It comes as no surprise to anyone that Irina Shayk is busy. One of the industry's top models, she just had a jam-packed month walking shows like Brandon Maxwell, Burberry, and Versace, and although she's now been back home in New York for a couple of weeks, she's still keeping the fashion momentum going. Last night in SoHo, she was in the middle of getting ready ahead of the store launch party for Falconeri—an Italian brand making its US debut, which she was naturally the choice to be the face of after over a decade becoming synonymous with sister brand Intimissimi.
But the thing about Shayk is that even in crazy moments like this, when she was prepping for a party that had already started as people rushed through rainy traffic to meet her, she's as calm and warm as ever. Perhaps part of this comes from many years of living this hectic lifestyle, but there's still something admirable about the way she lights up a room with her energy and effortless glow. And maybe that all comes down to her Capricorn nature.
As is typical of those born under her sign, the model is ambitious (obviously) and has an obsession with planning out her life. She's trying to step away from being so disciplined in the approaching new decade—all the better to enjoy the moment—but her natural ability to impose balance on her schedule has undeniably helped with staying sane as she balances her modeling career, raising her daughter, and life in the public eye.
Photo via Instagram / @gisposable
Shayk loves a good massage, and like many a trendy New Yorker, she cites Face Gym as one of her favorite spots to get a refresh. Beyond this, it's all about the simple things, like spending time with family, walking around the city's iconic parks, and vegging out with some Russian TV.
"On a workday, bring people who really make you laugh," she said of her thoughts on getting through a hectic schedule. "I think at the end of the day, it’s all about having a good laugh and being around people who have a good sense of humor and bring light to your day."
These strategies, along with how she often spends her free time on picturesque walks through the city with her two-year-old daughter Lea de Seine, help to explain how Shayk gets through her fast-paced lifestyle and still has the energy to embody effortless chic even off the runway and keep herself up-to-date on what's going on in the world. The model was eager to discuss the importance of sustainability in fashion, reminiscing on her poignant experience during the Falconeri campaign photoshoot, when icebergs crashed around her. Though the world may mainly see her modeling work, it's clear that Shayk has a lot on her mind on a range of topics, so read on to learn about her favorite memories from fashion month, why she's a turtleneck girl, and her upcoming Halloween plans.
Photo via Getty Images
Falconeri is known for their knitwear, and it’s sweater weather season. What kind of sweater girl are you?
I’m a turtleneck girl. I live on the West Side Highway, right by the Hudson River, and during the wintertime, it gets very windy and very cold. I think I prefer to wear turtlenecks so I don’t have to put a scarf on my neck. And a turtleneck frames your face so perfectly, and you can layer a turtleneck on top of something else and just have fun with it. I think it’s just so classic.
What are some of your favorite pieces from the fall collection?
I like the turtlenecks in classic colors, like camel-toned and black, and red, of course. I like oversized pieces because, again, you can layer them and have more fun with it. You can put it inside of jeans or on top of a skirt, and it’s really classy. Also definitely a cashmere coat, either black or camel-toned, because the cut is so cool. You can do it more sporty with jeans or pants, or wear it over an evening dress. And definitely a beanie, because almost every day I have a bad hair day, so a hat is perfect for that. You just put it on top and spray a little dry shampoo and you look great. So these are must-have pieces in my wardrobe, for sure.
You just had a really busy fashion month with a lot of major runway moments. Do you have any favorite memories from behind the scenes?
Definitely the Burberry show, because I love Riccardo Tisci, and I loved the name of the show, Evolution. It was definitely an evolution seeing his third collection and seeing the evolution of his talent and his collections [for the brand]. That was definitely my favorite collection and we had a really fun after-party, so I think the highlight of my week was definitely Burberry.
Obviously the biggest moment of fashion month was Versace, where there was J-Lo closing it, and it looked like it was a fun after-party, too. Do you have any fun memories from that?
