INSPIRING PEOPLE / ANDRIJANA POPOVIC
Interview to Andrijana Popovic, founder of KUBO, professor and fashion, art, and psychology researcher.
Focus on Andrijana Popovic.
Psychologist, advisor, professor, creative coach. And much more.
A versatile woman who has a world full of multidisciplinary interests.
Her keen eye puts at the center of her universe the value of research, in order to press the button of progress and promote the Fashion system within the world of culture and art, always towards ethical and sustainable human value.
Before becoming a fashion phenomenon-related researcher, she worked as a visual producer, PR, talent hunter, creative advisor at a young talents trade show in Paris, Who’s Next, for Italy.
As a cutting-edge spirit, she takes the lead in planning visual communication programs, to apply psychological science within the fashion environment too.
In 2016 she published Fashion Intelligence, a book project supported by Milan-based Fondazione Gianfranco Ferré, gathering together an active group of researchers and authors oriented towards dynamic research of different cognitive, scientific, and stylistic views.
In 2018 she creates Kubo, a multidisciplinary space that revolves around art, fashion, and psychology stories, in the city of Bari, Italy.
I had the chance to meet Andrijana just because of Kubo. I was motivated by a sense of curiosity towards a workshop, with a wonderful title name ‘back to human. the Art of Aesthetic Empathy'.
This sensational woman is a reference point, not only for me but also for other human beings who entered her life.
I am sure that, after reading this interview, you will feel the desire to go deeper, beyond the world surface too, and breathe oxygen, with new eyes, mind, and heart. Willing to look at the world around you in a different way.
Hi Andrijana, tell me about you and your professional profile.
Hello “guardian of smile” (this is how I call Alessandra), who looks beyond the visible, guided by your art of active listening.
I feel inspired to tell you about my World.
I don't really like to talk about myself, but to talk about what I have been able to really touch with other people, as experiential objectives and professional development. Everything comes from the desire to support my primary need: to preserve the value of being free and authentic in the relationship and love department; to respect the different thinking in order to be in love with the creative mind, awakening the passion for research, beyond visible.
Thus, I am first thankful for the study of the science of psychology, that made this possible.
I got my degree at the University of Philosophy in Belgrade, specializing in "Personality and Fashion", in 1990, regarding the research of Fashion phenomenon, as body covering, visual communication, aesthetic empathy, sign, and symbol of a positive difference in the creativity field.
For me, the Fashion world is like Traveling without limits.
You have five words to define yourself. Can you list them, and describe them to me, if this is ok for you?
Love, as a source of being.
Fantasy / Beauty, as fundamental elements to imagine, desire, experiment, constantly respecting aesthetic and ethical values.
Open Mind, as a form of democratic respect.
Discipline, translator of trained skills.
Communication / Relationship, a symbol of productive mirroring of a sustainable human dialectic.
What inspires you more than anything else?
The beauty of the human mind, the emotional wisdom.
What do you feel distant from? What are you afraid of?
Trivial evil, insignificant discomfort.
Looking back, is there anything that you wouldn't do again?
No, I have always respected the sense of listening and the art of feeling before taking any decision.
The most beautiful moment of your life.
Every moment in my life has a special meaning for me.
Life is the construction of time sequences, and it offers us two ways to create our picture of common life serenity: as chronological time and as opportunity time, even more, prompt nowadays.
What I always have tried not to lose as the focus is the awareness to feel and recognize opportunities. Because I am responsible for the quality of my life and the ones of people around me.
Andrijana, what does the word creativity means for you?
Creativity generates from the human need to be better selves, to feel and be in a relationship, to innovate themselves, to love themselves, to grow together with others, to reconsider themselves.
It's a sustainable social innovation driving force.
Creativity as emotional and social intelligence, and as an important indicator of cultural progress above all.
Nowadays we are talking much about creativity development as a social value.
Personally, I feel that creativity is applied within the process of mental articulation and emotional literacy, in an open dialogue between intuition and project, through the art of empathy.
What is your biggest satisfaction?
I never see ‘big things', but I live by ‘small lights’ united in human discoveries… I don't feel the satisfaction as an isolated feeling, but as a safe value to grow with others instead.
Who are your heroes?
KUBO is a new reality that you recently opened in Bari with your professional partner Amalia Di Lanno. What is exactly KUBO?
Kubo is emotion in action…to feel the need of the other person.
What is KUBO…I would like to hear what is this reality for you.
Where the idea of KUBO comes from?
From the need to observe the World from another point of view.
To teach beauty to the eye, that beauty which is in every human being.
The key point of KUBO is Empathy. What does represents this value for you?
It's my world. I strongly believe in the power of change towards inner beauty.
Favorite artist (or fashion designer, designer, or other) and book.
Alexander McQueen, forever…
There are various references in my fashion education, such as Gianfranco Ferré, but also my curiosity towards the world of young talent.
I have many favorite books. It was my mom who infused me with a love for books.
She read three books every day, for her they were a moment of relaxation during her intense working days. She was an orthopedic doctor and head physician. The first woman in Montenegro to be an orthopedic surgeon in 1951.
When I was twelve years old, books whose authors were Dostoevskij, Kafka, etc. brought me to deeply travel to the world of the different.
Nowadays I teach Psychology of Art - Fashion & Design - at ’UDG’ University of Podgorica, Montenegro, so the approach to reading and writing world are essential elements towards mental creativity beyond perceptive education.
Cities that stole your heart.
Kotor. Belgrade. Milan. And Bari, the city where KUBO is located.
Which values did you leave into the past to make room for your inner and professional growth?
Limiting thoughts, foggy emotions. To make room for new horizons.
2019 has just begun. Would you like to share with me your desires?
My wish is to save and preserve alive desires.
This section focuses on everything that is a source of inspiration. What would you like to communicate or suggest to human beings, to be a source of inspiration for them?
To look into each other's eyes and hug each other.
Thirty seconds of hugging are equal to the strength of a woman during childbirth. Pure life!
It is definitely impossible not to have an e:motion with Andrijana's words.
Words that touch your soul.
And above all, they are breeding grounds for deep inspiration.
To her question, I can affirm that KUBO is more than a multidisciplinary reality.
It's very limiting to describe it, it's true.
For me it represents a container of experiences, touching human meetings that transform themselves into the human weave, a way to be and live consciously.
And I invite you to discover it and experience it firsthand.
Because it's emotion.
Creativity moves people's emotions.
Mind without walls.
Art of looking beyond.
Awakening of sustainable human value.
Discovery and respect of creativity.
Space beyond visible.
Because you can't learn, create, imagine if you don't have respect for human relationships.
And this brings to a genuine and deep inspiration.
Thus, to real freedom.
Thank you Andrijana.
Photo credit: © Giulio Spagone, Andrijana Popovic, Amalia di Lanno