“I love a challenge! Every dream, every goal has a challenge that comes along with it,” says Kristina Bazan, 25, who grew up watching American movies and wishing she could, one day, become a glamorous celebrity like the ones she saw on screen. For almost a decade now, the Minsk-born blogger, author and musician has collaborated with the world’s most famous fashion brands, such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton that one can hardly browse Instagram or dabble in the fashion scene without coming across her name.
It all began in 2011, when Bazan, living in a small village in Switzerland at age 17, created Kayture with photographer and her then-boyfriend James Chardon. Indeed, in its earlier days, Kayture was not a business at all, but an outlet for Bazan to express her passion for fashion and showcase photos that her boyfriend had taken of her – in other words, it was a place where, according to one of her posts, “a nerdy shy introvert” teenager could “nerd out.” That said, it came as quite a surprise when her fashion blog started garnering a large following and catching the attention of the biggest players in the fashion industry. “All teenagers at a certain age, when they’re 15 or 16, they start their myspace or vlogs. I never, for a second, thought that it would turn into something serious. I opened my blog just for fun so when I started getting all these inquiries from France, I was so shocked, I had no idea,” Bazan says, adding that much of her success was the result of luck, of her being at the right place at the right time, at the vanguard of the blogging craze that took the Internet by storm in the late aughts and early 2010s. “At the time, that (blogging) didn’t really exist, it wasn’t a job,” she recalls. “I really experienced the beginning of it.”
While Bazan is mostly known for her work as a fashion blogger and digital influencer, music is where her heart has always lied. Although she thought the “idea of making music my career was just so unrealistic, it really seemed like a fantasy. I never thought that it could actually become my job,” as her blogging career progressed, she began to realize that creating music was what actually made her happy.
“I wanted to really create something that has a message and depth, and at the end of the day, I always came back to music. It just felt so natural to switch to that.”She officially launched her musical career in 2016 with the single “Out,” where she collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Brian Kennedy. Since then, she has released a number of singles, such as “Clockwork,” “Old Soul,” and “VR,” as well as her first EP EPHV1. “First of all, you have the pressure of already having so many people looking at what you’re doing, and second of all, people are not following you for that reason, they’re following you for something else.” she shares. “Some grew up with you, knowing you for something, and now you’re changing. People don’t really like change. People were just really skeptical and being like, ‘Oh, you just want to be more famous, you’re just taking advantage of your following to branch out to something else.’ It really affected my credibility as an artist, and that’s where the main challenge comes from.”
Even though she is constantly in the public eye, Bazan claims to be a private person. “Fame is actually so poisonous,” she opens up. “To have that much attention on you all the time is actually quite unhealthy. When I was doing my job, I was just constantly giving people what they’d want to see from me, and there’s kind of a perversion behind this.” It is that desire to maintain her privacy and a sense of mystery that has led her to curate a very specific image on social media: one that is almost exclusively professional, with very few references to personal aspects of her life. “We’re consuming so much content that we’re losing all the quality of it. I’m really saturated by all of that. That’s why I adopt the opposite approach – I’m very mysterious on my Instagram. I just want to use the platform for work, to create and to share creativity,” she elaborates. “I’d like to create something meaningful. I’d like to create something that lasts, and that’s not just a pretty picture of myself online.”
Writer: Monica Dias
Photographer: Seung Lee (www.kokumastudio.com)
Photographer Assistants: Mason Kim & Hyejin Pak
Stylist: Katelynn Tilley
Hair: Caitlin Krenz (for Opus Beauty - using Leonor Greyl)
Makeup: Joanna Faivre
Videographer: Sandra Selva
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Will Gibbs, M.D. (@wgibbsmd - www.willgibbsmd.com)