The show was epic, and we always have fun after-parties with Donatella. She always puts together a cool group of people and good music, and great champagne and pasta, and we’re all dancing it off and excited to get on a plane the next day and be home.
Photo via Instagram / @irinashayk
Given all of the pressure that comes with your career, do you have any methods for staying centered?
It’s definitely reminding myself to be true to my own. All these trips and jet lag and people around you can pull you left and right, but you always have to surround yourself with people who you love, and on a workday, bring people who really make you laugh. I think at the end of the day, it’s all about having a good laugh and being around people who have a good sense of humor and bring light to your day. At the beginning of this year I was trying to meditate, but I’m very impatient so it didn’t go well. I definitely like to go and have a good spa day or just listen to some chill music and practice self-care, and make sure to talk to people who make me happy and stay connected with my family.
Is there anything you do for self care?
I love a good spa day, like a really long deep-tissue massage always helps. I go to Face Gym, which is my favorite spot in NoHo, to have a face workout. I also like to go get my hair color and blow-dry done or just do a cool mask and lay in bed and watch Russian TV.
You were traveling all around for fashion month, and now you’re back in New York. What’s your favorite thing to do in the city?
Eat! Tonight, actually, we’re going to have some really yummy Italian food, so I’m really excited. [My top three things to do] are definitely going to the spa for massages, eating good food, and going to Central Park. I love Central Park, or Battery Park, which is not far away from my house, just to enjoy the last bits of warm weather and reconnect with my friends. I love seeing people go to the farmer’s market in Union Square and just doing things that make me happy.
We’re all starting to think ahead to 2020, which is crazy. What are you excited about in the approaching new decade?
I love how the new year brings new energy and new beginnings. I really don’t have any plans for the new year, because I feel like every time I plan something, it never works out. And I’m a Capricorn. I’m very practical. I love to plan and I want everything to be perfect, so for 2020, I’m letting it go, opening the window for new energy, and just really excited for the new year.
Photo via Instagram / @irinashayk
Halloween is right around the corner. Do you have any plans?
No plans yet. I’m actually travelling to Italy, so I will be back on the 30th, but clearly I will have to probably prepare some kind of Halloween costume and I’ll probably be going to all these kids’ Halloween parties, so I have to start planning. I did decorate my house a little bit, because my daughter really likes it, but no costume plans yet.
What are you going to do with your daughter?
I’m thinking of school events, kids' parties, and going to parks. Things like that. What are you doing for Halloween?
No idea. Every year is such a dilemma.
I think for girls it’s very easy, just like put something sexy on, like, "I’m a sexy girl."
Is there anything else you wanted to add?
It’s really important for me as a 34-year-old woman to work with somebody who delivers a good message with their campaign. Falconeri is not only delivering a high-quality product, but there is also a message behind the campaign about connecting humanity with nature. I think nowadays it’s really important to remember everything that’s going on with nature and global warming, and all this plastic in the ocean. What really stood out for me is that the brand took a crazy trip to Iceland, and through this they reminded people about there being a huge climate change problem out there, so I’m really happy to be the face of a company that cares about nature.
What are your thoughts about how the industry is handling sustainability?
I think they’re handling it pretty well. I think now all brands care more about global warming, and all this practice, and recycling, and you can see on sets and photoshoots they use no plastic bottles and no plastic straws. I think all this social media campaigning has been really helpful to push a message out there and say we have to take care of the earth, and the fashion industry is really behind.
What do you want to see the fashion industry do to this end?
I think all the brands are doing it, slowly but surely, like recycling trees and making materials for dresses from them, and delivering messages saying “Look, global warming is out there.” Maybe Iceland is not going to exist anymore in 20 years. While we were there shooting, the icebergs behind me were melting and crashing. We set up the picture, and we turned around and there was no iceberg. I think it’s really important to not just shoot beautiful pictures and sell the products, but also deliver a message saying that we are the ones who are responsible and we’re going to be really dealing with the consequences in a few years, and now our kids are going to be stuck with it.