DA MAN - Style - - Contents - Mitchell Nguyen McCor­mack

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.

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