Portrait of Izabela Switon-Kulinska – One of AGUAdeORO's first Cover Girls.

Having entered the fashion world at the young age of 15, Izabela has never stopped working as a model ever since. She has been featured in many magazines, walked catwalks in many European cities and played in TV commercials. In 2013 she co-founded her own fashion brand Désirée Fashion, where she was designing and producing limited editions of feminine dresses. In 2016 she founded another business, her own Fashion Shows Production and luxury events agency Défile Events. Based in Geneva, she is now a fashion show producer, content creator and journalist. As one of AGUAdeORO’s first Cover Girls, we had the pleasure to interview her about her future plans.

Hello Izabella! Thank you very much for coming today. It is our great pleasure to have you here.

It is always a pleasure to visit you. Thank you for inviting me.


Could you tell us when you started your modelling career?

I started modelling seriously at the age of 18. I was discovered by an agency and was on the cover of a teenage fashion magazine.


How did they discover you? Was it by accident or did you go to an audition?

I was discovered twice. The first time when I was 15 and again when I was 18-19. Both times by accident. An agent spotted me.


So, at that time, you had no intention of becoming a model?

No, because at that time I was very young, about 15 years old, so I didn't think much about it. It just happened naturally. 


When you started, were you working full time?

No, it was just a very nice experience for someone like me who was still in college. After I graduated, I moved to a bigger city to further my education and I completely forgot about it. When I entered university, I was 19 years old. That's when another agent rediscovered me and I started doing this modeling job full time.


Have you finished your studies? What did you study?

I have a master's degree in art history.


This is incredible. What about now? Are you still working as a model?

Throughout my life I have done many different and exciting things, but my art training has always been very useful. For example, I used to write a lot and now I work more as a journalist. I run my fashion, beauty and travel blog. Also, as a model, I used to travel a lot, so everything I do now is very connected. So for me, it was a smooth transition from one thing to another. Also 20 to 25 years ago, modelling was a very different job than it is today. Now you can be an influencer and it's very similar. It's just working with brands but on a different basis.


Do you also design clothes?

Yes, I have my own sustainable clothing brand that I created called Désirée Fashion. I only produce a limited number of pieces with local artisans and work with traceable materials.


That's great! Could you tell us more about the birth of this project?

When I moved to Geneva, I decided to do something with fashion. Design has always been a big passion of mine, although I never really tried it. I worked with many designers in my time as a model and I really wanted to try it for myself. So I started designing and made my first small collection of dresses which sold successfully. So that was also a very smooth transition for me. I had to stop when I had my son, but I would like to start again. It is a great pleasure for me to see people wearing my designs. I'm sure you feel the same way when you see people wearing your jewellery! However, I must say that it takes a lot of time and work to run a brand.


You also have another business, don't you?

I have another company called Défile Events which organises fashion shows and professional events in the luxury sector.


How did the covid-19 pandemic impact your company?

Last year was very difficult for my fashion agency because of course I couldn't organise any events. All had to be cancelled unfortunately. But as I am a very optimistic person, I just shifted my attention and energy to writing and creating campaigns to support the brands that could still do something. I'm also a fashion insider for a magazine, so I love discovering new brands and understanding what they do and how they work. I love writing about it and sharing it with my community.


How did you get to Geneva?

It was a happy coincidence. I have lived all over the world. My husband and I decided to leave Gibraltar and go to Switzerland because people speak German here. At first we thought of Zurich, but my husband got a job offer in Geneva. That's how we ended up here.


You had to learn French from scratch, didn't you?

Exactly. I only knew a few words when I arrived. French is not an easy language to learn, so it was really difficult for me.


We know that you have travelled and lived all over the world. Is there anywhere you like in particular?

I love Milan in Italy. It is the city that makes me happy. I also love the south of Spain. I feel at home there. But I also love Geneva!


You've had a spectacular career. Is there anything you'd like to do in the future that you haven't done yet? ?

Of course, there are many things. One of them, at the top of the list, would be to write a book. Probably fiction. I always have new ideas, so it's always a work in progress, but it's something I would really like to do. I also like to read! I used to live in Sweden for a while, so I particularly like crime novels and Scandinavian novels. I also like biographies.

Is there a fashion icon, for example, that you admire?

I have just read the biography of Gianni Versace. Among the icons of the fashion industry, I have a few like Coco Chanel and Jean-Paul Gaultier that I am particularly fond of. But in general, I don't have a particular icon. I find inspiration in many things in life.

Do you like to watch films?

Yes, my favourite film is Love Actually! I think I've seen it a million times. It's probably the only film I can see every year without getting bored of it. I know it by heart. It's such a beautiful and joyful film. It fills me with positive emotions.

What do you usually do when you need inspiration?

I travel or look at art books.

Is there a particular artist or style you like?

Before I studied art, I had a favourite artist. But after studying it and going through every part of it, I realised that it was hard for me to finally choose who my favourite artist is. Every style has very talented artists that I love. Sometimes it only takes one painting to make a huge impression on me. But if I have to answer, in general I love Tamara de Lempicka.

Have you had the opportunity to visit the museums in Geneva? We have many!

Of course I do! I go there a lot. There are a lot of nice places. I especially like the Museum of Art and History. I often take my son with me.

Have you ever tried to paint?

Before I studied art history I tried it but I realised that unfortunately I had no talent for it. I would like to try again when I have more free time, as it is a great hobby.

Is there anywhere you'd like to travel to that you haven't been to yet?

I would love to go to Kenya and see its beautiful landscapes and nature. I dream of going to the Giraffe Manor Hotel, where it is possible to interact with the giraffes during breakfast. It sounds like heaven!

Thank you very much Bella for being with us. It was a pleasure to talk to you.

The feeling is mutual. Thank you for having me.


At AGUAdeORO, we are happy to have the chance to collaborate with such an incredible and talented woman as Izabela. To learn more about her work, please visit her website: https://www.bellazofia.com/ to find out more about her life, please visit her instagram page: https://instagram.com/bella_zofia?utm_medium=copy_link

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