DEL Alina Baikova has worn some beautiful creations – from labels including Dior, John Galliano, and Zac Posen – on the catwalk and the red carpet, but her new venture allows you to make a beautiful creation of your own. Alina’s Flowers is a new deliciously addictive app, that allows the user to build their own bouquet stem by stem – watching the price as they go – to create a bunch of blooms that is as unique as the person they are sending it to.
“I wanted to make sending flowers a fun experience, so we started with a totally new idea where you can compose your own flower bouquet,” Baikova told us. “It took us a year to get the flower configurator in the App to work, but people can now let their creativity run free, add selfies and greeting cards to the bunch before they send it; it’s like playing a game! The next challenge was to always have all the flowers available so that we can deliver in 24 hours. To ensure this, we located the company in Amsterdam right next to the world’s largest flower market. Today we can deliver all over Europe and should be able to deliver the freshest and most beautiful flowers. Soon we hope to be able to ship to the US and, why not, maybe one day worldwide.”
Inspired by a friend who loved to send her flowers but complained about tricky and dreary delilvery services, Baikova launched the buisness earlier this year, trying to bring everything she picked up in the fashion industry with her.
“The fashion industry is very international, with people from many different countries and social backgrounds, and this mix has taught me to be tolerant and curious about the world,” she said. “I am Ukrainian, but I have a Russian and a Swiss partner. The company is managed by a German; the packaging is designed in Italy; the readymade bouquets are created by a French floral designers and most of our flowers are grown in Holland. The biggest impact this industry has had on me however is the work ethics. The perfection, the dedication, the creativity, and the speed of work that is required to survive in this business is just amazing. I have so much respect for the designers, manufacturers, models, and business people who are involved in this industry.”
Although she loved her time as a model – describing opening the Dior show as “unforgettable” – Baikova was keen to use her experience and contacts to create something far-reaching. Setting up her own charity was high on the agenda, as well as supporting existing causes through the growth of her business.
“I have started Alina’s Charity because I would like to help, and do my part in making this world a better place,” she told us. “Many families in this world are helpless in the situation they are in, and what they need are not handouts but opportunities to work and to improve their lives. With my partners, we hope that we will be able to contribute to this. We have many ideas and projects. We have also donated some flowers to events like amfAR in Cannes, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation in St Tropez, and the Heart Fund, of which I am one of the spokeswomen. The fashion industry has taught me to be very open and to take the best of each culture. Hopefully I’m achieving this.”