Model of the Month

please stand up for the grandiose and the unique
Barbara Istvanova
Barbara Istvanova
January 2016

Slovakian model Barbara Istvanova is our Model Of The Month for January 2016.
Fun, responsible and hard-working, her pursuit of modeling as a career came by chance. She won the 2007 International Elite Model Look held in Prague but never imagined she would be a model. 'I never dreamed about to be a model. I have got discovered by accident almost 10 years ago. A friend of mine wanted to be a model, and since we were really young, she asked me to go with her to a casting for Elite model look.
Well, so I went, and since I was already there, I gave it a shot, and tried it as well, and I have got lucky and made it to the next round of castings,' she tells us.
The brown haired beauty who enlists mathematics and solving sudoku among her hobbies, is an only child of her parents (whom she also considers to be her mentors in life), and did not have any difficulty in seeking their permission to pursue a career in fashion when opportunities came knocking. However, despite the fact that she has modeled for big designers like Hugo Boss or Fero Miklosko, Barbara is very much down to earth. We can’t wait to see what she has coming in the future.
Barbara spoke with The FMD about how she became a model, what fashion means to her, where does she see herself in the next ten years and more.

Did you always wanted to be a model, or did you stumble upon it, get discovered etc.? Who or what inspired you to become a model? How did you get started in the modeling business?

I never dreamed about to be a model. I have got discovered by accident almost 10 years ago. A friend of mine wanted to be a model, and since we were really young, she asked me to go with her to a casting for Elite model look. Well, so I went, and since I was already there, I gave it a shot, and tried it as well, and I have got lucky and made it to the next round of castings.

What is your favorite or most exciting aspect about being a model? What do you like least? Have you encountered any surprises along the way? What has been your most awkward moment (of your modeling career)?

The greatest thing about modeling is being able to travel places, where I would never been able to go to and also I can meet very interesting people. The hardest thing about modeling is, that you are away from your family many times. There have been some awkward moments in the beginning of my journey as a model. I did not know how to act on castings, shootings etc. but nothing extremely embarrassing.

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you on a photo shoot or fashion show?

I was shooting underwear, and I was a bit shy, so the photographer took his pants off, and kept only his underwear, so he would be same exposed as I was ... Of course we laughed a lot :)

How would you describe yourself as model in three words?

Fun, Responsible, Hardworking

Out of all the places your career has taken you, where was the most memorable?

Cape Town, I loved the Safari.

What was the hardest photo shoot for you, and why?

Once I had an underwater photo shoot, and after few shots, I was getting really exhausted, but the photographer did not understand why, and was getting angry, that why I can't hold my breath for as long as he imagined. But thanks God my agency called him, and after that he calmed down.

Is there a difference in posing when you are doing a cover and an editorial?


Did anyone in the industry ask you to change your look, name, etc… If so, what did you do?

No :)

What tips and advice do you have for aspiring models just starting out, something you wish someone would have told you?

Always be true to yourself!

Have you had any negative experiences with model agencies, talent scouts? What are top 3 warning signs to look out for?

Luckily I have not had a bad experience. But a good advice, if the so called agent ask you for money in advance for pictures or so, run away from those people. A good agency, never does that.

Would you share some of your future goals, your life motto, any words of wisdom that get you by in life and professional career?

Listen to your agent! :) They are professionals, who only want to help you :)

What should a relationship between an agent and model look like?

As I mentioned earlier, they are your friends.

Who is your favorite all-time model?

Any 80s model. They had the most beautiful bodies and faces :)

Do other models inspire you?


How do you feel fashion has empowered you?

It gave me courage and taught me to never give up!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

Being with my family and friends.

Who are your favorite fashion designers?

Chloé, Stella McCartney and a Slovakian designer Lukáš Kimlicka

What era would you like to bring back?

50s. I love the feminine curves and beautiful dresses of that era.

Who is your style icon?

Cate Blanchett

Your favorite store?

Anywhere where I can get a simple t-shirt, a pair of jeans and a nice jacket.

What are your best beauty secrets?

Keep it simple

Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?

A nice long sleep.

Do you believe in homemade recipes? Do you have one to share with us?

Wash your face with a chamomile tea, It will do wonders! :)

How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?

I exercise regularly.

What is your favorite part about your body?

My eyes :)

Favorite kind of food:

I can't pick only one :)

When models say they eat healthy, what do they mean by that?

Try to stay away from fatty and sugary food. Of course once in a while everyone cheats :) But that is normal. You got to feel good about yourself, that is the key to everything.

How would you describe yourself as a human being in three words?

Sensitive, Communicative, Friendly

What’s controversial or unique about you?

I hate honey :D

If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?

To be able to fly!!

What would you like to change about yourself if you can choose only one thing?

I'm probably too sensitive, I would like to change that.

What are your favorite things to do in your free time?

Enjoy a good time with my family, boyfriend and friends.

Do you have a mentor? Who? What is it about them that affects you? Why?

My parents! When I don't know what to do, they always show me the right way.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?

Oh, that is really far away. I can't tell what is going to happen tomorrow...well, except one thing, I sure know I will have an exam in school tomorrow :)

Do people act different around you since you’ve become a model?

Some do.

Favorite kind of music? Favorite television series or movie?

I love rock music, oldies. Actually most of the music from 60s till end of 90s. I would call myself a nerd, I love fantasy and sci-fi movies and television series like Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, The Fifth Element etc.

Favorite quote:

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." André Gide

Happiness is …


If you could change one thing in the past years, what would it be?

Nothing, It already happened and probably It had to be that way.

People have said I look like …

My mom always says that I look like Angelina Jolie :D well..I don't know.

Thank you Barbara for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Interview by Iva Mirbach; Edited by Clinton Gonsalvez

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