We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalia Malova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalia, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
The most difficult decision was move to LA from Moscow at the top of my career there. I was shooting cover and fashion stories around the world with the best photographers and models for high fashion magazines, working at fashion shows in Paris, having famous clients and etc. But I’ve decided to try and moved to my favorite city where I didn’t know anyone. That was tough and risky but I was excited before the opportunities which I could get here and I thought that I could get back to Moscow anytime if I couldn’t work here.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The most exciting part of my job is meeting and working with the most talented and successful people in the world. I am working with Hollywood stars, famous singers and artists, directors and writers, models and photographers, sportsmen, entrepreneurs and so many other people who graced the covers of international fashion magazines and red carpets. I have a unique opportunity to talk to them and to learn from them. For example I am working with Sera Gamble, a very successful Hollywood producer and writer who has some shows on Netflix, she is the smartest and the most interesting person I’ve ever met, I really like talking to her. Or another example. When I studied makeup in London many years ago, I adored Devon Aoki, a cult model of the 90s. I looked at her images captured by the industry’s top photographers like Mario Sorrenti, Juergen Teller, Ellen von Unwerth , Nick Knight by hours looking at her face and makeup looks. She was my muse. And now after I moved to LA I met her once on set and now we are working together from time to time. She is adorable and I feel lucky working with her. Or for example Susanna Hoffs, the lead singer of the Bangles. I was working with her at The GRAMMY Tribute to Prince last year where she sang “Manic Monday” with Chris Martin, a song which was written by Prince for Susanna. They were a close friends and she told me some stories about him and those times. For me it’s priceless.
Maye Musk, Tilda Swinton, Arianna Huffington, Diane von Furstenberg and many others whose words, actions and creations have inspired me.
You asking me how to get there? There are no secrets how to be successful in any fields: work hard, love people and love what you do, be curious and always broad your knowledge.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Another favorite part of my work is the opportunity to see a real hidden gems in California. I had a chance to work on many impressive locations, like Eric Lloyd Wright house in Malibu or legendary Tony Duquette Studios. I was amazed by so many interesting places from The Last Bookstore in Downtown which is still an iconic spot to The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena where you can spend the whole day enjoying art collection and botanical landscaped gardens. I can say I am spoiled seeing so many beautiful places. It’s hard to choose but I will share with you some of my favorites. I really like to start my day at the beach. I often have breakfast at The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica. They have a nice cafe right on the sand with a great view and nice vibe. It’s so beautiful and quiet there on weekdays. Then I like to walk along the ocean or I can go to one of my favorite hike in Will Rogers State Historic Park. If I am free the whole day I like to escape to any of a small beach towns. My 3 favorites: Laguna Beach, Manhattan Beach and Corona Del Mar. I also going quite often to Ojai, a spiritual magnet for seekers of every description with the most beautiful pink sunsets. I think you can find everything you like in California: nature, art, retreats, wineries, mountains, parks and forests, desert, beaches and hot springs, surfing, skiing and etc, just jump in the car and go to any direction which you like. If I am in the city I often go to Getty Museum, Griffith’s Observatory or The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical. I also love to exploring small local shops and nice restaurants with healthy organic food in Venice on Abbot Kinney. If I have dinner with friends, I usually choose some of my favorite places where I’m sure I will have a good time. Chateau Marmont, Sunset tower, Laurel Hardware, Zinque to name a few. I can definitely recommend “Pace”, it’s a legendary restaurant located on Love Street in Laurel Canyon where Jim Morrison was living with Pamela Courson. If I am going out I usually choose a place with a history or with creative vibe and atmosphere. I really like Toledo show in Petit Ermitage hotel, it’s a musical burlesque performance by singer Toledo, very unique. Or I can go to some bars like The Nice Guy or No Vacancy, it’s always fun there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so grateful to my clients and colleagues who gave me support letter to get the documents allowing to live and work in states. That’s a big names in the industry, from Arianna Huffington and some other celebrity clients to editor-in-chief of Russian Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. They taking their time and effort in writing these letters and I was really appreciate that all of them agreed to do it for me. I also found that so many people I met in LA are very kind and supportive as well, I really grateful to everyone in my life, from friends and family to strangers who are always ready to help and support.
On set with Bella Hadid in New York shooting a cover story for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine