— When and how did you start Love & Swans? And why lingerie?
Maria: In summer of 2019, my partner Ivan and I went to the sea. The fresh wind, the vineyards, and the sunset sky made us almost blissful. At that time I was already doubting the path I had chosen, and the uncertainty bothered me. I kind of tried to become a financier, but I became disillusioned with the profession. I didn't know what I wanted, who I was, whether Finance was my personal desire or an imposed one.
On the way to the Bay, Ivan asked me what I liked. I answered without any doubt – lingerie. And it was true, since childhood I loved to look at it and try it on, even stealing thongs from my older sister from the closet! At a more conscious age underwear was a significant part of my budget. I could literally not eat for two days, but I always bought a new collection of Agent Provocateur.
Lingerie is so beautiful, fascinating, interesting, tender, intriguing, daring. I loved experimenting with style, looking for new images and unusual combinations, and I also loved (and love) to "play" and get used to these images. As a child, I dreamed of becoming an actress and even auditioned for Tabakov's school, perhaps this played some role.
I have a secret black box in my apartment (it used to be a box, now it's a whole compartment in the wardrobe), where I store my "treasures". When my friends come to visit me they often ask me to show them my collection . I feel that these things and my choice inspire them, considering and trying on images from my collection, they behave differently than in ordinary life, revealing their feminine and artistic sides. In general, underwear is not just an accessory or an item of clothing, it is something akin to theater and art.