I always tell that the best thing about having this blog for more than 6 years now is the people I meet along the way. To be honest, I owe all my best friends to FriChic. I met them in so many different settings so everyone of them is close to my heart in a very different way and they inspire me to keep going. At the end, these people are ‘my team’ so I’ve decided to start a new series where I will introduce them and share with you both sides of our friendship.
In no particular order, we start with Irena from the blog SKU Ref. She is a freelance photographer and journalist covering fashion weeks for magazines such as Elle and Grazia. She does have a full time job as a Marketing Executive at Wolverine Worldwide, a huge corporation that owns popular brands such as Hush Puppies, CAT, Merrell, Keds and is operating in more than 200 countries. Irena is Bulgarian (just like myself) but has been living in London for 11 years now.
HOW WE MET
Ivelina: We met in March 2013 in Paris during fashion week. My fingers were purple, I was just taking off my gloves to take some photos and I was complaining about the cold as she politely stopped me at Tuileries Garden and asked me in English if she could take my photo. After speaking in English for few minutes, I pass her my business card, she reads it and realises we probably speak the same mother tongue :)
Irena: My lips were purple (au naturale, brrr!), hers red (how chic!). We were in Paris for Fashion Week AW13 where despite the freezing cold the Tuileries were brewing with hot style. ‘Hello!’ I said, ‘do you mind if I take a picture of you?’, ‘Sure!’ and what came next was a total surprise to me: the two girls in front of my camera were from Bulgaria! The exchange of contacts was quick but left a memorable impression and little did I know at that moment I met a girl I would call a true friend (after a few fashion weeks and bottles of gorgeous red wine that is).
Ivelina: That time of my life I had a personal issue, I was difficult, not very talkative, not friendly. I was wearing sunglasses to hide myself and probably was very distant and cold during our encounter.
Irena: Having met so many people outside the shows, for me first impressions happen in split seconds but only a few leave a permanent mark. ‘Love her style!’, I told my friend, ‘and how cool it is she is from Bulgaria!’. Felt so proud in an instant to be a Bulgarian at PFW :)
Ivelina: Well, this could have been one very quick encounter with Irena if she hadn’t decided I was worth the effort. Six months later she got in touch just when I was in London for fashion week. And so it begun… with long meal at the Breakfast Club and champagne afterwards at Burberry’s.
Irena: It was LFW SS14 and my Instagram feed displayed #FriChicinLondon. This time we arranged to meet, it was a girlie date: brunch at The Breakfast Club in Soho followed by a champagne reception to toast the Burberry fashion show in their Flagship store. We clicked over eggs and fashion, coffee (tea for her) and champagne.
Ivelina: She can out-wine me, she is always up for something new and she is full of inspiration. I can always count on her to ignite that creative spark and I feel comfortable sharing personal things and talking for hours with her.
Irena: She is inspiring: the first fashion blogger in Bulgaria, fact! She is opinionated and driven: this girl knows what she wants and nothing can stop her, got to admire that. She is a little crazy: just look at her eyes and gesticulation the moment she starts talking about F.C. Botev! So guess who took me to my first football game, ha! Love for wine and long brunches/linners/ dinners, this is a girl I can spend hours with talking about anything and everything: and this is rare!
HOW WE KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE
Ivelina: We always meet while I am in London or she is back to Bulgaria or in Paris during fashion week. We also created this routine to video skype for more than 3 hours once in a while :)