“I have no plan to strip for Playboy, even though they offered me huge money. True models like Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer stripped for Playboy. As a cover girl I was Ok but no strip even for well known publications including Playboy,” says sultry Russian born model Irina Shayk, who is famous for her Sports Illustrated shoot. Born in rural Russia to coal miner father and piano teacher she was starved as a child. “I used to help my father at our garden. We planted tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers,” Irina said.
Modelling happened by chance. Her older sister used to attend a beauty school, next to a modelling school. She happened to be there because of her sister who encouraged her to take some interest in modelling. “An encounter with an Ad Agency Executive changed my fortune. Without second thought I took the offer seriously as that could take care of my parent’s money worries,” Irina said. Soon landed in Paris for audition and interaction with people who matter in Ad world. At that time she was 20. Now 29, Irina has no hesitation in admitting that entering in modelling world at 20 was a gamble. “Now a day girls start at 15. I took it as a challenge. I found Paris very tricky and left to Barcelona after 6 years of hard work.”
Irina’s major entry to modelling world was when she started shooting for Sports Illustrated along with other super models of the day. She was on the cover of all the major fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper Bazar, Elite among others.. It was in 2007 and since then there is no looking back. She has been there in every Sports Illustrated shoot and worked with famous designers like Armani. “I earned good money and my parents was happy,” During her days in Barcelona Irina met her ex boy friend Christino Ronaldo, renowned footballer. Because of some misunderstanding, five year old friendship got stuck. Irina said in an interview, “you have to be faithful otherwise no point in continuing with the relationship.” She is dating now actor Bradley Cooper.
According to Irina being a swimsuit model one has to feel her best. She does visit Gym once in a while and lately taken ju jutsu, which is great cardio. She has a trainer. “You have to keep your body fit always.” She hates makeup while not working and believe in simple living. “I do not believe in what others say about me. My greatest strength is my family and close friends.”