Black is my favorite color: Ivana Sojkova

Ivana Sojkova – manager, event organizer, the consultant for cultural events, clothing designer, photographer – coming from Slovakia, the country in the heart of Europe.

1. From what I know, you are mostly dressed in black. My question is why?

Yes, black is my favorite color. I am unambiguous. My favorite colors are black and white, black and silver, black and gold. And I think that who knows me knows it’s my character. I am yes or no, never maybe. At work and in my private life as well.

And … black is universal, I travel a lot, and I try not to take too many things with me. So I take universal garments that I combine with the shoes, accessories that are mostly silver or gold. Of course, from time to time I will revive my outfit with red or other distinctive colors, but usually, they are shoes and accessories.

2. Can I ask a personal question? You said yes or no in your private life. My question is, Are you married?

No, I am not.

3. I understand. And are you planning to take this step?

I think it’s very private … But yes – if I meet a man whom I can believe and will get my heart, then yes.

I understand, I better go back to the topic of fashion… You say you create and wear “universal garments”

Yes, for example, overalls, dresses. Most of them are designed by myself and I choose crease resistant materials that are comfortable, which can be transformed from a comfortable sports look to elegant clothing. It is important for me to feel good. As I travel with the beauty queen, with the new project where I take pictures and shoot videos, I need to feel especially comfortable here. Draped with cameras phones GoPro and other handy things. So in this case, practicality and convenience are a priority.

4. Who is this beauty queen and what is the project?

beauty queen – multiple ones even – is Lenka Josefiova. The project is titled The Travelling Beauty Queen. It’s a world-renowned beauty queen project. We make pictures and videos from different parts of the world where we work with authorized country ministries or resorts, where we can shoot videos or take photos, make a report and present a country, landscape or a location to the world.

5. That sounds very interesting. How did this idea arise?

We have been cooperating with Lenka for many years. Mainly it was for beauty contests and gradually our relationships deepened on different photo shoots, campaigns and the like. Lenka is very hardworking and purposeful, of course, that the idea for this project was contributed to by the fact that Lenka won the title Queen of Tourism Europe and subsequently Most Influential Beauty Queen. And since she is an experienced presenter (she has worked with several TV channels in the world) – so it has been just a step to make this project.

6. The TTBQ project – interesting, have you already taken any steps?

Yes, a strong inspiration and a signal that it really is an interesting international project became for me the fact that I managed to get a preliminary promise from the cult Czechoslovakian director, screenwriter and music composer Dušan Rapoš that he would take over the artistic supervision of the whole series. We already have multi-media contracts, some have already brought reports from our journeys.

7. How did you come up with the idea to reach director Dušan Rapoš for cooperation?

First of all, I respect him as a person, I mean his character and of course I like his work very much. For me, his films are a source of peace. And that’s what I need. Nothing shouty artificial and violent … and especially, I think the people who are working together should be close in their views. Of course, there is another aspect. Dusan Rapos is just shooting a fairy tale – When a dragon has a headache where there is a  king a queen, etc. well and so from the fairytale world, where the queen is moving into the real world, but the queen will remain with us in the form of a beauty queen, and the name of the whole project is The Travelling Beauty Queen.

8. From the world of fairy tales to the real world with a queen?

Yes exactly. The TTBQ project is about Lenka Josefa – the multiple beauty queens and especially Queen of Tourism.

9. Ivana, you also have “other beauty queens” or miss. And one of your successful queens is Martina Štetiarová, you have no plans with her?

Oh yes, there are plans with Martina. I do not want to get ahead of myself – there is a reality show plan with Martina. I wouldn’t like to reveal too much. However, if the circumstances will be favorable in the future, Lenka and Martina could act in Dušan Rapoš film. And whether it will be a role of a queen or a witch I won’t tell.

10. I’ll go back to clothes again. Girls – models dress your clothes?

Sometimes yes, of course. However, we work with a number of designers, so the girls dress clothes of world designers for whom they also make photo shoots or fashion shows. We have the closest collaboration with Mona Mansouri, who is an excellent designer and her clothes are like from a fairy tale.

11. I can not take my eyes off your fingernails. Do I see right ?! You have a royal crown there! Is this part of the TTBQ project with the Queen of Beauty or what?

No. These nails were accidental. Mirka Gregušová, the nail designer, we always gossip together and she does also nail for girls on photoshoots. Even before TTBQ, she worked with us on photos and so her work is visible on cover pages or editorials. Neither the crown on the nails nor this color was intended. I just had a French manicure for 15 years, (because white and black) and she convinced me of the red one, and the crown just asked for it. So this “nail look” Is not my fault.

12. So you take your nail designer with you all around the world?

No, Mirka is in Slovakia, but she has been with us in Slovakia and in the Czech Republic. But she is so smart and imaginative that I would like to introduce her to some world competition.

13. So, apart from the beauty contest and fashion events, you work on competitions as well?

Yes exactly, currently I work on a competition for young designers from all over the world and therefore I believe there will be an option for talented people such as nail designers or make-up artists, hair stylists, singers. I like to work with professionals, and I am happy when people I am working with are successful at world events.

14. On some of your photos, you’re with Mona Mansouri in different parts of the world. Can you explain me your cooperation?

I have organized some events myself or as a partner, and on some of them, I was invited by Mona as a guest or advisor. We are connected not only by our working relationship but also by our friendship. Besides being a great designer, she is also a great person and we understand each other.

15. So friendship is important for you? What is your friends’ place in your life?

Yes. Friendship is very important to me. And I respect REAL friends. Life taught me that I have to divide people between those who wear a mask with a “FRIEND” written on it and those who are PURE FRIENDS. I’m already thinking about how I name people – who is an acquaintance and who is a friend … Even in this, I am BLACK and WHITE.

I wonder how you perceive people and friendships from a human perspective from someone who was born in Communism and grew up in those conditions.

Clearly “people were nicer to each other during socialism”!

The cities were gray but people had colorful souls and were closed. Now cities are colorful and people are gray.

16. How do you perceive different cultures and, as a result, differences in people’s behavior?

Well, in a short answer I cannot express all that I have in my mind. It depends very much on the people we meet, of different interests, focus, or locality. Every nation is specific in something. The person has to be in one place for more than 5 days and certainly not only in the hotel to get the atmosphere – the real thing. I like to go to new sites myself. Nobody’s influencing me and showing me the same that most of the tourists see.

I have too many questions for Ivana Sojkova. But our space is limited. That’s why I decided to bring you a series of interviews where I will always address just one topic or country.

photo:

Jadran Šetlík

Ashish Chawla

Miroslav Cibulka

LSZ photography

Lenka Hatašova -*Dušan Rapoš and Karel Gott – photo

Betty Trubačová

archiv  Ivana Jay Sojkova