Neli Angelova: You develop a team as if it is your own child
Adriana Popova, Elka Vlahovska 01 January 2021
Are you interested in fashion? Do you have favorite designers?
For me, fashion is more art than just trends, although I take a look at the latest trends as well. Yes, I have favorite designers - those who challenged their time by creating something revolutionary. For me, Chanel is more than beloved brand, and Coco is more than a woman who dared to take off the lavishly decorated with flowers and ribbons hats. Chanel is what I see as the real level in fashion. I definitely like the French way of cutting and that carefree and unobtrusive French chic, achieved by combining only a few things.
Do you stick to a strict business code in clothing?
I am against extremes. I don’t like the uniformed appearance of a lady wearing a dress or a costume, nor the idea of neglecting your style, which leads to grotesque looks. The style of a business lady should mostly express her as a person and a professional who represents a certain company, institution, position, even a specific situation. It would be good to avoid extremes - flamboyance, reaching the point of kitsch, for example. On the other hand, sometimes the rule "no one judges the champions" applies. There are so many options and professionals who can help you build your style.
Do you use technology organize your day?
Absolutely all my responsibilities – work and family wise, are in the Outlook on my phone, which is synchronized with my computer. Although I cannot deny the charm of writing in a notebook and I personally love beautiful notebooks, but all the changes and shifts that are needed in my schedule make the digital devices more convenient. In the morning I am focused on choosing clothes and accessories, bag and shoes mainly, for the type of day ahead. I pay attention to my make-up and adjust it to the other components, but my hair, as far as it depends on me, is much more careless.
Have you ever forgotten something important?
Absolutely not. If something is in my program, it means that it is important and I can't forget it. Naturally I have a pretty good memory and it helps too.
What makes you laugh?
Louis de Funes. I keep watching “The Cop and the Cops” and his other movies for so many years, and the feeling is always like the first time. His face and all his facial expressions and gestures! And, of course, the fanatic parking in front of the police in Saint Tropez. I laugh even when I just think of the scenes. And every time I hear a child laugh, I smile, no matter how hard my day is.
What movies and music do you like?
I will start with the movies I DON’T like. They are from the fantastic genre. I like deep historical films like The King's Speech. Anyone who knows me knows what a rock fan I am, and in particular a Metallica fan, and how excited I am about their creative and concert life. I've also had periods of more lyrical rock like Black Crows or alternative rock like EMF and Muse. In general, I embody the maxim that "girls love boys with guitars."
Are you interested in interior design?
I have a strong opinion towards interior design. My grandmother used to tell me that the man is the one who is building a house and the woman is the one who is gathering a home. I'm sure she was right. To gather is a life process. I inherited many things for the table from my mother and I upgraded with many accessories from the antique markets in the South of France. I have collected memories from various trips and borrowed ideas that I have woven into my home.
What you and your family love to do together?
We like to cook together, or rather everyone to prepare something for dinner or lunch. Although I am very sensitive when it comes to someone being in my kitchen and handling my knives. Over time I have seen the charm of being together in cooking, especially on the weekends. Definitely I am the boss in the kitchen, but as in any team, each member of the family has an important role in the result at the end.
Are you careful then it comes to the cooking products?
I have a fairly strict logistics system for supplying our home basic products with the most "pure" origin. For me, the quality of the product is very important. Talking about the dish – it should be simple, free of pretentiousness. This is my personal style. I can't imagine eating without a good glass of wine. I am interested in wine, I follow the harvests, I am passionate about trying new wines. I like both the direction of a fine and elegant German Riesling and the powerful body of a Syrah.
Do you miss traveling abroad? Where do you spend the holidays?
The lack of travel is the reason I am very angry at Covid-19, of course, after the health and economic damage it has done to people. I was raised by my parents from a very young age to be a traveler by heart. With my family, just with a friend or visiting friends, I have a great need to travel, at least once every two months. I like both cultural and intellectual destinations, where the focus is on history and art. I like places with eternal temperature of 28-29 degrees, where I can fully charge my batteries in ten days. I also appreciate "agro" destinations with a focus on wine and food. From my travels, especially in Italy and France, I return with a huge stock of local products and this is my way to “extend” my stay there a little longer. This year, unfortunately, my dream to taste Massimo Botura's menu failed , but I believe it will happen soon. I spend the holidays at home with my loved ones, then I do not travel. And gifts, apart from the occasional, I like to make presents without any notice and expectation. Just an impulse - when I see something and connect it with a certain person, I always buy it as a gift.
How does your day start - with coffee or tea?
I get up very early. In addition to my household duties, I wake up with three or four glasses of Nespresso Ristretto. My coffee is always black and very short. Over the years, I've learned to drink tea, but it really has to be good. I prefer green tea.
Do you have a motto, a favorite thought?
If there is a desire, there is a way.
If you could define yourself in three words, what would they be?
Strict but fair.
What did you win and what did you lose in 2020?
I won time with my family. I was and I am still with my son in this difficult period of isolation and online learning. Like most people, I lost my normal life. But I believe that it all teaches us something, shakes us and maybe brings us back to the important thing we have forgotten about.