Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
My name is Sascha Amato, and I am currently the fashion editor at Andy Warhol’s Interview Russia.
How did you get started in the industry?
I was born in Moscow, but have lived in the UK for most of my life. It’s where I graduated from Central Saint Martins with a degree in fashion design, and I have worked in the industry more or less non-stop since then. After getting a second degree in journalism, while going back and forth between Moscow and London, I have worked for the CSM alumni magazine, 1 Granary and in PR positions for brands including JC de Castelbajac, Vivienne Westwood and Dover Street Market.
How did you get the job you have now?
After maintaining a flat in London became tres beaucoup for me, I moved way up North to Inverness, where my parents still live. There I received a sudden offer from several Russian publishing houses. One of them was from the wonderful Alyona Doletskaya, the founder of Russian Vogue and now the Senior Editor at Interview. So here I am! It was a rather wild ride which included my London flat getting repossessed, losing most of my family to various accidents and illnesses and losing most of my wardrobe during my move to Moscow, but I think I fared well, all things considered.
What does a typical day in your work life look like?
I wake up in the wee hours and shamble bravely through a frozen wasteland to a coffee place, where I set up office, check e-mails, make appointments for interviews and edit copy that the writers have sent in. I get to the office and work until about midday, after that I usually have to get to the afternoon interview – the traffic in Russia’s capital is quite unlike London traffic and is dictated mostly by the weather – so you do have to leave an hour early if it’s heavily snowing. After that I get lunch with whoever I was interviewing, and get back home (no point in trying to get back to the office at that point) to get ready for the evening event or interview. I don’t drink alcohol, but these cold days it’s certainly harder to wake up and get going. In the Summer I barely get any sleep at all – I get back home at around 4 or 5 am from an event and have to wake up at 6 or 7.
What are the three must have essentials to your job?
I’m afraid I’m going to be a terrible cliché in this, and say Apple products, caffeine and water. The number of times my iPhone saved my skin when my Samsung failed me just because some snow fell on it or it glitched out… Both my MacBook Air and my iPhone are a bit old to be honest – the prices of electronics here are so inflated… I don’t drink coffee every day, but my girlfriend got me these wonderful teas from Hamburg and they’re a lifesaver. Good water is also trickier to find in Russia – even a basic Perrier tastes different, and a Fiji costs about as much as a steak at a restaurant.
What’s the most memorable moment in your career thus far?
The last NY Fashion week, probably. So many inspiring ideas and such a wild time. The Opening Ceremony show stands out.
Most glamorous moment in your career so far?
Meeting Kim Kardashian? Is that really that glamorous at this point? She thought I was taking a photo but I was doing a Vine.
I think it’s a tie with meeting and befriending Albert Elbaz. He is a wonderful, kind and caring man – a unique soul.
Least glamorous moment in your career so far?
My trousers falling down when I was covering Ascot fashion in 2012. It was a hot day and I was ‘tired and emotional’.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
I think it’s already understood in Europe, but Russia has a long way to go on this one – in fashion, you never mistreat the press. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I am treated very well here, but sometimes there’s a misunderstanding when people don’t even know you’re supposed to be interviewing them, and you have to stand outside in the snow and call the promoting company and they run out and start apologising. I don’t bear grudges but some editors I have come to know certainly do, and seek swift and terrible revenge.
What type of person thrives at Interview?
It’s a place for free thinkers. After coming back to Russia after 18 years of almost never visiting the place, I encountered something I’ve never seen before – self-censorship by journalists. It’s not like the secret police enforces journalists to say the right thing here, but the journalists seem to be fearful for their own position if they write something that’s out of line with the publisher’s specific agenda. It’s ridiculous! Alyona runs a different ship altogether, and we can talk to anyone about anything. It’s a well-established magazine as well, and a thriving one, so positions are coveted.
What would you tell someone who wants to be like you when they grow up?
Oh God. I’m going to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, but save up and get a place as soon as you can. Get a degree in fashion, but don’t go into journalism – just launch a brand instead. It’s a whole different time. You can launch off Depop for example, it’s such a productive period for young designers – not all of us at Saint Martins had the opportunities that the alumni have nowadays. Just be creative and fearless – and if you feel your voice isn’t being heard – leave as soon as you can – it will be heard, and heard well, elsewhere.
If in some Freaky-Friday like situation, you could live the life of another fashion industry insider for a day, who would it be and why?
Alive or dead? Dead – probably Leigh Bowery. Alive – maybe Cara Delevingne? It seems so fun just to be Cara at all times!