Interview with Yulia Molotowa
“I’d rather be an insider’s tip than to be corrupted by fame.“
Yulia Molotowa was born in Stuttgart in 1989. She started modeling in late 2010 and did this occasionally as a hobby to introduce her self-made designs to a wider public.
What began as a hobby soon became a passion – playing different roles, being creative, and getting to know new and interesting people all of a sudden had a greater impact on my life than I thought it would ever have.
“Even as a little kid I had been fascinated by darker aspects of art and a certain morbidity. I was obsessed with graveyards, spooky tales and old castles (which led to some divergences of opinion with friends as well as my parents…).
But it was not only the quite obvious “darker“ things, but also the hidden sinister things that caught my eye –aspects of eroticism and sensuality. Corsets and tightlacing, extreme high heels and ballet boots appealed to me more than what an average girl probably would like.”
I got my first corset at 15, and only dared to wear it in secrecy because I was afraid people might judge me.
A few years later, I discovered my passion for Latex. The smooth surface, the feeling of both being embraced by a second skin and the feeling as if you were naked, as well as the very distinct smell – it clicked something in my head.
Modeling made it possible to embrace all of these passions and gave me the opportunity to live them out in a truly artistic, creative way.
I started designing and manufacturing my own Latex clothing in mid of 2011.
What often bothered me not only were the high prices of aesthetic Latex wear that did not look cheap (I’m a fashion student and so my budget is kinda limited), but also that Latex clothing often looks very aggressive – sexually-wise. Although I like the kinky and bizarre aspect as well I wanted to bring out a softer, playful image of the material. That’s why my designs seem to be so innocent and pure at a first glance.
With having my first fetish shoots I was suddenly exposed to a public wider than I had imagined – up to a point it suddenly did not feel like this was my life anymore. I would lie if I told I didn’t like the attention. There were a few men who would write me every two weeks, sometimes even more, telling me how much they adored me. People would tell me some of their secrets (which sometimes were heartbreaking).
I still remember a lot of those messages, I appreciated it, and although it was immensely touching, it felt also strange – how could they admire an image so much?
After all, Yulia Molotowa is a way to live out my ideas and to be creative in many ways possible; but in the end this alter ego had taken over too many parts of my life and I needed some space. I withdrew completely for almost half a year – which seems to be strange, because a lot of people asked me why I was “throwing away” all the efforts I made to get a little bit known in the fetish scene.
I enjoyed doing photo shoots and it was a delight to be involved in so much creativity (plus, it’s fantastic if your efforts are rewarded with being on flyers or doing promotions for different things), but I never worked my tail off to be famous in the first place. As long as people see the efforts made behind a picture and find it inspiring this means more to me than having people “like” me because I’m part of some kind of hype.
After evaluating why/for which reasons I was modeling and coming to terms with myself I started again to bring out even more creativity. My outer appearance changed a lot (from removing almost all of my piercings to dying my hair various colors, at the moment I’m a blonde) and I don’t limit myself anymore that much.
After all, I feel like myself more – Yulia is a part of me, a way I am and a way I like to be, but sometimes it’s nice to slip out of this role.
Although I like to keep my Latex dress on when I come home.
Yulia, it is a pleasure to meet you. Is there a story behind your name, “Yulia Molotowa”?
The name Yulia Molotowa is almost an inside joke that had been going on with friends some years ago. The first name is almost like my real name, but “Molotowa” refers to the fact I’m kinda short-tempered and tend to throw a fit pretty easy sometimes (especially when things I do do not work out the way they should – now please imagine me sewing/gluing a complicated piece).
As you said, you were intrigued by the more “dark” style of apparel. Ones that were a bit outside of the mainstream. What kind of reactions did you get from your family and friends?
As I already mentioned, it lead to some differences sometimes. Especially my parents weren’t that delighted that her daughter took interest in those kinds of sketchy things.
And although they respect the creativity and efforts I’m putting into my designs and photo shoots probably more than they did in the beginning, I guess maybe they’d be more glad if their child had normal hobbies (lol).
I guess after all it’s a very strange and unfamiliar thing to them as well as for many other people, and I learned that fetish is often taken for something dangerous and forbidden, a thing that “normal people” don’t do. Most of my friends however get along with it pretty well after first having to get used to it, and by the time now they respect and support what I’m doing, which I’m very thankful for!
When did you first begin modeling? What were some of your early assignments?
I had my very first photo shoot right after I graduated school (at age 19) with a guy I knew back then. He wanted to study photography and needed some pictures for his application portfolio. Although I enjoyed it, I was very insecure at first and it was hard for me not to get distracted, as we did the shooting on location at a rather crowded place.
It was the first time I learned how important it is to kinda invent an alter ego – to be less vulnerable to possible comments from others and to overcome those insecurities.
After that it took almost one more year until I did another photo shoot with an acquaintance, and another year until I really started to do modeling for a hobby.
My early assignments included flyers and promotion for a fetish party in Stuttgart (www.un-verschaemt.de).
You are a friend of Caliente who is also on the site. Where did you first meet her?
I met Caliente for the first time in late March 2011 for a promotional shooting for “Ein unverschaemter Zug” (the Fetish Train, a special edition of the “unverschaemt” Party) in Stuttgart.
I still remember it as one of the most exciting photo shoots I ever had, because I had worked with the photographer, Andi Bell, before; but never with another model. Also I knew she had been doing photo shoots for several years, whereas I wasn’t even modeling for a year – I feared I might be not professional enough for someone who had so much experience.
It turned out those fears were not realized as she was one of the nicest, most authentic, most straightforward people I’ve ever met. The shooting itself was relaxing and didn’t really feel like we were working at all.
