that black is NOT the new black.
-Any cool places you’re traveling to soon/any destinations you’re hoping to visit?
I recently came back from a long vacation to the Dominican Republic and Belize, and this trip motivated me to put together my ‘Dream Vacation List.’ If you don’t mind, I’ll share it with you. Number one on my list is Japan. I am fascinated by Japanese culture and traditions. It’s not a nearby destination, but I hope to be able to get there sometime and get the full Japanese experience. The second country on my list is France. I grew up reading French literature and exploring visual arts by the French masters. Culturally, I do believe that France is the capital of the world and I am dreaming of living there for an entire summer at least once in my life. I just started learning French so I feel that my dream is not as far away as it might seem. Finally, as I got the gist of ecotourism in Latin America and loved it, I would love to continue exploring that region. Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru are the countries I am craving to visit the most.
-Last but not least, any UsTrendy designers/looks you’re really digging at the moment?
I love minimalistic and feminine pieces by Quontum and lace dresses by Styled In London. In general, I am a dresses kind of girl and love the fact that UsTrendy features many fantastic dresses to suit any taste.
♥View Katya’s blog
♥View Katya’s Instagram