Ksenia Chilingarova, the creator of the Arctic Explorer brand and the daughter of Russian polar explorer Artur Nikolaevich Chilingarov, spoke about her childhood in a famous family and how she decided on radical changes.
As a child, I did not feel special (except for the fact that I was a very dark-skinned child surrounded by blonde girls), but I understood that I had a special dad, a hero who travels to places where no human has ever set foot (Xenia's dad is a hero of the Soviet Union and President of the State Polar Academy - ed.). To me he was the real Indiana Jones. That is why, as a child, I was so fascinated by the book "Two Captains", from which exudes true, crazy romanticism. After all, before my eyes every day there was such a simple real romantic. But I cannot say that "Two Captains" was my reference book. At a certain age, I rather “loomed” in my head Mr. Darcy from “Pride and Prejudice”.
My dad is not a particularly talkative person, unlike his friend Yuri Senkevich. He was a very good storyteller! Dad, on the other hand, is a silent, stern polar explorer, but if he begins to remember something, it is necessarily heartbreaking: how the ice floe broke, and the team drifted and fought for life. Mom at that time only said: it's good that I didn't know about this in advance. Recently after the release of the film "Moving Up", dad talked about his personal acquaintance with Sergei Belov, about how he met him at the Olympics.
I remember how he brought funny things from his travels. Like a penguin egg. Unlike modern children, we did not have telephones, so we fantasized a lot.
Once my dad brought a huge live parrot from Nicaragua. We named her Nora Guadeloupe and lived with her for six years, and then my mother gave her to the poultry house, because the parrot was rare and required very careful care.
Now dad is 78 and he plans to go somewhere again. Of course, we are worried, but who will listen to us. We are worried, but Artur Nikolaevich does. I understand that he cannot live without travel.
After all, we all have something that makes our eyes light up. For my dad, the motor is the Arctic and the North.
My dad is strict. I was never forbidden to do anything, but it was clear that “you can't!”. At the age of a teenager, it was a shame when they were not allowed to go to school discos, to parties with friends. Trips generally had to be coordinated a month in advance. There were immediately questions: with whom, where, why? Here my mother came in: “They are girls, they are all decent!”. So, yes, there was a slight tyranny in my childhood.
About the Arctic Explorer brand
With the Arctic Explorer brand, I want to preserve and pass on my father's legacy, while making a successful commercial project. Several years ago, my dad and I went to the North Pole together (it took some effort to persuade him). There is no one indifferent to this place. This is another white planet that is truly impressive.
Especially for the trip, I ordered a jacket, which I continued to wear after returning home. Once I was walking with my dog, a friend came up to me, praised my jacket and asked if he could do the same. I replied: "Well, probably you can." The history of Arctic Explorer began with this phrase. We went to the production site, where even in Soviet times we sewed equipment for polar explorers, touched, felt, and understood the types of fluff. We made the first jacket.
I am a journalist, and initially I did not have an understanding of how to build my business, so we teamed up with my partner Anatoly, who is now the financial head of Arctic Explorer. Initially, we decided to do everything ourselves in order to understand all the processes. Now I am responsible for collection production, PR, marketing and recruiting. We have a team that develops clothing design, but without my approval, the jacket will not be sent to production.
In childhood and adolescence, I dreamed of becoming a blue-eyed blonde, but I was much darker than the girls around me. I definitely didn't want to play the role of the Snow Maiden, although I really wanted to. Naturally, it was not without jokes - children can be very cruel. I ended up becoming a blonde two years ago, but it didn't work out with blue eyes. Although I tried to wear lenses, she looked like a vampire's girlfriend.
Three years ago I had a dramatic haircut. Before the haircut I dressed, looked in the mirror and realized that I looked, in general, not bad, feminine, but something was wrong. And at some point I realized that long hair should be abandoned. When I cut my hair, I felt a huge relief, as if I had discovered some secret of a good mood. I remember how I woke up in the morning, saw myself in the mirror and thought: "Cool!" I still live with this feeling. If you feel comfortable inside, there is a feeling that it is yours, then you can safely decide on changes! Plus: I am very lazy, I do not know how and do not like to style my hair, I spent a lot of money on trips to the salons to straighten and style it. The girls who get up at 7 in the morning to get their hair done make me admire. I so often hear that I look like a boy, that I need to grow my hair, and I want to say to this: "Guys, leave me alone!"