Did you go to school for fashion design?
I’ll be starting my first school year in September 2012 – and I’m excited as hell!
You say you can appreciate the kinky and bizarre side of fetish wear but do you think it can be adapted and accepted more by mainstream consumers?
In the last couple years (and especially through celebs like Katy Perry, Rihanna and of course, Lady Gaga) latex has been used in mainstream culture, and even had been sold in a special collection at TopShop.
At the same time as latex attracts people because of this “forbidden” and sinful image, I guess that it’s too special to be worn by a broader mass of people – you sweat a lot, it’s very tight and it has a distinct smell, all of these characteristics you either like or you simply don’t.
I guess that’s why I think it the material will always be kind of a “special thing”.
Yulia, tell us a little about your design work
I design all kinds of accessories (mini top hats, hair pieces, gauntlets, chokers etc.); latex dresses (both simple/pure and playful, e.g. with bows); latex skirts and tops; but I also like to get creative with PVC from time to time.
Of course I also work with other kinds of material like “regular” fabric, but I often like to combine it with (for most people) unusual things – like for example a woolen circular skirt with latex applications I like to wear on colder days.
When I design a certain piece of clothing I wanna make sure there is something eye-catching about it – sometimes an uncommon, maybe strange twist in my designs that might stay hidden to those who do not pay greater attention to the details. On the other hand, some of my designs are also colorful, extravagant and flamboyant.
In general, I like to experiment with different styles as well as certain traits of my personality, that’s why I don’t limit myself.
I want to ask you about PVC. It seems to be much less popular a material than latex or even rubber. Is it because it is difficult to work with or is it uncomfortable to wear?
One of the first pieces I’ve ever designed and produced was made out of pink transparent PVC. In retrospect it was easier to handle for a beginner than for example latex is. You can both glue or sew it (depending on what you exactly manufacture), so you have some more options to manufacture it.
However, unlike latex it feels less smooth, less soft and less like a second skin – and sometimes it feels almost stiff, because it’s so nonelastic. I guess that’s why it’s not as popular as rubber or latex.
Personally, I like creating things out of PVC from time to time. Depending on which colors you use you can create a very “trashy” and kinky image for example.
What designers, models, photographers do you personally admire?
When I was 14 years old, I started to collect flyers for all kinds of gothic or fetish parties in my area and made a sort of collage out of them for my room.
There was one picture by Thomas Adorff (BeautyofAbyss) that especially caught my eye and I still remember it exactly. That’s why up to today I admire his work a lot, probably because I can relate very much to this picture.
I also have to say that I had been very lucky to work with a wide range of photographers who were not only extremely talented, but also very nice and personable people. I don’t have a personal top list or something, but I can definitely say that working with Andi Bell (www.rebell-arts.de) and Jules Kramer (www.fetish-fotos.de) was a great experience.
I admire models who manage to be both involved in the “modeling business” and who are still down to earth, who maybe also use their influence on other people for more than just proving they have a nice face, but who actually have something to say.
Designers … It’s difficult to pick one here. I definitely admire Tolllkirsche (www.tolllkirsche.de) a lot, as well as A is for Arsenic (http://aisforarsenic.myshopify.com/).
With Latex designers I guess that right now Latex Catfish is one of my favorites, as well as Nauclér Design.
Do you think that the clothing a woman wears can have an effect of how people view her? Do you think that personal appearance plays a large part in a person’s confidence?
Nylon stockings, corsets and high heels, those are things I like to call female weapons. Although a corset might seem to make a woman vulnerable (fainting easily, deformed body etc.) it gives an immense power over the viewer, which I find very interesting.
At one point you were getting many messages from people due to the attention you were getting. Do you think you struck a nerve with them? Along with the painful stories were there people who were inspired by your work as well?
Actually this is very difficult to answer.
I guess I did, although it sounds strange to me to admit it. I had a lot of people who in fact told me they find me inspiring, not only when my old profile was still active but also (and this probably surprised me the most) during my break where I wasn’t around that much.
I thought at some point people would forget about my works, as the internet (and times in general) are fast moving. When I came back, a lot of people told me they hadn’t forgotten, and that they still remembered my designs. This made me especially happy.
Withdrawing from the attention you were getting may seem strange to some but it seems to me it was needed and you were able to reinvent yourself and come back better than before. What kinds of changes did you make and how do you feel about how you are now?
I changed a lot in my outer appearance and this probably seems most drastic to many people. I removed all of my facial piercings, cut my hair that used to reach down to my elbows (I have a bob hairstyle now that resembles a kind of “classy “ image and contrasts to my 0-2 mm sidecut), and also changed the color.
Unlike a year ago, where I shaved or plucked my eyebrows and drew them on to create a very stern and strict expression, I have natural eyebrows now. That way, my face seems to be softer and in general I look less than “your average goth girl”, which in my opinion makes me even more versatile.
During my break I learned to work more purposeful and to spend more quality time, no matter if it’s related to modeling, designing or other parts of my life.
I evaluated how I really want to present myself. And that I rather be an insider’s tip and not part of a mass hype as long as people see the effort I put in every picture. A “like” means much more to me if someone truly appreciates my creativity and not only the fact I have a pretty face.
What do you enjoy doing with your free time?
My hobbies (except for modeling and designing/sewing) include writing, reading, drawing cooking and all kinds of art and/or (modern) design.
Where can we learn more about you and your work?
Either on my personal fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/MissYuliaMolotowa
Or on my official DeviantArt profile: http://yulia-molotowa.deviantart.com/
There is also a German modeling page where I upload my works: