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My First Red Carpet Appearance at the Rome Film Festival



-Anastasiya, did you take my shoes again?

 My mom wasn’t happy. I took her shoes and long dress again to practice my red carpet walk. How else was I suppose to get ready?! Somehow I knew that one day I would leave this small town in Soviet Union that most maps of the world wouldn’t even show and move far far away.

The Truth About My Childhood

The times were tough. When I was growing up, hot water or heat were considered to be a luxury that no one in my town had. You would have to heat water (that was given for only two hours in the morning and at night) and then bath yourself in a small bucket. Heat even with temperature -21 celsius was also a luxury rarely given to us regularly.

Sometimes you would just want to crawl next to the heater and stay glued to it while doing homework. This way your fingers wouldn’t freeze while writing (and then people wonder why I cant stand cold to this day). I had only one sweater for the whole winter that I would wear Monday through Friday to school. And meat was something we would have once or twice a year. People were not getting paid with money (even though it would be useless since the shops were empty any way), but with beans, sugar, pickles, etc.

I remember one winter was particularly hard. We literally had nothing to eat but beans. So my mom would make dinner with them for my brother and I around 7PM and then put us to bed almost right away, so we don’t get hungry again. Her and my dad wouldn’t even have dinners to save us some food. No one knew if the times would get better or something would ever change.

In my tiny town covered in dust and smoke from numerous coal mines all around, people were like robots. You walk outside and no one was smiling, laughing or enjoying life. People were angry, exhausted and frustrated without hopes or dreams that something would ever change. Everyone was just trying to survive. Thats the conditions I grew up in. It seemed like a dead end but for some reason not for me. I had dreams. And somehow I knew I was destined for something big. Very, very big.

The Big Day


Fast forward years later and I am at the Rome Film Festival. Getting ready for my red carpet appearance. Hair and makeup are done, the outfit is on, the walk is practiced and now its a show time. I get on the elevator, press the button for the ground floor, go down, walk through the spacious lobby, the doors open and I am standing in front of the red carpet.

The last few quick fixes of the skirt by my stylist and directions for the red carpet from my PR and its time. I inhale deeply and step on the carpet. Pure magic. I am holding a skirt with one hand per my stylist instruction, enjoying the music, the ambiance, taking pictures and giving interviews. It feels new and at the same time like I’ve done it already before, many-many times in that tiny apartment in my home town in Ukraine.

The highlight of the experience is of course the rows of the photographers at the end of the carpet. For someone like me who adores camera, this is definitely a treat.



“Anastasiya, look here!”- I hear from the crowd of photographers. It felt like my whole life journey to date came to this one special moment. And now I am standing in front of the whole world presenting the look that we put so carefully and creatively together.

The look of possibility. Possibility that you can have or achieve every single thing in this world. One of my main goals will always be to inspire as many women as possible around the world to go for their biggest dreams and aspirations.

To represent possibility and to show with my life example that you can have or achieve anything you want in this life no matter your background, conditions you grew up in or what other people think about your choices. You and only you is responsible for your future. Life always rewards those who take chances. Always.

If you feel passionate about something, but still hesitating, doubting or waiting for the right time-its now! Take chances, live to the fullest, fill up the pages of your book with stories you want to tell and create the life you always envisioned. This is what we are all here for. Go for it, fabulous! I believe in you.

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