From Soviet Roots to Fashion Art World: The Creative Journey of Maksim Goldguber and Viktoriia Bugaeva

By Guillaume Jean Lefebvre

1. What is your full name and its origin?

My name is Maksim Goldguber, and my wife is Viktoriia Bugaeva. Both of us are from the former Soviet Union.

2. Where were you born and in which city did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine. Viktoriia was born and raised in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Russian far East.

3. What were the influences or defining events of your childhood?

Viktoriia’s father was a photographer and often had her posing in front of his camera. From her early years Viktoriia was always interested in fashion and modeling. She participated in numerous fashion and beauty pageants since she was 4, but she also had a passion for putting looks together and began styling her first looks at the age of 5. At the same time, I was living on the other end of the Eurasian continent and amongst my various interests was my own passion for photography. My family had a couple of Leica’s and a small private photo development lab where I’ve spent many days developing film and printing photos taken by my brother and myself.

4. How did you develop your passions and interests?

I ruined a lot of film before my photos became aesthetically pleasing, but my parents never once complained about the cost and kept on buying more rolls allowing me to continuously explore that hobby. But the hobby was turning into passion and soon enough I would take the camera almost everywhere, shooting everything that caught my eye. Viktoriia kept following the fashion industry and as Soviet Union was slowly opening up to the rest of the world, she had opportunities to not only get herself familiar with homeland’s fashion designers, but also world-renowned fashion industry mogul’s such as Prada, Chanel, Dior and others. In her teen years Viktoriia was already highly regarded as an amazing stylist, not only by her peers but in many cases adult women who sought her advice on styling their personal wardrobes.

6. What were your first jobs or early professional experiences?

Viktoriia began her adult professional career by working as a salesperson in a clothing department in a large mall in the city of Khabarovsk. On the other hand, I moved to America and began working in the nightclub industry where I stayed for almost 25 years. During that time, I produced a few fashion shows, which served as a catalyst to enter the fashion industry after I left the nightlife behind.

7. What was your academic background and higher education?

I was a great student in school, but never actually went to college. Viktoriia graduated from the Far East Institute of Foreign Relations, but opted not to enter that field, shifting the focus back to her fashion industry career. We are both self-taught.


8. How would you describe your approach to your work?

We are both extremely passionate about our craft and we are constantly generating new creative ideas. Everything we see can become an inspiration and we are not afraid to try something new and to challenge ourselves.

9. What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

For both of us it has to be the first time our work was published in a major fashion magazine. That’s when we knew that our work was good enough and that all of our commitment and dedication was not in vain, and it was even more gratifying since that editorial featured Viktoriia as the model.

10. How did you balance your professional and personal life?

Being a married couple and working together definitely puts us in a unique situation where we are near each other almost constantly. We see it as a blessing because we know that we can trust each other to do the job right and we are able to draw energy from each other’s passion and creativity. But when the time comes, we are able to forget about work and just enjoy being in each other’s presence.

11. What are your future projects or goals?

Currently we are working on our newest project called Fashion Art World. We envision it as a platform that will provide opportunities for emerging models and fashion designers to be noticed and perhaps to be able to go to the very top of the fashion industry. At the same time, we continue working on our photography projects and have several uniquely creative editorials coming up in the next few months. We aim to be featured in numerous famous fashion magazines and we are honored to be featured on the cover of Éclair.

12. How do you want to be perceived by others?

We want to be perceived not only as passionate and talented, but also as kind and responsive. We like to help others grow their confidence and self-esteem. We like to spread happiness and would like to be known as people who help others make positive changes in their lives.

Model: Tanya Szabo - @tanyavszabo
Designer: Link Li - @link.linlin
Photographer: Maksim Goldguber - @maksimgoldguber
Stylist: Viktoriia Bugaeva - @ladyvictoryb
Hair and makeup: Erzhena Zimina - @erzhenamakeup

Quality, not quantity

We have made quality our habit. It’s not something that we just strive for – we live by this principle every day.