Irina Shayk has always known the importance of looking out for those in need. For Elle’s digital March cover, the model opens up to Veronique Hyland about giving back to her community—among other things. Case in point? Her switch from modeling to volunteering at a food bank when the pandemic grew. “They put us in the fashion section to give clothing away,” she tells Hyland of the work she did with fellow model Joan Smalls. “We made a great day out of it.”
Shayk knows exactly who she is—and she isn’t afraid to share that mindset with the world. In the editorial’s interview, the muse for brands like Versace, Calvin Klein, and Stuart Weitzman, opens up about her Russian upbringing, co-parenting with Bradley Cooper, and staying focused throughout a whirlwind modeling career.
She also sports a sleek, minimalist wardrobe of pieces by Louis Vuitton, Proenza Schouler, Tom Ford, Fendi, and more while posing in Philip Johnson’s Glass House. The shoot was styled by fashion director Alex White, who recently gave Victoria’s Secret a makeover for its latest campaign.
Here are some other highlights from her Elle interview:
Being herself: “I feel more comfortable in my own skin: I love my body. I love to eat. I appreciate food; I appreciate life. I really think that’s what fashion is looking for now.”
On being seen as “sexy” or “high fashion”: “They put a label on you: ‘She’s Sports Illustrated, she’s too sexy.’ I heard so many times in my life, ‘She’s never going to work with Steven Meisel. She’s not a Burberry girl.’ I won’t lie—it was hard to climb the hill and show people that you can be both.”
On agents telling her to lose weight: “I always said no, because I know who I am.”
What does co-parenting mean?: “I never understood the term co-parenting,” she says. “When I’m with my daughter, I’m 100 percent a mother, and when she’s with her dad, he’s 100 percent her dad. Co-parenting is parenting.”
Organizing during quarantine: “I think because we cannot control things that are going on in the world, I’m trying to control what’s going on in my house!”
Ignoring the tabloids: “I don’t read what is out there. Honestly, I’m too busy raising a child. If they want to write articles [about me], they’re doing their job. I’m concentrating on my life and my friends. The rest is just noise.”
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