A Quick Q&A with Anja Tufina

Jessica Michault,

Anja Tufina is the woman behind the successful lifestyle blog The Dolls Factory. Unlike most other style influencers she started off working as an investment banker and academic researcher before deciding to use those well honed business and research skills to create a site that has an Italian retro glam feel. The slightly overexposed imagery, Tufina’s signature pitch black hair and ruby red lips and the overall Dolce Vita approach of the blog has made it a go to site for those looking to learn more about the finer things in life.
Here Tufina talks about how her blog really started as an online resume, her fascination with Marina Abramovic and  the challenges of having a photographic memory.
The homepage of The Dolls Factory website

The homepage of The Dolls Factory website.

How did you first get interested in fashion?

What first attracted me to the fashion world is the industry from a business point of view and not the glitz showed on fashion magazines. Having a background business consulting and investment banking, at the time I was more aware of what fashion companies were about to go public and less what their latest collections were. In 2011 I started working for a fashion company making luxury accessories Made in Italy and there I finally had a 360-degree look at the fashion world.

What made you finally decide to launch out on your own and create your site?

When I launched my site back in 2011, I thought of it as an extension of my resume. I had just started working in a new industry and part of the fashion industry is communication and branding. The website was my creative outlet where I could share my experiences while also working on personal branding. The Dolls Factory has helped me a lot in growing personally and professionally, giving me lots of opportunities for networking, collaborating with some great brands and having experiences I wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.

Who inspires you?

I feel so lucky to work in the fashion industry where so many women are doing great things and being an inspiration for others. I get inspired by Vivienne Westwood and how she manages to incorporate social causes like the civil rights and climate change into her work, how Rei Kawakubo challenges the traditional social constructs of fashion and how Miuccia Prada manages to make complicated references with each collection while being one of the most successful designers of our times. I also get inspired by fierce fashion editors like Cathy Horyn and Suzy Menkes, and businesswomen like of Natalie Massenet and Jenna Lyons.

Artist Marina Abramovic

Artist Marina Abramovic

Who living or dead would you love to be able to have dinner with?

I would love to have dinner with Marina Abramovic. I was once a willing participant to the The Abramovic Method that she developed initially for artists and later gave the opportunity to the public to participate. The method is an exploration of being present in time and it incorporates exercises that focus on breath, motion, stillness, and concentration. Over the years she has done a great job in getting the public to better understand what performance art is, and how we all can benefit from this kind of art. She is also killing it in Givenchy on most red carpets, so I think a dinner talking about art, fashion and east European politics, being us both originally from the Balkans, would be very interesting.

What is your favorite trip?

My favorite trip is the one where I don’t need to have my phone with me. It can be anywhere actually, but for now, on my wish list, there are Japan, India, and Cuba.

When are you happiest?

I’m the happiest while walking in the back streets of a new city that I have yet to discover. I think that the main competitor of the fashion industry is the travel industry because lots of people are trading physical possessions for experiences because people are always in search of happiness, and traveling gives you that.

A recent promotional post on The Dolls Factory instagram feed.

A recent promotional post on The Dolls Factory Instagram feed.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently facing?

The biggest challenge right now is understanding where the social media world is going. Changes happen very fast, and one day Facebook is relevant, the next day it is is a new app like Snapchat, one day Vine is closing the next day we have coming into the scene. And this is not just a challenge for online influencers like me, but also for fashion brands.

What is your secret talent?

I have a photographic memory and can remember lots of details from things I see briefly or things I’ve read a long time ago. While it looks like a great secret talent to have, I feel like some trivial details don’t need to be remembered that is why the brain usually does a cleanup, but mine doesn’t do it so I get to remember lots of info.

What is your motto or the best piece of advice you ever got?

Learn to say ‘No’ and great things will happen to you, this is the best advice I ever got. In my 20s I used to be a people pleaser and would go to great lengths to do things that I really didn’t want to do just because I couldn’t say No. But eventually you grow up, let go of the insecurities, learn to say no and go on doing things you really enjoy.

What emoji do you use the most?

I had to check my phone to answer this and it is the ‘Crying laughing emoji’, which I remember being the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2015 ( see that photographic memory) so I am guessing it is very common.

What is the latest Instagram feed you decided to follow?

@flow_magazine that is the Instagram account of this Dutch magazine I discovered last week during my trip to Amsterdam. Their motto is ‘A magazine that takes its time. Celebrating creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures’. I was impressed with their new concept of producing a magazine for people who love paper, which I’m not because I don’t use anything paper, no magazines, no diaries. And I’ve always wanted to use the medium of painting, having a father who is a painter and this Instagram account has also great tips on being creative on paper.

Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.

the writer

Jessica Michault

Jessica Michault is the Senior Vice President of industry relations at GPS Radar by Launchmetrics. She is also the editor-at-large for ODDA magazine and contributes to publications like the New York Times, the Business of Fashion, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Mixte magazine.

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