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Five Minutes With Violetta Malakhova, Founder, PlatformaNY

Meet Violetta Malakhova, the founder of communications agency PlatformaNY. A lawyer-turned-editor and artistic director, Violetta has written for the likes of Vogue, Forbes, Marie Claire, L’Officiel and Cosmopolitan. It’s through this media experience that she was inspired to shift gears to PR, with the focus of helping brands tell their stories around the globe. She shares how she got her start in the industry, the A-list career highlights that she’s still proud of, plus key insights on marketing international brands.

What attracted you to the PR industry and how did you get your start?

I've been working as a journalist and stylist with top media like Forbes and L'Officiel in Eastern Europe for a significant amount of time, and it allowed me to understand the industry literally inside out. Later I realized that I can use all this experience and help small brands to tell their story worldwide, creating pitches and connecting them to my fellow editors. When I moved to New York, I was lucky to get into Nicki Minaj and Madonna's styling teams as an assistant which opened the doors to celebrity wardrobe styling. I got introduced to the key stylists in the US, and the puzzle started to assemble.

What are the unique challenges and/or considerations for marketing overseas brands (whether in the US or other foreign markets)?

I work only with those brands which share the same uncompromising values of inclusivity and responsible way of handling business, so we are on the same page about working ethics and standards. That is why cultural and/or mentality differences are never an issue. As for the technical challenges – urgent sample deliveries are always the ones, but I try to keep the maximum inventory in my showrooms in NY and LA to avoid delays.

Please share a few career highlights with us.

I endlessly appreciate our connection with Zerina Akers' team who made it possible to dress Beyonce. Also Lady Gaga, Chrissy Teigen, Nicki Minaj appeared in looks created by my clients – those moments are always very thrilling and rewarding.

What are a couple of current projects you’re excited about?

Currently I am focusing on more casual brands, applying different and more challenging strategies. It's one thing to put a limelight on unique haute couture dresses, but to make the basics (like bodysuits and hoodies) more desirable and recognizable – it is a bit more complicated of a task. But I absolutely love it. Also, I do some scouting in Africa discovering incredible craftsmen. My plan is to create the commercial opportunities for them here in the US, pushing their pieces for celebrities' custom orders.

Any future goals and/or plans you’re working towards? 

With all my love to fashion it is time to broaden my horizons and expand to more industries. I am really passionate about architecture and interior design, and currently working on a plan to get a few firms in my roster.


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