Thursday, September 11, 2014

Exclusive Interview - Irina Sharipova

Inoubliable Model Army has been a supporter of rising star Irina Sharipova since we first met during the Pre-Fall 2014 castings for Oscar de la Renta. In the year and a half since that initial encounter, Sharipova has blazed a stunning blue chip trail on the runway for Givenchy, Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Sonia Rykiel, Ralph Lauren, Rag & Bone, and Giorgio Armani. Discovered at age 17 when she took out the Miss Tatarstan title in her native Russia, Sharipova was spotted by her mother agency Bloom Productions and the rest is well, beauty pageant history. Sharipova's ethnically ambiguous beauty and dark smouldering looks are about as far removed from the pale-skinned blonde Russian dolls who pre-populated fashion's runways courtesy of Miuccia Prada's anonymous model armies at the turn of the new millennium. Sharipova has instead carved up fashion's gilded runways with a killer 90s runway strut and an engaging personality that lights up the stage both on and off the catwalk.

IMA crossed paths with Sharipova earlier this year at the castings for Chloé Resort 2015 held by casting director Elodie Yelmani and it was truly like running into an old friend. Sharipova exudes a warmth, sweetness, and an authenticity that is about as disarming as her melting puppy dog brown eyes. Don't mistake Sharipova's gentle nature and good humour as a sign of lack of ambition for IMA has rarely seen a model with greater focus and determination to excel at her craft. In short, Sharipova is one smart cookie who not only listens intently but takes direction while not being afraid to have a voice of her own. Equally impressive is the versatility that Sharipova is beginning to show in the wide spectrum of high profile runway clients that she has in her camp along with editorial bookings for Vogue Italia and Love Magazine. Fresh off the Spring/Summer 2015 New York runways, Sharipova debriefed IMA on her transition from pageant beauty to high fashion muse, the power of social media, her love of all things fashion related in particular shopping, and her gratitude to the individuals who have helped her along the way.

Irina Sharipova
Image courtesy of Women/360


Inoubliable Model Army (IMA): Hi Irina, thank you for taking time out to chat with IMA! You enjoyed a stellar Fall/Winter 2014 show season with appearances at Rag & Bone, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Giorgio Armani, and Chanel to name but a few! How are you feeling about the season overall and are you looking forward to the Spring/Summer 2015 collections?
Irina Sharipova (IS): This past season was great and I am super happy with everything I've done so far! I had the opportunity to work with some of the people who I have utmost respect for. I'd like to thank Katie Grand and Tabitha Simmons for supporting me, it means a lot to me. And you, IMA for believing in me from the start. I feel blessed to have support from so many brilliant and wonderful individuals. It really is a dream come try and I know it's only the beginning.

IMA: Would you mind sharing your backstory with IMA?
IS: I'm 22 years old. I was born in a small village in Russia near Kazan. My hometown is famous for its unique culture and people who are very friendly, loving, and giving. They love to feed tourists so if you visit my home, my grandmother will make you eat all sorts of Tatar food all day long and you can't possibly say no hahaha!

IMA: Every model's journey is unique. How were you initially discovered and was modelling something that you aspired to as a career while growing up?
IS: At 17 years of age, I won the Miss Tatarstan title which led me to compete for Miss Russia where I took 2nd place. I was then noticed by my mother agent and everything went from there. My mother agency now is Bloom Production. Growing up my dream was to be a designer however when this opportunity came I thought it would be a great way to learn about the business and fashion. Now I love being a model and feel I have learned so much from my experiences so far. Right now I'm concentrating on my modelling career but you never know what the future holds. Eventually I'd like to take courses in fashion design.

Givenchy Exclusive - S/S 2014
Photographer - Monica Feudi
Source - style.com

Chanel - F/W 2014
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Marc Jacobs - S/S 2015
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com

Tory Burch - S/S 2015
Photographer - Gianni Pucci
Source - style.com


IMA: IMA first met you at the castings for Oscar de la Renta's Pre-Fall 2014 Presentation when you had just scored a Givenchy exclusive during the Spring/Summer 2014 collections. How did the Givenchy booking transpire, what was involved in the casting process, and do you recall the moment when you discovered you had been confirmed for the show?
IS: When I first found out about the confirmation for Givenchy I was beyond ecstatic!!! I would like to say thanks to Riccardo Tisci and Patrizia Pilotti who gave me this incredible opportunity. They were so kind and supportive, and made me feel very comfortable. I loved the collection and the look that I wore. Riccardo Tisci is a genius and it was truly an honour for me to walk in his designs.

IMA: Your Fall/Winter 2014 show list included some of the most iconic names in fashion. What were your most cherished memories of the season both on and off the runway?
IS: I would say just meeting all of the amazing designers and stylists. It was truly an amazing experience!

IMA: IMA adores your ethnically ambiguous beauty. What are your ethnic origins and are people surprised when you tell them you're Russian?
IS: My background is Russian, Tatar, Ukrainian, and Uzbek, and yes people always get surprised when I say I'm from Russia ;-)

IMA: Where do you currently call home and of the four fashion capitals which do you feel the closest affinity to and why?
IS: Now I am based in New York and I would have to say it is my favourite fashion capital because of the diversity. It's a truly inspiring city!

Love Magazine - F/W 2014
Photographer - Sølve Sundsbø
Image courtesy of Women/360

Natural Beauty
Image courtesy of Women/360

Love Magazine - F/W 2014
Photographer - Sølve Sundsbø
Image courtesy of Women/360


IMA: Modelling can at times feel like a 24 hour existence! How do you unwind outside of work and what are your interests and passions beyond modelling and fashion?
IS: I love Russian spas! It's a very relaxing activity. I also like meeting friends for a cup of team, drawing and my two beautiful cats.

IMA: What do you value most about your management team at Women/360 and in particular your agent Victoria Shubayeva?
IS: My agency from the very beginning believed in me and fought for me, and because of that I have the utmost trust and respect for them. I understand that not everyone is going to love me but they do and they accept me for who I am, the real me. I love Victoria and appreciate everything she has done for me!

IMA: Your agent Victoria understands the power of social media in promoting Women/360's talent. What are your thoughts on the emergence of the new generation of supermodels or "Instagirls"; Kate Upton, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, and Joan Smalls who utilise social media platforms to broaden their fan base?
IS: Victoria understands the power of social media today and the importance of promoting girls and creating industry awareness and buzz. I believe that all four girls are unique and very beautiful in their own way.

IMA: What are your current wardrobe essentials and if you could go on an all expenses paid shopping spree which three high fashion stores would be on your hit list?
IS: I love shopping so this would be a fun experience for me ;-). I would hightail it to Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks!

IMA: What makes you "Inoubliable" (Unforgettable)?
IS: My diverse heritage and hard to place look.

Irina Sharipova
Photographed by Elodie Yelmani & Romain Aissa Dermouche
Image property of Inoubliable Model Army

Irina Sharipova
Image courtesy of Women/360


Special thanks to Victoria Shubayeva at Women/360. For more information on Women/360 Management, please log onto www.women-direct.com

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