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Style Council 2013: Maria Kochetkova, Ballerina

Maria Kochetkova

Maria Kochetkova. Photo by Nadya Wasylko.

Meet this year’s cast of tastemakers who are setting the tone for fashion in San Francisco.


By day, Maria “Masha” Kochetkova is relegated to leotards and tights, thanks to her role as a principal dancer for the San Francisco Ballet. But once the curtain closes, the Moscow-born danseuse, 29, blossoms into a bespectacled girl about town—sprightly in mismatched prints and hot-pink lipstick. Having trained at Bolshoi Ballet, she joined the Royal Ballet in London at age 18 before moving to SF in 2007. While devoted fans know to catch her onstage at the War Memorial Opera House, Kochetkova has also become fashion’s darling. Her zany off-duty looks, complete with spunky socks, are a hodgepodge of cherished pieces picked up in her jet-set life. It’s this strong individual spirit that’s catching the eyes of everyone from filmmaker Bronwen Parker-Rhodes who, last year, made the documentary Masha, to Purple magazine editor Olivier Zahm, who featured her 
in his September issue. This fall, Kochetkova pirouettes to Paris for the 21st Century Ballet Stars gala and tours New York with her SF company.

Words of wisdom:
I try to avoid ordinary. Clothes can be comfortable but can 
still look good. It doesn’t mean you have to wear high heels or dresses.

Pick for fall:
A coat by Russian designer Tatiana Parfionova. There are 
two huge, hand-stitched black swans on the back.

Dancewear:
Ballet brands are for kids, not professional dancers. So I sometimes wear American Apparel.

Signature accessory:
Socks in all kinds of prints or in white, in ankle- and knee-high lengths.

Favorite restaurants:
Bar Agricole, Cotogna, and Shanghai 
Dumpling King.

Work beats:
Nina Simone, Dmitry Shostakovich, Blood Orange, and Grimes.

Young designers 
on the radar:
Julien David, Au Jour 
Le Jour, and MSGM.

This article was published in 7x7's September issue. Click here to subscribe.