Vita Raykhman: Co-founder & Creative Director of Amika
Posted on July 03 2017
photos by: Aaron Weiss @aaronweiss
In a world full of beauty brands telling us to change our look, Amika is a breath of fresh air. Like a great girlfriend Amika is fun, playful, dependable and highlights all your best features. Their products are vegetarian-friendly, cruelty-free and free from sulfates, MIT, MCI, Phthalates and artificial colors. We fell in love with the brand's dry shampoo perfect for keeping your hair fresh in New York humidity. Behind the brand's genius colorful image is Creative Director Vita Raykhman. Read more about her below.
How did you fall upon your career and makes you love what you do?
As a kid and a teenager I was really interested in art, drawing, painting and fine studio art. But at that point, I didn't know it was possible to pursue a career in something creative and not be a fine artist. I had always loved magazines and used to collect COLORS Magazines which were originally art directed by Tibor Kalman. COLORS had such a strong point of view and was also this perfect fusion of content and design, the ideas were so strong and the execution so beautiful. I then discovered Nest Magazine, a totally revolutionary publication about interiors (not just nice interiors but any interiors like prisons, kids room etc.) which was created by Joseph Holtzman. Each issue was totally different. He was not a graphic designer which made the magazine so special and singular. I hustled my way into an internship at Nest and things sort of went from there. The last two years of school I was working almost full time at various small design and advertising agencies. After school, I landed a job at Interbrand working on these largescale branding projects. While there I created the amika brand as a side project—.and I guess things sort of went from there.
There are many things I love about what I do. I love creating identities and crafting the personality of a brand. I think when you do it well it becomes almost like a living breathing entity—so that’s sort of the big picture. I also love the day to day, the craft of design, and just making things look really good. It’s kind of like cleaning your room and getting that really zen feeling when things are finally in place.
What are you currently most excited about?
As far as work I spent the last year working with my team to update all the Amika packaging. It’s been a really great process of figuring out what is the next iteration of the brand. The new packaging launches at the beginning of 2018 and I really can’t wait for it to have its debut. I’m also really excited about the work that my team does and developing the talent in our studio. I think I see that as a project in itself, the studio culture and the team.
Outside of work, I just got into swimming. It’s really fun and invigorating to physically learn something new, which if you think about it as an adult you rarely get to do. Also, I have a bunch of kids, just kidding only two, but they keep me pretty excited in general.
What would you tell yourself when you were younger and/or what advice would you give other women?
I think it’s really important to have a positive dialogue and relationship with yourself, in general. I love how in her book, Diane von Furstenberg talks about how her most important relationship is with herself, how important it is to like yourself and sort of treat yourself with kindness and support. Because when you are younger you are moving towards certain goals but as you start to achieve those goals the inner dialogue you have with yourself doesn’t really change, so if it’s not positive, no matter what you’ve achieved it may not make you happy.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere really: travel, art, people, literature, life, dollar stores. It’s rather random—who knows how the mind works? Although, I have to say that a lot of ideas seem to come in the shower and on the subway.
Is there something you were self-conscious about when you were younger and have learned to embrace now?
Yes, basically everything! On any given day it changes, and honestly, I’d be lying if I said it’s all gone now. I definitely work on it, on seeing things in a way that is not about pass or fail, just observing in a non-judgmental way.
What do you love about lingerie/ or how does lingerie make you feel and do you have any tips about lingerie.
I really like how lingerie can frame a body. I like how putting on a good piece or set can really affect how you see yourself, even more than clothes.