Out and about in Los Angeles with a fascinating, multi-faceted woman.
One wouldn’t assume that it has only been a week since Anna moved to Los Angeles – she manoeuvres the palm-lined roads like a local. On the upturn, she easily manoeuvres the bendy mountain road. Swiftly, though with a certain effort, she yanks the steering wheel of the Mercedes-Benz W110, 1966, laughing as she confesses that she is experiencing déjà vu.
Just two years ago, Anna Trubachova – writer, journalist, founder of a media agency and manager of numerous social and cultural projects – would have sat in my place interviewing an interesting person. Now she is the one answering my questions and posing in front of the camera. And there is one more reason causing déjà vu: Anna’s first personal car was her age mate, a Mercedes-Benz W 123, 1981.
“When I was in fifth grade, I won a Turbo gum insert: a photo of a W 123. That was when I decided to get myself one when I grew up. And I did get one,” Anna remembers.
Anna’s passion for cars started at a young age. “At 11 years old, I was helping my father to repair his car. I was obsessed with cars and passed my driving exam as soon as I could.”
It took her some time, however, to get to automobile journalism. Anna started her professional career in the social and cultural sphere. One day, she was offered the position of press secretary for Belarus’ main motor show and from there on, she made her passion her career: “I did test drives, visited world premieres of new cars, met some great designers and engineers, in short: my dream job.”
Her work earned her quite some fame in her home country of Belarus. Anna also used her contacts and popularity to bring about societal and cultural change. Probably the largest of her countless projects was the campaign to launch the first independent educational centre in Belarus. Her goal was to create a space for children, parents and teachers. Over the period of two years, Anna not only managed to engage in a dialogue with city and state authorities but also to attract potential investors.
Unfortunately, the education centre could not be opened. “I was ahead of the time in my country,” Anna says. “Even though we had potential sponsors and thousands of people involved following the project, it couldn’t be realized then.” But Anna’s enthusiasm and pioneering work had set something in motion, several small educational projects for children have opened in Minsk since.
Anna’s career has been a winding road. While having always been involved in the media world, at some point she began to appear in magazines and on podiums – leading her to become a very experienced fashion, runway model and a stylist.
“Maybe it was the modelling experience that helped me along, physically and mentally, on my long way to accepting and loving myself,” Anna reflects. “How mistaken are those who believe in the omnipotence of appearance – it’s just a wrap, a package, a peel, and its price and value is decreasing rapidly. Those who standardize beauty and its parameters also miss the compound of humanity of feminine beauty.”
Climbing up the Hollywood Hills, Anna changes gear depressing the clutch pedal with her bare foot while her heels have been tossed onto the back seat. It’s very obvious that my driver would sell her soul for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a retro car. Vintage cars are Anna’s special passion, just like vintage clothes. In her outfit for the photo shoot, Anna looks very elegant, as if hailing from a bygone era.
Regarded for her sense of style back in her native country, Anna stuck with her passions following her move to the United States, working as stylist, producer and coordinator of photoshoots and fashion campaigns.
“I am a traveller because I live the life of the locals: I learn the language, look for a job, get to know the bureaucracy.”
Anna has visited or lived in nearly 40 countries – neither her children nor occasional budget restrictions could stop her from exploring and travelling. She stresses that travelling is the best education for both children and adults. But, as she also points out, there is a big difference between tourism and travel.
“I am a traveller because I live the life of the locals: I learn the language, look for a job, get to know the bureaucracy.” Anna chuckles. “I explore and try to understand the mentality. Now, I’m curious to get to know and understand this particular city – which looks like a huge parking lot to me so far.”