Alina AlimanFrom: Suceava Born on: 17 May 1974 Occupation: Founder & Editor in Chief at Dreamingof, Editor in Chief at A List Magazine, Contribuitor at Cosmopolitan Romania
Alina Aliman brings for 16 years behind-the-scenes accents in the hand of Romanian magazine readers. She has written over time for Elle, Glamour, The One and Cosmopolitan different texts united by the desire to tell the stories of beautiful people. She continues to do so, being currently a part of Andreea Esca‘s team at A’list Magazine.
The same desire, to interact and know the people responsible for a successful fashion collection, a surprising theatre play or a creative business to admire, has attracted her from the beginning in the glossy world. She has always been intrigued about what’s behind, about how things are done, and how are the creators. The possibility of looking behind the decor is the hook that Alina allowed to drags her in this side of journalism.
Although she studied journalism and communication and she present herself as a journalist, in her mind the real journalists are people from Romania Te Iubesc (Romania I Love You – a TV show), because “they go on the field and do reportage, work a month for one hour of filming and sink into heavy topics which influences us all.”
That’s how Alina wanted to do also this job, maybe even more seriously going to the war zones, when she spotted the “best newspaper in the country” at that time, The Monitor from Iași. She believed that there are the best journalism and ethics, especially since the national network with centers in Cluj, Vrancea, Bucharest, etc., all coordinated by Iași, had been opened. She made a good choice and had the opportunity in almost 4 years spent at The Monitor to put into practice all the theoretical notions learned. As a publisher in the financial topics, she wrote about the stocks or privatizations and gradually discovered how in an economic text all the components of the real world merge together and give meaning to the story.
“If you look at all the plans and know what is happening in society, such as stock market shares or the market in general, investor moves and many other contexts, you manage to understand the overall picture, process dynamics and you better build your story . Pieces complement each other as in a puzzle. It’s spectacular“, Alina explains enthusiastically.
Then she confesses that she didn‘t think she could be so fascinated by the mosaic that the work on a financial article is creating. Although it is a lesson learned many years ago, Alina still gives it as an example, because it is a reason of her opening towards any new experience. “It has happened to discover that I like things I would never have consider interesting.”
Also then, she went through the patience lesson after spending days on a chair in front of a telecommunication director’s door, waiting to be received.
– “I do not have time today”, he told me.
– “I’ll stay for another day”, I said to myself.
And so, insisting, she defeted the reputation of “not getting journalists” and became the only reporter who steped into the director’s office at the time.
Photo: Paris Fashion Week, personal archive
MS: The press industry, both newspaper and magazine, has changed and suffers further changes. Have you ever thought your readers will become your competitors?
Yes, things have changed, many publications have closed (in Romania), but I think there will still be print. Everyone just needs to find the right direction and the right public.
If we are looking in online for content that is easier to follow and assimilate, it would be advisable to put in magazines more serious material. When I buy a magazine, I take it for a slow reading, perhaps during the weekend or maybe the whole month. The world expects to find in print information that online doesn’t have, and if you present trends – for example – on the internet, you bring the history of trends on paper, you say how they appeared, analyze and offer a wider perspective.
I have been thinking many times that we are, each of us, content creators. Even if it sounds funny, I would say it’s not a competition but a help. It has happened to me many times to discover because of Facebook’s posts or Instagram‘s photos of others, fabulous designers or simply places where I didn‘t have time to get or that might not be available to the general public. With a proper sorting of the people you follow, you get to have good content from where you can inspire later.
MS: Is there anything left from the editorial atmosphere?
Unfortunately, not too much, because trusts chose to collaborate rather than have full-time employees, and people work from home and have more then one job.
I’m a sociable person and I need people around me to work. I liked GLAMOUR’s time in the Mediafax Trust, ELLE’s in Edipresse – I always met in breaks, on halls, in meetings, with different people, and we were also discussing other topics outside the working area – about sport, politics, economy. It is very good to get out of your circle from time to time to make connections. And I really don‘t think it’s healthy to see you daily with the same 5 people.
I enjoyed the editorial uproar and sometimes I miss it.
Photo: Dan Borzan, A List Magazine party
MS: Let’s say you have full financial, editorial freedom … in fact you have no limitations. What magazine would you do? How would it be and what content would it contain?
Let’s say it would be a glossy magazine. I would insist a lot on the visual side and I would come with many behind the scenes accents. I always wanted behind the scenes.
