Lola Tillyaeva’s passion projects promote education and Uzbek culture
While Lola Tillyaeva’s work commitments keep her in Europe and North America, her love for the country of her birth manifests itself in the different projects she undertakes. For Lola, promoting Uzbekistan´s rich cultural heritage is a labour of love, with the most recent expression of this being the opening of La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan in downtown Paris.
The gallery showcases a select array of handmade homewares, finely crafted silks, timber furniture and unique ceramic pieces, and Lola’s team at La Maison works hard to display each item in its cultural context. Lola envisages the gallery as “a cultural bridge between Europe and Central Asia – a means of introducing Uzbekistan’s rich cultural heritage to a European audience.”
Lola Tillyaeva has also found success in the world of perfume making. The Harmonist, a maison de parfum she launched in 2016, was nominated twice in 2021’s Fragrance Foundation Awards. Moon Glory was selected in the category “Fragrance of the Year, Women’s Luxury”, while Sun Force was chosen as a contender for “Fragrance of the Year, Men’s Luxury.” To guide the creative process for The Harmonist’s scents, Lola Tillyaeva found inspiration in the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui. Feng shui, a world view which seeks to harmonize the opposing forces of yin and yang, is an apt foundation for her brand.
Lola also brought onboard one of Europe’s most celebrated ‘noses’ and Prix International du Jeune Parfumeur Créateur winner, Guillaume Flavigny. The result of this collaboration has been a range of fragrances which are subtle yet complex, and which aim to match the energy of the wearer. As Lola puts it,
“Creating a scent is very much like creating a piece of music – notes blend into chords, and the chords harmonize into a full-blown melody. Just like a good piece of music, a good fragrance encompasses a wide range of tonalities, the notes of different scents, if you will.”
Lola Tillyaeva´s longest running project is her philanthropic organization, You Are Not Alone. Launched almost 20 years ago with her husband, businessman Timur Tillyaev, the foundation works with underprivileged kids in Uzbekistan. One of the foundation’s first initiatives included reforming and upgrading orphanages in the country. With growing expertise, Lola Tillyaeva’s organisation started constructing new, purpose-built orphanages. Working with another of Lola’s NGOs, The Educational Centre, You Are Not Alone works to keep troubled or at-risk kids in school. To date, over 3,000 children have been assisted by these programs – many of whom not only complete high school but go on to university. This demonstrates how “education is at the heart of everything the You Are Not Alone foundation does.”
Lola Tillyaeva is also passionate about environmental activism and her most recognized project is The Droplet. Lola has harnessed the power of art to draw attention to the problem of global water scarcity. The Droplet is 12 meters of towering, polished aluminum, and the installation shrouds itself in a fine mist, turning heads wherever it´s displayed. Lola believes, “art has an incredible capacity to inspire, encourage and unite people around a cause, due to its ability to touch the human soul. That is why we harness the power of art as a way to raise public awareness of the issues relating to global warming and climate change.”
Through these projects, Lola Tillyaeva is promoting the causes close to her heart, and also maintaining a close attachment to Uzbekistan.
“Pop culture advocate. Troublemaker. Friendly student. Proud problem solver.”