Liga Zemture on the post-COVID-19 Fashion and the Future of the Industry
Updated: Jun 13, 2020
Liga Zemture, born in Latvia, living around the world. Liga is an Editor-in-Chief of L'Officiel Baltics and has been running MARBLE AVENUES for almost 10 years , a company that manages digital marketing and fashion business worldwide.
This is the time when we can choose which direction to go! And we have to be careful by making our decisions! Be smart and be kind! - Liga Zemture
How did you get into fashion? Please tell us a bit more about your career?
Liga: From my early childhood, the first thought of my future carrier was to go into politics in which I have got one of my bachelor's degrees as well. Fashion was only subconscious at that time - I loved to dress fashionable but I had no idea that I could work in this field. After finishing a master's degree in international business management while working in an IT company as a marketing director I was invited to work in Shanghai as a director of a Fashion Company and it turned my world upside down. I understood that exactly the fashion industry is my greatest passion. After Shanghai, I never stopped working in this field and I went through all stages and experiences to be where I am right now, and I believe it is just the beginning.
I learned fashion industry step by step going through all kind of stages and duties - working as a part-time model, photographer, stylist, buyer, even worked a bit as an assistant of Vogue Ukraine fashion director Philip Vlasov.
What did your modeling experience teach you about the industry?
Liga: At the time when I was proposed to work as a model, I was too busy with my studies; therefore I never worked as a full-time model. But I know a lot about the modeling industry because I have worked with Ford Models New York agency, organizing Supermodel of the World in the Baltic States.
As I already told, I learned fashion industry step by step going through all kind of stages and duties - working as a part-time model, photographer, stylist, buyer, even worked a bit as an assistant of Vogue Ukraine fashion director Philip Vlasov (editor-in-chief now) while living in Kyiv, unfortunately, it was too short because we moved to Miami.
Actually, this short but sweet moment showed me the direction that I would love to work in the magazine one day. Later on, I was consulting fashion enterprises about marketing, PR, and business development while owning my company that I still do. Later, while living in Miami I created my fashion blog and after two years joined the L’Officiel family in the Baltic States. At the start, as an editor in chief of the digital platform, I helped to establish and promote newly created digital media in all three countries where we own franchise – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. And now I am an editor-in-chief of this wonderful magazine that is one of the oldest in Europe and celebrate it’s 100 Aniversary this year.
What is the best aspect of being an editor-in-chief? And what is the worst?
Liga: I can’t tell that there are some best or worst aspects. For me, the most important is that I am enjoying what I am doing and that I can influence fashion by not only writing what is trendy now but as well by helping young designers. I do love to meet new people and I can talk about fashion business for hours. Maybe before Covid-19, I would have said that sometimes there were too many flights and travels but now I miss it all so much that I take back my words.
What are some qualities one should have to work in fashion journalism?
Liga: Definitely passion for the industry is the key because I am not a journalist myself. For example, I am more visionary with business, marketing and PR skills. And I think that I have this gut or intuition in the fashion of trends and what will come next. Therefore nowadays there are no strict rules on how to become a fashion journalist. Just have a dream and work hard for it!
In your opinion, are fashion publications going to go fully digital in the nearest future?
Liga: I hope that print will stay, at least partly, because there are still generations that love to read print, including me. I am a millennial but I still love that feeling of holding a beautiful magazine in my hands, and that magical moment of listing it through. Even though we have to follow trends and demand, therefore this May I launched the first digital magazine for L’Officiel Baltics (www.lofficielbalticsmag.com), with all kinds of great digital opportunities – to listen to a classical music concert in a magazine, to watch video interviews and to shop directly things you see in the magazine.
What is your take on sustainable fashion?
Liga: The fashion industry should become more sustainable and conscious. I am sure that Covid-19 will bring in some changes in our mindset that we do not need as much as we consume.
Do you support young designers?
Liga: This is the one of things I love the most about my work! I have done it already before I started to work at L’Officiel. It is wonderful to see how they grow and what they achieve. At the moment I am consulting about business development 30 emerging designers that participate at the Estonian Fashion Festival.
Are there any tips you would give those who want to work as a fashion journalist?
Liga: Try to get an internship or work as an assistant, don’t count hours you work, do it from all your heart, prove that you are interested in the field. For example, it took a long time for me to find an assistant, because people want to be in the magazine, but they don’t want to work. Since I have worked uncounted hours, so I don’t like employees who come and demand before proving what they can do.
How the COVID-19 pandemic influenced your work and profession in general?
Liga: Businesswise it is a challenging time for all of us now. For me, it has been a busy schedule because I was designing and launching our digital magazine. We will see how this pandemic will affect the profession but at the moment we all are on hold.
What digital technologies are influencing the fashion industry the most?
Liga: Sure it is social media, I think that influence of Instagram and other social media platforms is very undeniable. I personally don’t like TikTok but data shows that it is growing super fast. I suppose that even cool hunting companies as WGSN are inspiring and looking for future trends on social media; including designers, magazines and editors. For example, I recently found a designer on Instagram I did not know about before, Mihano Momosa. So, Instagram is a wonderful source for me to inspire and to make materials for a magazine.
There is so much noise everywhere and the information that is not relevant. What is the best way to filter it?
Liga: First of all, to know what you like and what you don’t.
Understanding the current worldwide emergency, what changes do you think may appear in the fashion industry, and where they could bring the whole system in the future?
Liga: It is very unclear how the fashion industry will change after the pandemic. What will happen with Fashion Weeks, with the brands, advertisers and other factors? But I am a believer in positive changes in whatever happens; therefore I am sure we all will come out from this crisis even better than we were before. We will revalue what we had and we will be more careful with our actions towards people and planet. We will become more conscious and that is the greatest thing. And it shall improve our lives and of course as well the fashion industry itself.
If I had talked to humanity from the future I would say: “Thank you for choosing the road of sustainability in all aspects of your life. Thank you for not continuing overconsumption of things you really do not need. For being kind to Mother Nature and others around you! For supporting each other in difficult times!”
This is the time when we can choose which direction to go! And we have to be careful by making our decisions! Be smart and be kind!