“Shanghai in China, and specifically the fashion industries there, are more open than they have ever been,” says IFA Paris’ MBA Fashion Business graduate, Anastacia Plastinina. The Shanghai-based fashion alum started an online magazine, CitiJ ‘Dress n Joy’ Fashion Guidelast December, after expressing interest in fashion media for years – in 2010 she told IFA Paris that she wanted to be “a creative director of a magazine” someday. Now Editor-in-Chief of CitiJ, Anastacia shares with us her entrepreneurial journey since last year’s launch of the sartorial site.
Before IFA Paris, Anastacia had no previous experience in fashion. “Everything that I do right now, I learned at IFA; I did not have any prior experience in Fashion before IFA,” explains the budding editor of her current career. “For me, education was really the first step, because completing a MBA/Masters in Fashion Business basically implies that people have already had, to an extent, experience in the industry. My decision to enroll in the Fashion Business program at IFA Paris was the first step – I learned everything from scratch.”
An international background in Public Relations and Marketing across Russia, the United States and China certainly helped to develop Anastacia’s entrepreneurial spirit,however.Her first formal job in the fashion industry arrived in 2010, when she acquired an assistant buying position at ALTER. Concept, Xintiandi’s edgy lifestyle boutique. Carrying collections from over 25 international brands (including nations such as Australia andFinland), Shanghai’s innovative concept store provided Anastacia with valuable global perspective, which helped her define the position of her current online business.
“The main goal of CitiJ is to become a comprehensive source of information on fashion, style, shopping, and trends in Shanghai – we are operating in a Chinese market but we are also trying to maintain an international scope,” explains the recent graduate of her editorial endeavor. “Basically what we are trying to do is to align this excess of information regarding fashion, style and shopping, and to adapt it to Shanghai. For example, when we visit shopping sites, we try to find goods that are available to be shipped to China,” she continues.
So how did she arrive at her goal? “The most difficult thing was finding the right people. It was the tough because, you know, you can be as smart or intelligent as the next person, but without the rightpeople it is hard to take the original ideas that you have proposed and turn them into a reality.”
Anastacia has found that not only people, but also forums for espousing her ideas have changed under current media conditions, which is why she decided to start with an online publication, rather than print. “I have always wanted to work within printed Media, but you know the Internet is a completely different world with so many opportunities and so much potential, so for me it has just been easier,” says the editor of the publication’s inception.
Anastacia also uses the website to support her peers, like her collaboration with swimwear label Holie B. “It is not advertising because here the content is not paid. Our current initiative is to forego advertising, so instead we post on affiliated fashion content. We inquire about information from each brand for our data and details, but then it is our own initiative and interest to post,” she explains. “And I knew, of course that it was created by another IFA graduate, Maria Jose Castro, so it is very nice to cooperate with others graduate students,” she adds sincerely.
“Right now we are trying to take the opportunity to contribute to an opening world,”describes the burgeoning editor of the website’s future. “We want to understand exactly what our target customers want from us and prioritize accordingly, and social media has really helped us to connect with others and adapt our brand.” One change on the horizon is the website’s language. “We are working on our Chinese version because the site is going to be bilingual soon.”