Spanish model Irina Soldevila is our Model Of The Month for November 2015. With her elegant bearing she never had dreams of being a model but was discovered by coincidence at 17, when she participated in the opening of a beauty center and a scouter asked her if she wanted to be a model. Shortly after she began modeling for Traffic modeling agency.
The brown haired beauty who considers Mario Testino, as her favorite photographer and Adriana Lima her favorite model says that modeling gives her the feeling of being free, independent and traveling around.
Apart from Modeling, Irina is a clinical psychologist with a masters in criminology and a frankness that is refreshing by which she is not afraid to talk the hard facts. She is due to sign with Wilhelmina Miami and will next be seen in Revlon's "Love is ON" Spring/Summer 2016 Campaign.
As she works her way in the world of fashion her future goals include landing a líOreal Campaign, opening her own business and a medical consultation. With her blond locks and cool, captivating looks and an even bigger personality she is destined to be a true favorite in the fashion world and making a name for herself. We canít wait to see what she has coming in the future.
Irina took the time to speak with The FMD in an exclusive interview in which she discusses her beginnings, life as a model and her plans for the future.
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?
Although it may sound clichť, I never wanted or even think about being a model. Well, I loved the fashion magazines since I canít even remember and I worshiped posing in all the photos but I never focused my life on being a model.
When I was in high school, I was helping my mother in the a group of scouters asked me if I would like to participate in a hair reception of her beauty center when a scouter entered and asked me if I wanted to be a model. I was 17 at that moment and, to be sincere, I said yes without thinking!
After a few months with them, I went out in a magazine (was my first editorial and I did it with the amazing Sergi Jasanada) and a few agencies call me.
I went to see Traffic and decided to sign up with them (the first day I went to the agency to sign I got booked for the Custo Barcelona worldwide campaign!!) and since then they are my mother agency and my little fashion world family.
Those first years where really difficult cause I was studying a degree in the university (Iím psychologist with a master in criminology) and modeling. But finally When I ended my studies I started focusing on modeling and doing all the stuff why I actually said yes to the modeling life ;)
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)?
As I said before, there are lots of things why I started modelingÖ At first I was so curious about this whole fashion world life. I loved the feeling of being free, of traveling all around, of being independent and never knowing where are you going to wake up next day. But the best part for me is the people: you open your mind, you learn about other type of lifes, experiences, beliefs, you laugh and cry and, even if they stay in your life forever or if after that job you will never see them again, every person that comes across your life makes you grow. This is the best surprise this modeling life gave me, the chance to know amazing people and some of my besties.
And of course, talking about bestiesÖ how can I forgot the parties? :p
Whatís the funniest thing that happened to you on a photo shoot or fashion show?
I was opening a show for Desigual and we have to arrive standing up on the back side of a jetsky. We have practised just twice and when the moment arrives the guy that was driving accelerated so fast that i almost fall into the sea! I arrive laughing and with my handkerchief all wet to the show...
How would you describe yourself as model in three words?
Funny, hardworker & adventuress (if you need to so something dangerous on a shooting here I am, always ready)
Who is your favorite photographer? Why?
I have been lucky to work with amazing photographers, like Mariano Vivanco for the Custo Campaign or Manuel Outumuro for Cosmopolitan. But I consider that all the photographers Iíve been working with are amazing because each one makes me discover a new aspect of my personality when I was in front of the camera. But if I can choose, my favorite photographer will be a mix between the timelessness of Testino, the rebellion and sensuality of Mert&Marcus and Mariano Sorrenti, the tasteful of Sebatian Kim and the touch of Ben Hasset
What was the hardest photo shoot for you, and why?
For me the hardest photoshoots are the ones when youíre outside and itís cold and you have to wear bikiny, lingerie or summer clothes. I remember a bikiny campaign I did in Mykonos on winter... Can you imagine winter,bikiny, inside the sea and with all that greece-typicalwind?
Did anyone in the industry ask you to change your look, name, etcÖ If so, what did you do?
I changed my look a few times... but just my hair! For example, with my first Revlon Campaign (Cinematic) I was supposed to be Rita Heyworth so they dyed my hair red. At first was shocking (I was feeling like Jessica Rabit around the streets haha) but was worth it!
What tips and advice do you have for aspiring models just starting out, something you wish someone would have told you?
The best you can do is be your own and let the people that loves you to stay on your side. This is a quite complicated world and you will have to be alone a lot, so as far as you can you have to always keep in mind what is genuinely important.
Would you share some of your future goals, your life motto, any words of wisdom that get you by in life and professional career?
I always try to follow the quote ďDonít dream your life, live your dreamsĒ.
I think you only live once so you have to fight for what you really want.
My future is crowded of goals, for example doing líOreal Campaign, opening my own business and my own medical consultation, still learning and traveling... But, as far as i have learned in this world, lucky plays a really important role but effort and perseverance are the main characters.
What should a relationship between an agent and model look like?
You have to feel free with him, knowing that you can talk about everything and everytime. Itís not just your booker, itís the person you have to feel protected by.
Who is your favorite all-time model?
I always loved Adriana Lima (I saw her at the boxing in Miami and itís even more pretty!), Sasha Pivavorova and I keep adoring the 90ís models, like Elle McPherson.
Do other models inspire you?
Actually, the models that inspire me are all the ones that have managed to combine a family life, a degree or a charity work with the model carrer. Actually is what I really aspire, because I know I want to do lots of things in life and I want to find the balance to manage everything.
How do you feel fashion has empowered you?
Fashion has gave me a feeling of independence and maturity and has opened my eyes to the world empowering my skills to face many situations that if I had stayed in my house with a normal job I would never have learned.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love to cook (especially cakes), to take the car and drive aimlessly till I find somewhere nice to have lunch, to go to the beach and touch the hotsand between my fingers, horseriding , yoga, reading (Iím a book eater), going to the cinema (popcorn is my main motivation), to have dinner and party in at least three different places in a night and, above all, being with the ones I love.