I always thought that dad, a stern, Caucasian man, after a haircut will arrange a real thrashing. And he, on the contrary, said that it suits me very much and closed the topic while my mother was crying.
Although even now I am not always recognized by my passport photo. Border control workers often ask for another document because they see a brunette with long hair in the photo, and in front of them is a blonde with short hair. Some men even allow themselves to evaluate as better: before or after. It amuses me a lot!
I like to experiment with makeup. The latest find is the "pink" make-up at the Valentino summer collection show. I recently had an interesting shot in similar pinky-reds. It was great! With an analogue of this makeup, I was at the GQ awards. It turned out that finding really cool pink eyeshadows was a problem. Now I use shiny eyeshadow sticks from the American organic brand Milk Makeup and even recommend them to makeup artists.
In everyday life, I'm not a big fan of bright makeup, I wear glasses every day. But I have Shu Uemura's Uvub Poreraser mousse that evens out my skin tone. I use it instead of tone. If you have just returned from vacation, then nothing else is needed. In the end, I can add a slight shine with a shimmer. If I still use a cream, then this is a foundation from NARS (the beloved Giorgio Armani was discontinued). I like creamy but loose textures. And NARS is also convenient because it is enclosed in a tube. I can also add a care cream or oil to it for extra shine. I am impressed by the idea of funds in sticks. All makeup can be done with one "pencil". For example, I apply a NARS concealer on the eyelids, do light contouring, blend it and I can also use it for lip makeup. I style my brows with Shu Uemura's Eyebrow Manicure mascara, which has a round brush that combes great.
Now I love liquid textures, they are easier to work with and they apply faster. Favorites - Tom Ford liquid eyeshadow. After the advice of the makeup artist, I bought two brown shades at once and now I am not parting with them.
I have a slight weakness: at night I watch videos of famous makeup artists like Pat McGrath: how to apply corrector correctly, use a beauty blender. The latter, by the way, is a very handy tool. Better than fingers, shades concealer under the eyes. Although I often do my makeup with my hands.
I recently returned to Japan, where I discovered EviDens cosmetics. In Moscow, you can find it in the Central Department Store, for example. The brand has a "bomb" cream for skin radiance - The Brightening Cream. There is also a cool serum that costs awful money, but really works great on the face.
I love the La Prairie brand. In winter I use Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil (it can also be applied to the body) and Skin Caviar Luxe cream with black caviar extract - a hit of the brand. It moisturizes and evens out the texture of the skin.
About healthy lifestyle
I don't wear natural fur. Everyone is free to make their own choice, I don't like the way it looks, but for most people, a parka and a jacket are things with natural fur. He also helps out if a strong wind blows. Therefore, our Arctic Explorer models are with natural fur, but I take it off from my jackets.
I respect vegetarians and cardinal growers, but I myself would not be able to limit myself so. A fanatical approach to anything is not very good.
I allow myself chocolate sometimes, I do not deny good red wine. The main principle is that you need to love yourself and do not eat something that harms the body, in kilograms. The French somehow cope with their wine and cheese.
When traveling, I stick to a mix of doing nothing and outdoor activities. I really love art, many trips are associated with it. I regularly go to Art Basel and Frieze in London. In New York, you should definitely go to the Solomon Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan (although there are a lot of cool private galleries there). In London, go to Tate and Serpentine Galleries first. Sometimes the Natural History Museum has great exhibitions.
An exhibition dedicated to the Vitebsk avant-garde will open in the Pompidou Center in Paris this spring. It is supervised by my friend. Excellent exhibitions are always held in the Louis Vuitton space. And also the Louvre! It may sound trite, but if it weren't for the queues, I would be returning there all the time - a colossal collection of art objects.
But the coolest trip of my life was to the North Pole.
In the future, it will be interesting to go to Mexico and take a train in India, which goes from the Himalayas to the south and resembles the Orient Express. And I also want to go to Africa, but so far I am confused by vaccinations and pills for malaria.
Interview and text: Yulia Kozoliy