Irina Shayk: an example of success
‘I prefer to wear comfortable clothes’
were fantastic together. They didn’t know each other personally but the truth is that the work relationship fit them like a glove. The girlfriend of Cristiano Ronaldo – the golden boot – was chosen to represent women in the new Sacoor Brothers collection. The selection took place in Los Angeles and the result was extremely positive, beyond all expectations.
Question: Modeling summer clothes in cold December... Are you used to it?
Irina Shayk: Well, it’s normal. We’re here in LA, shooting this beautiful Spring/Summer campaign. The weather isn’t that great, but you couldn’t ask for more… To be in LA, among the palm trees, on a beautiful beach with a spectacular ocean and amazing comfortable clothes.
Q: But, as a Russian, you’re used to very cold weather, right?
Irina: Well, I think it’s wrong when people say: “You’re from Russia so you can lie naked in the snow.” I’m a human being, I feel cold like everybody else. But, yes, I grew up in the snow and it used to be minus 35 in my hometown, so I can’t complain. I love LA, I love working here.
Q: If you could choose, would you choose summer?
Irina: Oh, I love summer. I love summertime. But I love the snow as well. I love skiing. But today we’re shooting the Spring/Summer campaign and we need a gorgeous backdrop of the ocean and white sand. It’s all about lifestyle, about beauty, beautiful clothes… that’s why we had to come to LA. Q: What´s a perfect summer for you?
Irina: The perfect way to spend summer… for me is to spend it somewhere very quiet. I would say near the sea – that would be perfect. A peaceful and relaxing summer near the sea.
Q: Rio de Janeiro … it’s the theme of this Spring/Summer collection. Have you been there?
Irina: No, not yet. But it’s very funny, because a lot of people think I’m from Brazil. My father is Tatar and my mother is Russian, so people say: “You look like you’re from Brazil”, but I’m not. I’m from Russia and I’ve been to Brazil a couple of times. It’s a beautiful country with an amazing culture and good weather. Everything about Brazil is amazing.
Q: Are you thinking of going there next summer? Will you be there for the World Cup?
Irina: You know, with my job, you never know where you’re going to end up. So maybe, you never know.
Q: You have just been elected the sexiest Russian woman. How do you feel about it? Having the world at your feet?
Irina: Well I don't wake up in the morning and say “Oh my God, I’m so amazing, I can just lie in bed and eat fries”. I think I’m a person who loves to get better every time. I love to push myself and just get better. The way I am, my professional life, going to the gym. I don’t really consider myself as the most beautiful or the sexiest girl. You know, I’m just a regular girl, who maybe hasn’t got a regular job. I’m a model, but you won’t see me strolling around the city in high heels, dressed to the nines. I love to be laidback. To wear comfortable clothes, no hair done and no makeup. Just very simple. So I consider myself more as a simple girl than anything else.
Q: You are an example of success and you’ve worked hard for it. Do you see yourself as a workaholic?
Irina: Yes, I am, for sure. I think, it’s because of the way I grew up. I grew up in a very small village in the middle of nowhere. My father passed away when I was fourteen and my mother had to quit her job. She was a pianist. She had to take another two jobs to provide for the family. I see my mother as a strong woman, who needed to work hard. Maybe that’s why I consider myself as a workaholic, certainly. I think success is the result of very hard work and ... success doesn’t come easy. You have to work really hard for success.
Q: You studied marketing. What would you be if you weren’t a model?
Irina: First of all, I finished music school, because my mom was a pianist, so I learned how to play piano and I sang in a choir. Don’t ask me to sing right now, because I’m a really bad singer. (laughs) I play piano, I thought of being a pianist. My favorite subject in school was literature, I love writing stories. I don't know, maybe a journalist. You never know, but when I finished music school — I was there for seven years — and high school, I decided to study marketing, because I think it’s very popular and very useful. But in actual fact, I’m working in marketing now, as I became a model.
