Before we left New York we had the pleasure of meeting with Anya Lyagoshina— a model living in New York that completely swept us off our feet with her natural beauty and kind charm. We decided that we couldn’t leave without doing one more NYC Girl about this woman.
Here’s our Q & A with Anya, our last NYC Girl.
Q: How did you get into modeling?
A: Honestly, at 16 if someone told me that I could be a model, I would have been very surprised. I’ve always been a tall, slim girl, but I never looked at myself as a a beautiful, photogenic girl (when I was a kid, I hated it if someone was taking pictures of me. I was always crying during the process). It’s funny that I basically make money by doing that now.
So it all happened when a scouting agent came to me in the Moscow subway and asked if I wanted to try to become a model. I was skeptical at first, but my friend pushed me to message the agent and to do some test shoots. That’s how it all started, and now I feel very happy that I took that chance.
Q: What is the highlight of your career so far?
A: I think that the highlight of my career was probably working with Patrick Demarchelier. When I got booked to shoot with him for the first time I was very surprised— my agent just called me the day before and said that tomorrow I would be working with such a legend! I still remember shooting that cover story for Vogue Russia— the atmosphere on set was very relaxed and fun, the process of taking a picture was just amazing.. Patrick always makes you feel the most beautiful. And I have to mention that he helped a lot me in my career by pushing for many other projects after.
Q: Are there any other creatives you’ve worked with that have inspired you?
A: Being a good model means playing different characters on set and I truly appreciate it when people see the real personality through the prism of just a pretty face. I always love when a photographer sees you as you are and takes pictures without asking you to be someone else. That’s how you explore who you are and jobs like that can give you, not only the best pictures, but also a lot of confidence. One of the shoots I did like this was for ID magazine— it was shot in New York by Matt Jones and all he asked was just “Have fun, Anya!”
Q: Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like to in the future?
A: I have worked with many talented people already but my dream is to create something very unique and beautiful with Peter Lindbergh. I love his aesthetics and the way he sees women.. Powerful, experienced, strong. We all have it inside, it just takes the right person to see and capture it.
LIVING IN NYC
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Siberia and grew up in Moscow. I’ve been based in New York for two years now— I moved here at the age 17 from Moscow and these couple of years were the most intensive and productive in my life so far.
Q: Has living in New York changed you in anyway?
A: I believe New York changes every person who moves here, and i’m not an exception. You have to be brave to visit this city and strong-minded to stay. I think I didn’t feel all the stress and seriousness of New York at first because I was too young. But now I realize that I’ve basically learned so much about life, people, and work here, and I think I couldn’t get that kind of experience in any other city.
Q: What is the most interesting experience you’ve had in New York so far?
A: The most interesting experience in New York was finding an apartment for sure! After one year of living in models apartments and sharing places with friends I realized that I wanted to have my own, private place. I’ve never lived by myself before and it was the big step of a grown up person, I think. It was a big deal for me to set up everything without any experience before, but it was definitely a great experience!
Q: Where are your favorite spots in the city?
A: I have always loved Central park— that’s why I live on the Upper East side. The best spot there is under the arc, which is near the big fountain. You can always find some musicians playing classical music there and just enjoy the beautiful architecture. And also, it’s always inspiring to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Central Park for me is also an escape zone— the only place in busy manhattan where you can feel the fusion with nature. To eat or meet with a friend, I prefer By Chloe or Two hands. These are both well-decorated places with healthy and delicious food. And if it happens that I’m in Soho – i love to visit McNally Jackson Bookstore. This place has the best selection of books .. and cookies ;)
FASHION & BEAUTY
Q: Do you have any beauty secrets?
A: I try to use organic and natural creams, scrubs, masks etc. and i don’t wear much make up— usually just mascara and a little bit of a highlighter. My advice — stay as close as you can to nature, take vacations when it’s needed and be surrounded by good people— that way you will always shine from inside.
Q: Can you share any advice about what to wear/ not to wear?
A: I personally won’t wear a t-shirt or hoodie with a name labeled on the front of it. Just because it takes the attention from your face and you become a walking advertisement for this brand. And i think it always works best when you get dressed up according to your mood and the place where you are going.
Q: Any last bit of fashion advice?
A: I want to say that fashion is actually fun and I don’t take it too seriously, even if my job is all about it ;)
Thank you Anya… You are truly beautiful, inside and out, and a real inspiration that what’s really important is being real and natural.
Interviewed by Lindsey Alexander