Interview with Xenia Tchoumi
Today, we are interviewing Xenia Tchoumi @xenia – Xenia Tchoumi is a fashion influencer, digital entrepreneur and public speaker based in London. Armed with an economics degree and knack for entrepreneurship, the Swiss-Italian influencer with Russian origins speaks six languages (Italian, Russian, English, German, French and Spanish) and turned down an offer to work full- time at J.P. Morgan to continue her online endeavours for her web-magazine.
Xenia has worked as the digital ambassadress of high end fashion and lifestyle brands. She shoots with magazines of the likes of L’Officiel, Vogue, Vanity Fair or Elle. She has recently given three motivational TEDx talks and spoke at the United Nations.
She’s a freelance magazine contributor and stands for female empowerment. Xenia is releasing her first self-help book in December 2020.
Question: As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?
Xenia: People judging a book by its cover. Impressions are important but often seen through cultural glasses. Often these glasses are stained with a patriarchal mentality – whether it is a for man or a woman. At times, women themselves don’t try hard enough because they are taught from an early age that certain careers or positions are for men only – and as a woman they are supposed to aspire to “female roles” or to “marry well”. I find this anachronistic and plainly just wrong. A human being (female or male) should be able to achieve any career they aspire to through hard work, or to devote themselves to whatever they find fulfilling in life without social, religious or cultural restrictions.
Question: With your lifestyle is it hard to start and maintain social relationships, and how do you deal with this?
Xenia: No, it isn’t as hard as it looks like. I visit cities on a consistent basis – which allows me to cultivate my friendships.
I love my international lifestyle, and I find the world is my home. But of course, London (where I live now) is home.
Question: What has become more important to you in the last few years and what has become less important?
Xenia: Wellbeing: mental and physical for me and my loved ones is definitely prevailing over the need of over-working or running around. Also self-discovery, the search for what truly makes me happy and fulfilled, has become increasingly important in my life.
Question: What life skills are rarely taught but extremely useful?
Xenia: Self-love and self-respect, it’s a complex one as it usually comes from childhood – yet you can work on your own wounds and learn how to give to yourself what you might have lacked early on in life. It will reflect in every aspect of your life, from career to relationships. Also Financial literacy. I think everyone needs a basis on how to manage and invest their money, from an early age, in order to have a healthy relationship with their money throughout life.
Question: What topic could you spend hours talking about?
Xenia: Individual empowerment (thinking independently) and gender equality.
Question: What’s an example of a modern masterpiece?
Xenia: I love all Yuval Noah Harari’s books. He’s got my utmost respect.
Question: How ambitious are you?
Xenia: Well, quite. I love to constantly learn and grow.
Question: What is your motto for life?
Xenia: “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
Nana korobi, ya oki