How did you become a luxury yacht designer?
I’m not a luxury yacht designer. I don’t understand anything as luxury as I grew up in the USSR. My desire to design yachts is driven only by the search of the beauty itself. I’m trying to make my projects beautiful first of all, from my point of view of course. Somebody may find them ugly maybe, but you can never satisfy everybody’s taste.
I studied at Moscow State University (Maths), Instituto Europe di Design, Turin (Car Design) and Coventry University (MA in Automotive Design) and many of the people I met during these years have remained good friends for my whole life.
One of them brought me into yachting when I was looking for a job after a short period of work for Volkswagen. In 2003 I met my friend who’d been working on a new build yacht. He asked me what I was up to recently. I demonstrated my portfolio. He said he needed a person of trust with a good understanding of design in his very mush design driven project. Like that, I became an owner’s rep for the motoryacht “A”. It was just one occasion, however I kept dreaming about designing and since I discovered a whole new industry of yachting I found it fascinating and started my own studio in 2007.
Can you share a bit about your trickiest design experiences – any big requests from owners that forced you to think even more outside the box?
Recently we’ve been working on a fast yacht (I cannot disclose the name of it just yet!) which should demonstrate its sportiness by hiding the actual number of decks. So that visually it would look like a very straight forward fast yacht with minimum decks. So the trick was to reduce the number of decks. It is exactly opposite to the yacht Jubilee where we created an illusion of twice more decks than it actually has which was made to make the yacht look bigger.
Working in this industry, travel is a big part of it – can you share about your favourite destinations you like to personally travel to?
I’m always happy to come to Italy where I feel home. I love to travel to The Netherlands where we’ve been building yachts for 10 years already. And one of my favourite destinations remain Asia: Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand.