6 Questions for Leila Ismailova: Exploring Her Journey from TV Journalist to Web3

Leila Ismailova embarked on her professional journey at the tender age of 15 as a broadcasting star in Belarus. After spending 10 years in the role, she felt that she had reached a “professional ceiling” and decided to venture into the world of Web3. In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Ismailova reminisces about her audacious childhood, sneaking into the buildings that housed newspapers and magazines, where she would handwrite her stories and submit them to editors. Her determination and passion for journalism eventually led her to television as she joined the First National Channel in Belarus, where she co-hosted a show that covered news and culture for younger viewers.

However, Ismailova’s journey has not been without its challenges. She and her siblings faced hardship as their father tragically died during the Azerbaijan-Armenia war when they were children. Despite these difficulties, Ismailova persevered and even launched a charity during her broadcasting career, providing mentoring for orphaned girls. She hopes to resume this charitable work in the future.

Today, Ismailova is a Web3 veteran who co-founded the digital fashion brand Artisant. Inspired by her career in journalism and her appreciation for elegant fashion, Ismailova played a pivotal role in the company before venturing into her next professional chapter as a consultant for digital-savvy fashion brands.

1. You moved from Belarus, where you were a TV journalist, to the United States. What’s the story behind that?

Ismailova explains that she was the first in her family to make the move, which she describes as opening the “season of migration” for her siblings. Her brother, Bahram, later fled to the United States in 2020 due to the political unrest following the Belarusian presidential election. Ismailova herself moved to California to pursue a master’s program at USC Annenberg, where she developed an interest in entrepreneurship and crypto during the first wave of the cryptocurrency boom in 2017. While she initially experienced a setback with her first crypto investment, Ismailova delved deeper into the world of crypto in 2020.

2. What got you into crypto?

While studying in California, Ismailova became fascinated by entrepreneurship and began learning about crypto. Although her initial investment didn’t yield the desired results, she became more involved in the crypto space in 2020.

3. What brought you to Miami?

Ismailova felt restricted by the COVID-19 restrictions in Los Angeles and sought a change of scenery. She became intrigued by digital fashion, which led her to meet Regina Turbina, her co-founder at Artisant. Ismailova eventually joined Artisant full-time and experienced the welcoming and knowledgeable environment of the crypto community in Miami.

4. How do you see digital fashion evolving over the next five years?

Ismailova believes that digital fashion has the potential to address the issues of overconsumption and overproduction in the fashion industry. She emphasizes the importance of technology contributing to a more well-rounded and sustainable fashion industry. Ismailova highlights innovations such as NFC chips in sneakers to combat counterfeit products and collaborations between fashion brands and tech companies to create immersive digital experiences.

5. You recently left Artisant. Where are you going next?

Ismailova expresses her gratitude for the growth of Artisant and the community it fostered. However, she felt that she had given her all to the project and is now contemplating her next professional adventure. She is eager to contribute to the mission of technology reforming the fashion industry while ensuring it serves humanity.

6. What’s your life like outside of crypto?

Ismailova places great importance on balance in her life. She enjoys playing chess, which sharpens her analytical skills and aids in her business endeavors. She also leads an active lifestyle, participating in activities such as yoga, paddleboarding, kite surfing, and dance classes. Ismailova strives to maintain a harmonious and fulfilling life outside of her work in the crypto industry.

Leila Ismailova’s journey from a TV journalist to a Web3 consultant showcases her determination, passion, and adaptability. Her experiences highlight the opportunities and challenges within the crypto and digital fashion industries, as well as the potential for technology to revolutionize the world of fashion for the better.

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