As the co-founder and chief marketing officer of By Far, Valentina Ignatova is one of the world’s most stylish women. The brand is best known for its structured, minimalist and sustainable pieces, reviving trends like the 90s shoulder bag and delivering wardrobe staples like killer ankle and over-the-knee boots, among other leather goods. Hailing from Bulgaria, where the brand is still headquartered today, Valentina Ignatova regularly travels across the world, but she still calls Bulgaria home and is an advocate for the country’s untapped beauty. Recently converting to Islam, the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh also holds a special place in her heart. Below, Valentina Ignatova shares why Bulgaria is such an unmissable holiday destination and why she fell in love with Riyadh.
Talk us through your favourite things about Bulgaria? How would you sell it to someone thinking of visiting?
My favourite thing about Bulgaria is the proximity to both the mountains and the sea. We can enjoy the beauty of the mountains or bask in the sun on stunning beaches. Not only that, but our location allows us to easily explore neighbouring countries like Greece and Turkey, adding even more richness and diversity to our travel experiences.
If someone had 24 hours in Bulgaria where would you send them?
I would recommend escaping to my secret relaxing spot, Vaya Beach Resort in Irakli on the Black Sea. This picturesque destination boasts stunning views of Irakli Bay, soft sandy beaches, rich forest hugging the coast and gentle river flow, complemented by the resort’s own luscious gardens. I visit Vaya Beach Resort every weekend if I get the chance to.
By Far focuses on sustainable pieces. What are some approachable ways that people can bring sustainability into their wardrobes?
My best advice is ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last’. Invest in timeless pieces with a contemporary twist that you will cherish, love and wear for many seasons.
What are some key pieces for a summer wardrobe from By Far? Do you have a favourite piece or style for travel/vacation you can’t travel without?
Everything in our beautiful metallic leather. Our design studio collaborated with a renowned tannery in Italy to combine the softness of lambskin with an iridescent film, creating a unique and luxurious texture that perfectly complements the contemporary appeal of our styles.
What’s first in your suitcase when you’re packing? What pieces can you not travel without?
My Sofia boots. They are part of our core collection and a true timeless and versatile style that I wear over and over again.
What’s in your handbag?
My By Far Daydream of Someone I Knew fragrance. It comes in a custom nomad-sized 20 ml refillable charm that double as an accessory you can take everywhere you go.
Where’s on your travel list this year? Any new destinations, or old favourites?
Where is a destination that you visited and fell in love with?
One destination that truly captured my heart recently is Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. Above all, it was the genuine warmth and kindness of the people I encountered, their hospitality and eagerness to share their culture and traditions left a lasting impression on me.