Who are your favorite fashion designers?
Elie Saab, Armani, Zadig&Voltaire, Roberto Cavalli, Herve Leger, Valentino, Alexandre Vauthier and Balmain
I love my worn and broken Diesel jeans
What things in your wardrobe would you never throw away?
I will never (NEVER!) throw away my All Saints black leather jacket, my light grey Balenciaga bag and my favourite Victoria Secretís tracksuit pants
What era would you like to bring back?
What are your best beauty secrets?
Always remove your make-up (I know sometimes party donít let me follow my own rule but I always try to), exfoliate your skin at least twice a week and put on a purifying mask once a week. But the best beuaty secret is to eat lots of greens and healthy foods.
Do you have any beauty / skin care tips or tricks to look fresh and rested for early morning photo shoots?
The best tip is to sleep... But as it happened to me, early photoshoots are killers and if you donít sleep that much (as it happens to me) even worse... So if you need to look fresh the best you can do is to leave a spoon in the freeze the night before. When you wake up, clean your face with cold mineral water, drink a green juice (will improve the glowing of your skin) and leave the spoon on your eyes for a while. It will help you with the dark circles and bags under the eyes and the cold water will give you a fresh look.
Do you believe in homemade recipes? Do you have one to share with us?
Of course I do believe althought I donít use them as often as I should... For example, I love to make a body exfoliant using coffe grounds, olive oil and brown sugar. I use it in the shower and after rinse it leaves your skin soft and hydrated.
How much attention do you pay to meditation & exercise, or is it all natural? How do you stay in shape?
The truth is that Iíve got good genetics (thanks mom&dad). When I was a child I didnít use to train a lot (just tennis) but after triying harder as an adult I found that I love kickboxing (I started practicing it when I was in Miami), yoga, paddle, tennis and horseriding. I try to workout at least 3-4 times a week and my next goal is to start dancing salsa
What makes you feel sexy?
My boyfriends t-shirt and some drops of my parfum... Or in a Elie Saabís long silk dress with opened back
What is your favorite part about your body?
I love my hair and my lips... Iím so self-demanding with everything else haha (both inside and out)
Favorite kind of food:
Cookies and Cream Haggen Dazz ice-cream (mytop treat), strawberries & cherries (I can eat them everyday) and japanese food.
When models say they eat healthy, what do they mean by that?
Iím lucky because I LOVE healthy food. At least, when I speak about healthy food I mean food that makes you feel fit and healthy, that doesnít have hormones or other painful additives, that has good calories and nutrients and that you can buy it fresh and straight from where it comes.
I love to take a green juice every morning and I try to eat lots of vegetables, salads, whole wheat pasta and rice, quinoa, fish and of course fruit (I love all of them). Of course I donít eat food that harm the animals to achieve it, like foie or eggs of chicken in captivity.
Now iím gonna start a Macrobiotic Food Seminari because Iím so interested in this phylosophy.
How would you describe yourself as a human being in three words?
Cheerful, altruistic and headful
Whatís controversial or unique about you?
Iím left-handed, I was born the Christmaís Day and everybody thinks that Iím from Russia (before seeing me of course haha) because of my name
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
No doubt: fly
Do you have a mentor? Who? What is it about them that affects you? Why?
I think my mentors are my parents. They have been my support for everything, always there when I have needed them, always cheering me.They are my reference.
Where do you see yourself in ten years? What could be your next career?
In ten years I see myself with some childs, with my own business (Iím starting it right now so I hope in ten years will still there) and hopefully still doing some model jobs and with tones of good model jobs on my backs (maybe my adored LíOreal Campaign or cover? haha)
Do people act different around you since youíve become a model?
Sometimes people act different beacuse they think that you have changed because of your actual job or they think you donít have time for them anymore. Itís difficult to keep the friends when you have to travel and donít know if tomorrow you will be there but this shows you who are the real ones.
Favorite kind of music? Favorite television series or movie?
I like house and commercial music when Iím a the club. At home I love to arrive, light a candle and lie on the sofa with a good chillout soundtrack.
My favorite movie is ďSilence of the lambsĒ (Anthony Hopkins is one of my favorite actors) and about series I love ďCriminal MindsĒ, ďAmerican Horror StoryĒ, ďCSIĒ (you can see I have studied a master in Criminology haha), ďNip/TuckĒ and ďTomorrowlandĒ
ďAnd as she didnít know it was impossible, she did itĒ -Unknown-
ĒAnd those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the musicĒ Sigmund Freud
Whatís your favorite fashion magazine? Why?
Iím in love with Harperís Bazaar, I think it has everything you can expect from a magazine. I always buy Vogue and Elle too
I'd like to meet Ö
Jane Goodall, Frida Kahlo and Malala Yousafzal
Happiness is Ö
Love, family, friends, sunshine & icecream
If you could change one thing in the past years, what would it be?
After the Custo and Revlon campaign I did the first month, I signed up with my agency, I had to choose if I wanted to keep sudying or if I wanted to focus on my model career. I was 17. At that moment I choose keep studying, and thanks to that now I have my degree and 2 masters but I know Iíve lost lots of oppportunities during this years because I canít travel, I canít skip class or I canít be abroad. Anyway, I think I choosed the right option and now I have the opportunity to take it and focus on it.
People have said I look like Ö
My mum & Judit Masců
What would you ask yourself that we havenít asked you in this interview?
Actually I loved the interview.
Thank you Irina for this great interview!
note: all answers are original and unaltered - Interviewed by Iva Mirbach; Edited by Clinton Gonsalvez