O2W's Sean Read catches up with Prada girl and breakout star Sasha Pivovarova backstage at London Fashion Week.
O2W: How did you begin modeling?
SP: My friend who is a photographer showed my photos to IMG in New York and they liked me, that's how it started. I then did my first show, which was Prada, and then I did the campaign.
O2W: Did he scout you or was he already your friend?
SP: Yes, he was my friend already.
O2W: Where was the first place you went after IMG took you on?
SP: I went to Paris and lived there for a month. I did a story for French L'Officiel magazine, and then after that I did the L'Officiel cover.
O2W: Where are you from originally? How does it differ from Paris?
SP: I'm from Moscow in Russia. Paris is different, I can't explain, but it's a completely different city.
O2W: What is the best job you've done so far?
SP: I love to work with Steven Meisel; it's always a great experience. I loved the Prada show too because I was so excited about doing it, I had no idea what to expect.
O2W: How did you learn how to walk for the runway?
SP: I didn't have any lessons for it, I just walk how I walk.
O2W: When you are home in Russia, what do you like to do?
SP: I miss my life there so I see my family and friends. I like to read and draw too and take vacations.
O2W: I saw at one show you were drawing a huge picture on the floor, was it a picture of you?
SP: Yes, yes, I love to draw! I want to be an artist.
O2W: Because you have an interest in art, do you think you appreciate the artistic side of fashion more than some of the other girls?
SP: Yeah, I was born an artist. I have been interested in it since I can remember so modeling has been a great experience for me. L'Officiel magazine actually published some of my drawings and next Harper's Bazaar will publish a story of mine with my drawings. I'm making a story about everything I do - designers, parties, about me, about you (laughs)
O2W: You are with one of the biggest agencies in the world. How is IMG different from city to city?
SP: IMG is great everywhere. They take care of us all. The bookers are friendly and the other girls are nice too.
O2W: Who are your favourite designers?
SP: I like Prada, Yohji Yamamoto, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Chloe. I love to wear the clothes on shoots and in shows, sometimes I buy them myself too.
O2W: If you could do any modeling job in the world, what would you love to do?
SP: I would like to be on more covers, they are always really nice to do. I would also love to do a cosmetics campaign, perfume or skincare.
O2W: What do you think about girls being paid more moneythan men?
SP: I think female models have more of a future than men do. They [female models] are always changing and growing. I don't like to think about who has money and who doesn't… as long as you are happy with what you are doing.
O2W: What is important to you in your life?
SP: To me the most important thing is to be loved. I have a fiancé.
O2W: Do you have any beauty secrets?
SP: I drink Chinese kung fu ceremonial tea, I don't drink alcohol and I use different moisturisers to see which one is the best.
O2W: Do you learn a lot about grooming from having your hair and make-up done by professionals all the time?
SP: Yes, I watch what they're doing and sometimes I try to do it myself, but mostly I am reading or drawing so I don't learn anything.
O2W: How long have you been speaking English?
SP: Only 4 months! I didn't speak any English when I first went to Paris and now I am learning all the time.
O2W: What is a typical day like for you?
SP: I wake up, drink some tea, then I will have castings, followed by lunch, more castings and then I come home and go to bed (laughs)
O2W: How about a day when you have nothing to do?
SP: I like to go walking in the parks, visiting museums, drawing and watching TV. I always like to be doing something.
O2W: What do you see yourself doing when you are older?
SP: I think I will be an artist and have my own gallery. I might want to have some children too. I would love to live in New York, it's the best city in the world.
Many thanks to Sasha and Duncan Ord at IMG London.
Photo credits: Sean Read (backstage); Elina Kechicheva (L'Officiel & test); Miles Aldridge (Numero); Steven Meisel (Prada).