This month we met up with Erika Janavi, for a glass of wine in the trendy borough of Notting Hill. There’s little doubt she’s a jack of all trades – as we tend to see it with FHIVER’s. Beyond a turtle mama and graduate of West London University, she’s been working as a stylist, model, illustrator, and a full-time charity shop manager.
Hey Erika, how are you?
I’m pretty great, especially after the second glass of Primitivo! 😉
Let’s just jump straight into the interview, can you tell us a bit about you… for example what are your passions?
Travelling, meeting new people, doing things for the first time, (as you can see in the pictures) collecting antiques and most importantly being creative.
Would you tell us about your daily routine and must have beauty products?
I’m not much of a morning person and I like to stay in bed until I have to run to work. Although there is no time for breakfast, there’s lots of coffee and no excuse for not feeding my skin and hair. My day normally goes really fast unless I have the day off work, which rarely happens. Before bed I watch various documentaries, draw, and check SoundCloud before repeating my skin and hair routine.
3 must have beauty products:
Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream (which also is great as a lip balm and eyebrow shaper)
What would you say is your experience with the London Fashion scene?
I find the London fashion scene to be quite open-minded, they don’t care what age you are, or what you look like. In many ways, a different attitude to the rest of the world.
Yeah, that’s pretty much the feeling we got as well over the years. How would you normally get about to find work?
In the beginning, I collaborated with a lot of people for free in order to build up my portfolio. I found most jobs and collaborations on various social media platforms, mainly on Facebook and Instagram. I’m also connected to a modelling agency, which has not been very fruitful so far…
Sorry to hear that, this is one reason why FHIVE is trying to give more power and independence to freelancers in the world of fashion. Which other challenges have you encountered so far?
As I’m working full-time it’s hard to get a day off and fit everything into my schedule. It is also a lot of competition and people are willing to work for free.
We know this is a recurring issue for people trying to survive in the creative industries. But it’s not all bad being in the fashion industry, surely you have some amazing stories to tell from shoots?
I had a photoshoot for a magazine, the theme was “political make-up”, it was a crazy experience to get your face painted in latex in order to achieve an older look, get into a wig and formal clothing – you just naturally start acting like someone else. It was a great fun, however, a big disappointment at the same time, because the photoshoot was on a collaboration basis so I was promised great photos and exposure instead of that I was ignored and expected to buy the overpriced magazine to see how the photos turned out…