Q: And in the future? Will you go from modeling to movies? You got the part of Megara in “Hercules”, a movie that’s coming out soon.
Irina: Well, acting is something that is completely different from modeling. Even now, in this campaign, while I was working with Patrick Dempsey I noticed it … I can see him as an actor because of the way he moves in front of the camera, the way he does the photos. It’s completely different from the way I do it. I would never walk and talk to the camera, as my face could look awkward. They’re two completely different jobs. To be an actress you have to study and be great. I’m a person who loves to do everything perfectly, although it sometimes doesn’t work, but I’m a perfectionist. This year I shot my first movie and it was an amazing experience, because the director was Brett Ratner, who’s one of my favorite directors. I had this great experience working with this amazing team and Brett, with Paramount Pictures, with those amazing, talented actors.
Q: A lot of models have made that transition, from modeling to movies. You wouldn’t be the first.
Irina: You know, it’s very challenging, and I love trying different things. I love getting out there and trying new things. If you don’t try, you never know if you’re going to like it or not. I loved the experience. As I said, my role was super small, but I really enjoyed it. It’s really hard, and I think you have to practice a lot and you have to know how to be an actress. It’s not enough just to want it.
Q: Do you live in New York most of the time?
Irina: Well, it’s very hard to say where I live, because… when you’re a model, it’s hard to say where you live. I travel a lot, but I live between Madrid and New York. Most of the time I live on the plane, with my luggage. It’s hard, but I love it.
Q: You have nowhere you can call home right now?
Irina: I think the place I can call home is the place where I feel comfortable. I love LA, so I can call it home. I’m enjoying being here with you, in this amazing place and working with these amazing people. So, at this point in my life, I can’t really say where my home is. My home is somewhere out there traveling between cities.
Q: What do you do in your free time? I heard you like reading, that for some time you had no TV at home?
Irina: Those days are gone. Now I have five TVs. But I’m not much into TV, you know. I love reading. I love sleeping. I can sleep over 12 hours. I love going to the movies, going out with my friends, just enjoying the day. Because I don’t have a lot of free time.
I can’t complain, I love to be busy. But when I do have free time, I just love having fun. I love going to the spa, like any Russian woman. I love getting my manicure, pedicure, massage. Q: Is sleeping that much your secret?
Irina: No, I have a lot of beauty secrets. Do you want me to tell you? I’m not sure if I want to give away my beauty secrets. (laughs)
Well, I think the main beauty secret is to be beautiful inside. I think you have to… let’s say, I love seeing beautiful women. I love seeing and understanding that women can be beautiful not only outside but inside too. And for me, that’s the most important.
Q: But women can be very hard on themselves and very insecure. What would you say to them?
Irina: That’s why I say the main beauty secret is to like your own body. If you look closely, there are a lot of insecure models out there. When you look at them, you feel like saying “you are the most gorgeous girl out there, but you lack confidence”. Women who are very confident are the ones I consider beautiful.
Q: Dubai wants to know, what your favorite shopping destination is.
Irina: My God, I think it’s Dubai. Q: Have you been there?
Irina: Yes, many times. I’ve been a couple of times for work, and I’ve been there on holiday. Dubai is an amazing place. It’s something … it’s basically like a dream. It’s a city built in the middle of nowhere. It’s a very popular destination for Russians. Russians love Dubai. You can go duty free shopping, you have the best restaurants, nice weather. And I think my favorite shopping destination is definitely Dubai or New York, because those are the two cities where you can get anything you want.
Q: What message would you like to leave for the Sacoor woman?
Irina: The message I’d like to leave for all those beautiful women out there… I’d prefer to say it like this. Just wake up, feel beautiful, wear beautiful Sacoor clothes, because Sacoor clothing is for confident women. It’s for women who love themselves, who want to be classy and elegant. Being beautiful, classy, chic and elegant are very important aspects. Just feel confident in yourself. Just be beautiful.