Yana Kovas is often seen at fashion shows around the globe. Her presence is not as a designer or model, but management. Her company, Mar-Yana Agency, manages some of the top models in Los Angeles, produces shows world wide, and manages talent. Kovas career brings other’s dreams to life while following her dream.
1. How did your life’s journey bring you to managing talent for modeling and entertainment?
As an eighteen year old college student, I was working as the door girl at Orsini’s nightclub in Beverly Hills. I graduated to club promoter, handling bands, and other specialty talent performing at club. This led to my managing Vamphear Circus, the bands Moodorgan and Angels of Venice. Promotions for special events like: Midsummer Nights Dream Masquerade Ball and the the Annual Bizarre Vampire Bazaar.
I ran a specialty casting agency, Batpack Talent, which dealt with films, music videos, and television. I was able to work with:
- Films included:
- War of the worlds
- Charlie’s Angels
- Queen of the Damned
- Training Day
- Bubble Boy
- Television included:
- Joan of Arcadia
- Music Videos including:
- Men in Black 2
- Marilyn Manson
- Billy Idol.
I continued to branch out while balancing school at UC Irvine. I finished college with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Art History. I worked as a Medical Office Manager. This is how I arrived new areas of entertainment including non-profit events and fundraising for the following charities:
- Katrina fundraiser
- 9/11 Blood drive
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- American Cancer Society
- Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
I took some time off after a serious injury in 2007. I then went on to study entertainment law at Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego. I returned to Los Angeles to help an old friend co-find The LA Fashion Magazine, which was responsible for my branching out into the fashion world.
2013 I formed my own company Mar-Yana Agency to pursue my vision for the entertainment industry. Mar-Yana Agency specializes in event, project, and talent management in various areas of entertainment. This brought me fully into the entertainment world full time for the first time. Now managing an array of talent and assisting with or producing fashion shows and special events around the world include:
2. As a business woman what is one piece of insight would you share?
“Don’t forget who you are and how you got there. Be true to yourself and what you believe in. Never compromise your integrity and self worth.”
3. You recently traveled to London for fashion week. What was it like to attend and manage a fashion show in a one of the world’s top arenas?
Humbling and inspiring. It was an honor to be there and be part of a tribute to one of true musical icons of our time, Prince, while also helping launch emerging talent in fashion and raising money for an amazing foundation, The Prince’s Trust. For me, it served as a great reminder of what its all about. It was a truly unforgettable experience.
4. Working with Santa Fe Fashion Week what was the differences you found from working in the LA?
Santa Fe is more connected to the local community. Los Angeles relies much more heavily on designers, sponsors, press, and attendees traveling in from around the US and even the world, in some cases. Los Angeles provides greater nationwide media exposure just due to its bigger lights, red carpets and celebrity draw. Santa Fe is known as an art center of the United States.
This Fashion Week has a huge overlap of art and fashion. It typically begins with an art walk through its many galleries. Santa Fe is a much smaller scale show week, which results in a more personal feel. There is a marketplace for the locals to purchase the items seen on the runway and an e-commerce outlet for the designers who show. The show is covered by local news with mostly local or nearby talent gracing the runway.
5. When looking for talent what are the top three items do you look for?
- Unique talent pursuing more than one area of entertainment
- Integrity, someone who remains true to their self and values. Honest and Respectful.
- Ambition, someone who’s invested in their own career is equal to my investment in them. (Helping those who want and appreciate the help and are willing to work for it).
6. How does social media play in managing talent?
Social media plays a huge part in talent management. Using social media, allows the talent to promote themselves. Peer influence open doors to marketing opportunity. As a Talent Manager, you have to be on top of what your clients are posting and how well they are controlling their product, themselves. Social media also represents the new resume platform. Nowadays, the industry often asks for social media links instead of or alongside head shots and resumes.
7. What is the one thing you do each morning to start off your day?
It used to be a cup of coffee, but I didn’t want to be that dependent on caffeine. Joking. Nowadays, the first thing that I do, upon waking, is check my social media messages. I have clients all around the world (New York, London, Australia, Nigeria, Dubai, etc.). Social media has become something I rely on heavily to communicate with them, across multiple time zones. It also helps me stay up to date on what’s going on with them.
Kovas remains behind the scenes at many events, but her presence is highly valuable. She brings the top talent to fashion, runway, entertainment, and more. She brings focus and intelligence to her clients. Her experience and passion continues to grow her business vision of making others’ dreams become reality.