Ukrainian beauty Irina Kravchenko isn’t the new girl anymore. She had her big breakthrough when Alexander Wang handpicked her to open his Spring ’13 show, she’s appeared in ad campaigns for Valentino, Prada, and Hugo Boss, and has walked in a total 46 shows during the last Fall 2015 season. A little known fact about Irina: Before she was scouted she designed cover art for children’s books and tended to people’s gardens. Meet Irina—she’s on her way to becoming fashion famous:
How were you first discovered?
Irina Kravchenko: “A photographer saw my photo on the Internet and asked me if I wanted to do a shoot with her. I thought ‘why not, I’ll do it for the memories.’ Afterwards, she made an appointment for me to go to a model agency. I was signed on the spot and a month later I was in New York for Fashion Week. It was a really big deal for me because I had only ever been to Russia before and I didn’t speak any English.”
What what was life like before you became a model?
Irina Kravchenko: “Before I started modeling I had just finished training as an interior designer, but earned my money designing the covers for children’s books and gardening. I also used to volunteer teaching art to children in a school, which I really loved doing as I don’t have any siblings.”
What was your first big break?
Irina Kravchenko: “My first show ever was Alexander Wang and he picked me to open it. After that, my career went crazy. It’s funny because when I was booked for it I didn’t know who he was, so I agreed to do it without realizing what it meant.”
What’s the best thing about your job?
Irina Kravchenko: “For me, the best part of my job is travel. I’ve been to so many amazing places that I never would have never seen if it weren’t for my job. When I went to Bejiing for Balenciaga, I thought I was in a fairytale. And the first time I went to Cartegena in Colombia, I thought I was on a different planet. It was incredible.”
Irina Kravchenko: “Valentino is my favorite designer because as soon as I put on one of the dresses I feel so beautiful and so confident. Whenever they book me I get so excited.”
How do you stay in shape?
Irina Kravchenko: “It’s hard during the winter I tend to gain weight and then in the summer I’m too skinny. Growing up, I’ve always eaten healthily because my mom is a great cook. I’m not vegetarian, but I eat a lot of vegetables and only a little fish. Very occasionally I’ll eat meat. For exercise, I either go to the gym and do some kind of cardio or I go to Soul Cycle.”
What would people be most surprised to know about you?
Irina Kravchenko: People are always surprised when they hear how old I am. They always assume I’m 19, but I’m actually 26!”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Irina Kravchenko: “My biggest vice is bread. I think it’s the best food in the world, but I have to keep it at a safe distance and only have it as a treat.”
Favorite beauty trick?
Irina Kravchenko: It’s not really a trick, but I only use concealer, blush, and—very occasionally—a light lipstick because I’m so used to having someone do my makeup for me that I can’t really remember how to do it myself anymore.”
Who are your role models?
Irina Kravchenko: “I’m not sure if she’s my role model, but I think Liv Tyler is the most beautiful woman in the world. She is completely perfect and so unique.”
What projects do you have on the horizon?
Irina Kravchenko: “I’m really excited about a Diesel campaign that I just shot in Italy. I went to the casting and my agent called me the next day and told me I was confirmed for it. It always feels so good to hear that. My fingers are crossed after every casting because you never know what will happen. Sometimes things work out and sometimes they don’t.”
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Irina Kravchenko: “In ten years, I hope I’m married, maybe with my own family and house, working on my art and graphic design. Every time I think life is going to work out a certain way, something completely crazy happens though, so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.”