When did you first know that you wanted to be a model?
“I never wanted to be a model. I mean - it wasn't my dream or something like this. I liked to take some pictures at home but never thought about [the] career of a model. People said that I should… but I [thought] that it's a mean business.”
“Of course, I'm always missing my home and my family!”
How were you "discovered"?
“I was shooting my composite card at my agency in St. Petersburg - my first shoot ever - when the owner of [a] Moscow agency came to see another girl. And he liked me and send [sic] me to Paris!”
“I like ice skating and ballroom dances. And, of course, reading!”
“Every time when I have a chance to look around in the new city I do it, because modeling is also a great [opportunity] to watch the world. I always take a walk and try to visit [the] most famous sights.”
What makes you laugh uncontrollably?
“Many things. I like laughing. And I do it very often with my family and my best friends.”
"OMG! These shoes… gonna fall!!!"
What was it like opening and closing the Brian Reyes show?
“I don't remember exactly now. But I think it was the first show I opened. It was really exciting, I was really nervous. Actually, I'm always nervous before the shows… it's a big responsibility to open the show. But everything was good.”
“I’ve always loved nature from my childhood. I studied chemistry/biology-orientated classes at school and continued to at university.”
What is your most prized value in others?
“Wise[dom] and honesty.”
Do you believe in luck?
“It's quite philosophic question... I think if you wanna do something, you do everything to reach your goal- and in this case luck will support you. But I think luck doesn't like lazy people!”
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement thus far?
“Finishing school with all 5's and with a medal.”
What do you least admire about the fashion industry?
“Falseness and hairstylist[s].”
“I like both.”
What have you learned about yourself through this no doubt challenging work?
“…I can use obscene language when I [am] pissed off. Normally I don't use it.”
“Sometimes backstage is really boring. But [taking] pictures is a big ‘fun’ for me. Also I speak and laugh with my friends (if they’re working in the show). But if you have several shows a day you just don't have a time to get bored - you're late and you’re rushing, coming to show the make-up artists and hairstylists start working on you and…you want to have a break to eat something!”
What do you consider to be the most widespread misconception about models?
“That model is almost the same as prostitute. But in [the past few] last years people started to realize that it's not the truth. And also that all the models are stupid. Some of them really are, but most [are] not. I can't say they're really clever but not stupid!”
“I think you just need to feel happy to look good. If you have good mood, joke and laugh, feel love to your family, friends and just to people, you look better. Just be [an] optimist!”
What is your favorite meal?
“I'm crazy about mushrooms!”
How would you rate your cooking ability?
“I cook quite good. With the book I can do many things!”
Are there any organizations or foundations that are close to your heart?
“WWF (World Wild Fund)… I don't like Greenpeace - they're too commercial. Also I wanted to join Mensa but you need to pay for it every month. I don't think [that’s] nice.”
A very special thank you to the gorgeous & witty Lyoka for partaking in this interview and for her candid replies... especially impressive considering English is not her first language!
PS: Stay tuned for exclusive portraits of Lyoka by the brilliant Alice Larkin Lancaster!