I would like to give each material the necessary time. I would like to have enough time for an interview, to discuss 7-8 times with someone, to know him, to know what he does every day, to stay with him from the morning coffee, to a party, to see him when he’s upset, but also when he’s happy. You often get to talk about half an hour with your interlocutor – and who knows, maybe you didn‘t even get him in a good mood …
So, yes, I would interview with no pressure of time and I would tell the stories of some designers who have spectacular ideas or the ones of not very well-known artists or architects. But I would go with them in site to write about it.
It would be a magazine made from recycled paper (with pre-checking, to be sure it is recycled and I am not fooled) on which pages it would also be putted the words of some people I admire, writers like: Margaret Atwood or Haruki Murakami. And I would ask them to write about real people.
Photo: Raluca Ciornea
MS: And because I guided you to dream during the previous question, I continue with dreaming. How did Dreaming of born and why did you choose this name?
I would say that it appeared when I was passing through a “sabbatical” period, when I wasn’t willing to do anything else, but also at the insistence of some friends: “Do a blog. If not you, then who?”, they told me. And I allowed myself to be fooled. (she laughs)
I dreamed of gathering articles about things that I like, no matter how close to a certain niche or weird it would have been. I remember being in the car and thinking about how I dream about all sorts of things, places, stories and experiences. And that was it. Dreaming of (cool things, amazing places.)…
It’s an accredited blog at Paris Fashion Week, which has been growing for nearly 4 years. Later I added the stories with friends section.
I never really thought about my readers’ profile, but those who follow me testified that they were coming on the website to find “more interesting & strange things”. (she laughs)
Photo: Andreea Bogdan
Alina Aliman has grown up in Suceava, in a fairytale Bucovina, where the children became friends and grew up together. She was the girl in the boy’s gang and followed them on basketball games or swimming and then she assisted to talks of all kind. She had earned their trust and listened with discretion “theirs childish subjects.” She taught how boys work and thinks, and how it is for you, as a woman, almost impossible to change a man: “For example, you cannot ask them to be sensitive, not because they don‘t want to, but because they have another emotional construction. I realized this in time to not have unrealistic expectations or cruel disappointments.” The time spent with the boys helped her to stay practical and with her feet on the ground even in the emotional moments of her job, because somewhere is the merit of their dominant left hemispheres, logical and rational.
She was raised by two complementary personalities, the mother – a constructor engineer, an lively and agitated nature and a father – a relaxed and calm chemist. She claims she has inherited more from his maternal temper because she lives her life with the same energy. She doesn‘t stop here and adds that she has taken also the passion for shopping and cars from mother. Alina has been driving since the age of 18 and has become dependent on the independence that a car offers. In addition, she started 2 years ago to play the copilot role in retro-mobile races alongside her husband in a BMW 318 (bear), moving her eyes vigorously from the printed road book on the tablet (and vice versa) on the Romania’s hills and mountains.
Photo: Sibiu 2018, personal archive
About her mother she claims that applied without knowing modern parenting techniques when she allowed her friends to come in visit and stay till late. “She brought my friends home because it was better for her to know where we are than to lose our track. They took care on me, but I always had the necessary freedom, my parents let me do what I wanted and allowed me to hit the consequences by my own”, Alina confesses. Besides all this, the most important gift received from her mother will always remain the force of the personal example. She is the one who showed her that you must fight relentless. “You try until you succeed!”, she always repeated to her daughter.
“During the school I was quite a show”, Alina says, laughing. “I was hiding my books in the open manual, enjoying my favorite authors instead of learning the lessons of history and geography. I was concerned about school (more physics and Romanian language), so I was completing the delayed themes at some point in the day, but the nights I lost again reading.”
Photo: Personal archive
MS: You’ve been working for magazines for a long time. Were there times when you said it was enough, when you wanted something else?
Moments were enough and for various reasons. Often very personal.
You think you cannot make a whole life the same thing, we aren’t anymore in our parents time to keep a job until you get old. But I say you can, if you like what you’re doing. I like what I do, and although I know and I can to do something else, I don‘t want to and I don‘t see myself doing anything else. I try to look further, to see what the future will be like, because if there will be anything different, that will be the form.
If I didn‘t work for magazines I think I would search creative people, I would not write about them, but I would find them for others. It’s the same thing, but as I said, the form differs.
Supported by her readings, passion for art and artists, the human structure inherited and polished over time, Alina Aliman manages to capture, on the face and in the lives of people she meets, something special. As lucid she reflects on her own relationship with the “magazine” and the years of working on print (and online), as honestly she describes the backstage of the interviewees.
It’s a great effort to look at a thing as it is.