Model, Sports Illustrated stunner, bikini designer, and Russian beauty Irina Shayk snagged the attention of editors, designers, and model fans all over with her exotic looks and engaging giggle. Modelinia talked to Irina about Russian steam baths, her summer plans, and her favorite authors.
How were you discovered?
It was by pure chance. My mother saw an ad on a bus stop and I came to a local beauty school accompanying my older sister. I was noticed by a person from a local model agency (situated next door to the beauty school) and he proposed that I participate in a beauty contest “Miss Chelyabinsk”. I never thought of a career of as a model and it was a total surprise for me when I won the contest and became Miss Chelyabinsk. Then I started modeling in Paris.
What are a few things that everyone has to do when visiting Emanzhelisk in Russia?
It’s a very small town, almost a village. We have many forests around it, so one can enjoy pure air and beautiful nature around. On the square in the middle of the town there is a statue of swan – the symbol of the town. One can visit the coal mines, and that’s it, nothing else to see!!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to have some rest. Either to go to the sea, or spend time with my friends, my dog, to read a good book.
Name your 5 favorite secret places in NYC and why you love them
- West Highway facing the river – I like to walk there and look at New Jersey.
- In the park between Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges - There is a clearing, where one can seat near the water and watch both bridges.
- My apartment - I love to spend time there, it’s a pity that I work a lot and cannot spend much time there.
- Gym – I go there 4-5 times per week. I love to work out, it’s a great start for a day! And I feel very comfortable there.
- Russian steam bath on Fulton street – I go there every week and it is very relaxing and reminds me of Russia.
Summer’s coming up, what are your plans?
I have a lot of work but I plan to take a week or two off for vacations and spend some time with my family. Maybe I will go to Italy, as I love Italy. Now I am single and I am going to search for my love!
You’ve posed for Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret. Can you name a few tips to get bikini body ready?
It’s very important to take care of your health. I work out a lot, love boxing and pilates, but I also eat healthy food and drink a lot of water. But the most important thing is to be happy and to be in love with your body!
How do you describe your style? What three pieces of clothing are you coveting right now?
Sexy and simple, mixed. I like to mix styles and to wear clothes like a simple t-shirt H&M and a Chanel bag. I was coveting the black high-heeled Gucci boots from the new collection, finally I bought them and am very happy about that! Now I really want to purchase Dolce & Gabbana high knee boots and black jacket from Jil Sander.
What’s something that no one knows about you?
When I am in low spirits I like to write funny poetry.
What are your favorite kinds of movies, books, music?
I like the movies of Woody Allen and I like the movie Match Point. Another movie that I love isThe Game with Michael Douglas. I like when the plot is complicated and has an unpredictable ending. I read a lot; my favorite writers are [Haruki] Murakami and [Fyodor] Dostoevsky. I like history books a lot and books about animals. I studied for 7 years in a music school and I love classical music. But I also like hip hop and R&B.
Which location is next on your must visit list and why?
Before I dreamt to visit Madagascar, and last year I got to go there. Now I dream to visit New Zealand, I have seen the pictures of this beautiful country and I want to see it for real.
What is your biggest dream for your career in modeling?
Modeling is a highly unpredictable and unstable business, I want to be sure of my future.
Do you want to get into acting, singing, designing, etc? If so, why?
I am thinking about acting, maybe I will become an actress one day, you never know. When I studied in a music school I was singing in a choir, but I do not sing anymore. I am doing the designs of my own swim suits for Beach Bunny swimwear, and I really like it! So maybe I will become a designer!