ANDREY ZAKHAROV IS A SELF-MADE MODEL WHO BELIEVES IN HARD WORK AS MUCH AS SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT. FRESH FROM THIS SEASON’S GIORGIO ARMANI CAMPAIGN, HE SHARES SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS
Fresh from this season’s Giorgio Armani campaign, Andrey Zakharov is a self-made model who believes in hard work as much as spiritual enlightenment. The Russian model pulls off sporty poses for the shoot. Photography
“I see myself like a warrior who will help and motivate people through my wisdom and creativity”
ARussian model who travels the globe is nothing new. Andrey Zakharov, however, is not your average globetrotting Russian model. Even considering the fact that pure genetics is often cited as the reason to get into modeling, this particular career path didn’t just land on Zakharov’s lap despite his looks. He pursued this line of work out of curiosity and then with tenacity after a stranger, instead of scouting him, merely planted the idea in his head. Even so, a year later he found himself strutting on the runways of Paris and Milan.
His expressive personality is as alluring as his captivating gaze. Zakharov’s mind, like his erratic traveling schedule, ever so constantly jumps from one thing to another; he excitedly gushes about energy, nature and spirituality, some of perhaps the most distant subjects from what fashion often constitutes of. This paradox, for lack of a better word, adds a raw sheen to his well-polished modeling skill, which he has mastered quite well since the early adventures that took him away from his small hometown in Russia.
DA MAN: How did you first get started in modeling?
Andrey Zakharov: Eight years ago I was working in a clothing store. One day a stranger told me that I could be a model and stop working in the store. I didn’t understand him right away and, of course, that time in such a small provincial city in Russia, no one knew about male modeling. [ Laughs] Still, I somehow started to explore that idea of becoming a model.
In those days I didn’t look like a model at all. I was playing bass guitar in an emo- core rock band and, of course, I looked like an emo boy with black hair, smoky eyes and black nails, wearing super-skinny yellow jeans and piercings on my lips and ears.
I decided to kick-start my career and get out of that small town and open myself to new directions. I was watching all famous fashion shows, and I was practicing my walking and posing in front of a big mirror in my room. Somehow I made my first photo shoot with my friend, who was just a beginner in photography, and I used those first pictures in my book. I realized this dream in one year’s time as I was already in Paris and Milan for the fashion week.
DA: What are some of the most notable brands that you’ve walked or done photo shoots for so far?
AZ: For seven years of my career, I’ve done a lot. In terms of fashion shows, I’ve done Tom Ford, Viktor & Rolf, John Galliano, Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Bottega Venetta, Vivienne Westwood, Z Zegna, Philipp Plein, Ermanno Scervino, Trussardi, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dsquared2 ... can’t remember them all. [ Laughs]
Also, I had a chance to work with many famous and talented people in the fashion industry, such as Tom Ford, Mariano Vivanco, Milan Vukmirovic and Nicola Formichetti.
DA: What do you usually do during your down time?
AZ: I still make music, play guitar, sing and produce electronic beats. I’m also a big fan of vinyl records, and I deejay as well and spin my vinyl. [ Laughs] For seven years of free time beside modeling, I already tried working as a fashion designer for a year, and as an art director for a fashion magazine. Also, I published my styling guide for a few magazines. I have a good connection to the universe, and that’s why I can download information from higher dimensions straight to my brain.
I practice meditation and work with my energy and with crystals. I understand that people need my personal inner exclusive energy, and that’s why I started to work with my energy level and consciousness.
Modeling raises your ego, so that’s why I must reduce that influence.
I love spending time observing artworks. In all cities I travel to, I always go to art galleries and museums. Of course, I love sports and working out, learning how all our muscles work and how to stay healthy. I love national parks, beaches and nature. I love to understand that we are just part of the whole lovely universe. It helps me relax and stay focused with my inner voice and soul.
DA: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
AZ: I don’t really like to dream a lot. I’m trying to live in the present, enjoying every single day. Creatively, I will be working on my music. I see myself like a warrior who will help and motivate people through my wisdom and creativity; who will inspire people to be themselves and stay concentrated to oneness and love and high vibrations, not on frequencies of fear and aggression.
DA: What inspires you?
AZ: Successful people, those who have achieved their dreams and goals, who do what they love, and are not just making money. Nature and art also inspire me a lot. Spiritual practices also inspire me a lot and encourage me to be myself and avoid getting lost in the showbiz.