The website High Snobiety has done their first print magazine, called High Style. Their first cover girl? Irina Shayk, who I have grown to love. She’s very Russian and her matter-of-fact interviews are always a pleasure. I basically only started to stan Irina after reading her interviews, and this piece was really fun. She’s 35 years old and enjoying herself, enjoying raising her daughter Lea in New York, enjoying her career and enjoying the fact that she can provide for her family. That’s all she’s ever wanted. She spoke to High Style about co-parenting with Bradley Cooper, aging and more – you can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
She gets dressed up for the school run: “You can’t leave your house with dirty nails and dirty hair — even though I really want to sometimes. But during lockdown, we had no red carpets. I was like, ‘I’ve got to make school runs fun.’ Sometimes my daughter is scared — she sees the paparazzi from miles away. She’s a KGB baby. We had to explain to her, like, ‘They’re just doing their job. By selling pictures, they make their living. You don’t have to be scared.’”
Working as a struggling model in the early ‘00s: “It was no Facebook, no Instagram. You had to go to different young photographers, get your test pictures. The agency would give you a map, okay? A physical map. I still remember it now. There was one studio — it was a nightmare to get there. You arrive and they look at your book, and then they’re like, ‘Okay, thank you. Bye.’”
She likes the changes in the modeling industry now: “Nobody wants an empty vessel. Now you have to bring more than just beauty. Everyone is fed up with perfect.”
When she moved from swimsuit modeling to high fashion modeling: “Usually, you see models on the slimmer side. I had an agency that said, ‘You’re never going to work if you don’t lose 15 pounds.’ I have boobs and a butt. When I was doing the Marc Jacobs show, Marc came for a fitting, I pointed at my boobs and butt, and said, ‘These are how I bought my West Village apartment.’”
She’s discreet about her love life: “My grandma was a secret agent in WWII. I think private life should be private. Irina is KGB-style.”
She won’t talk about Kanye West: “Tomorrow there is going to be a rumor that I’m dating my doorman, okay? Then after tomorrow, it’s going to be someone else. Look, there’s always something there, and I’m just keeping it to myself.”
On Bradley Cooper: “He’s a full-on, hands-on dad — no nanny. Lea went on holiday with him for almost two weeks — I didn’t call them once. Me and her father are very strict. When she finishes eating, she gets up from the table, takes her plate, says ‘thank you.’ Without ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ she’s not getting anything. It’s hard, because she has so many toys. I had one doll, and I still have this doll. Blonde, blue eyes, big Russian doll. My grandma used to make clothes for her. And I always explain, ‘Look, this is my doll. I had only one.’ Or sometimes, ‘You have this candy. I used to have candy only for Christmas.’”
Her vices: Her biggest vices, she says, are sunbathing and the occasional margarita on-the-rocks. “I never took drugs in my life,” she says. “I never went through a party phase.”
On getting older (for a model): “I’ve never been drawn to being a model. My goal was to help my family. I’m 35 and I’m still looking okay. But at 45? We all age. It doesn’t matter what I do for a living. Tomorrow? Maybe I’m not going to do it. In one year, maybe nobody will know me. It’s all about timing. And for me, this is my time.”
I love “Irina is KGB-style” and Lea “is a KGB-baby.” That child is going to know her mother’s hard-scrabble Russian roots, by God! Anyway, Irina is a doll, I love her. I like how she and Bradley Cooper still seem really tight too. Their breakup wasn’t even that dramatic, and it doesn’t even seem like they “struggle” to get along for Lea’s sake. It sounds like they genuinely enjoy spending time together and they’re on the same page raising Lea too. They live close to each other too, they’re probably over at each other’s houses all the time. Also: whenever the 30-something or 40-something models talk about how different it is now, they really mean it. All of those women would have LOVED to have Instagram back when they were coming up.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.