Irina Shayk talks confidence and why she’ll never wear heels off duty

We hear you, Irina

Irina Shayk is the ultimate multitasker. She’s a mother, actress, Intimissimi brand ambassador (alongside Ana Ivanović, Dakota Johnson and Ella Mills) ), and of course, one of the biggest faces in modelling with 9.1 million Instagram followers and counting. Yes, that’s quite the social empire.

We caught up with one of the most talked about models of the year, OK, make that decade (it was 10-years ago when Irina became the face of Intimissimi), behind the scene’s at the fourth edition of Intimissimi On Ice where she chatted all things social media, career choices and why she’s not a fan of high heels (same, TBH)…

Instagram is a massive game-changer. How do you think it’s changed the industry over the years?

‘We’re in the 21st century so social media is huge and every model uses it. I’m more or less a private person, so if I feel like posting something I’ll post it, but my personal life I like to keep behind the scenes. Mostly I post time with my mum or when I travel to beautiful places.

‘But you’re totally right, social media changed the modelling world; sometimes you don’t know who “this girl” is, but then you’re like: “oh, she’s on social media, she’s got followers, she’s popular.” I personally wouldn’t base it on how many followers you have, I’d base it on who you are, you know. Funnily enough sometimes with a job the client will book a model because she has more followers than another. It seems silly but we have to move with the times, it’s a new thing.

‘I totally think it’s going to be over soon, the social media impact. I really do. I think fashion business is changing and I really believe that, it’s going to matter, but it’s not going to matter as much. Look at Facebook, it was huge, now Instagram is huge. Twitter was huge. I was never on Snapchat, on Instagram there’s Instagram Stories, which is fun and I like, but again I don’t take it seriously.

‘The biggest models in the world use it because they have to use it, but it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. So I hope it’s going to change.

What’s the one thing you wish you could tell your teenage self now?

‘I feel like everyone has to go through a kind of growing process. You learn something new every day. When I was 14 or 15 I was really shy that I had dark skin and everyone was making fun of me, and I was really afraid that I looked a little different. But I think even that is good for you, because you learn how to be sure of yourself, you learn how to be secure.

‘Women have a lot of insecurities and everyone can have some insecurities, but I think it’s a learning process to know who you really are and about your personality. So I would probably say to my teenage self: just be sure about yourself and be confident.’

How did you become involved with Insimissimi and this particular campaign?

‘Funnily enough, Intimissimi discovered me back in 2007. I was in Moscow doing some job and they were looking for a new muse after Ana Beatriz Barros, and they came on set, saw me and signed me. Since that time, for the past 10 years I’ve been working with them. Russians never go away once they’re there!

You’ve just worked on the campaign with Mario Testino, how was that?

‘[Mario] has this warm, funny soul and I always get along with him very well; so the atmosphere on set was more relaxed, like hanging out with a friend.

‘He can really capture your personality and I think that’s the reason he was hired for the campaign, because it’s all about celebrating true beauty that comes from the inside out. It’s about showing everyone that a woman is not only beautiful outside, she’s beautiful inside too. Because outside beauty will fade one day – everyone’s getting old! – but inside beauty will always stay. So it was a great choice to hire Mario Testino to capture something like that.’

What are your go-to pieces from Intimissimi?

‘For me, you don’t have to wear a push-up bra to feel sexy, you can feel sexy and sensual at the same time, so I love the basic collection. My go-to bra is the black basic triangle bra, it’s wireless and it’s really, really comfortable to travel [in]. I travel so much that sometimes I have to open my bra on the aeroplane, but not this one. It’s wireless, you feel like you’re wearing a second skin, so the basic collection is my favourite.

‘They’re launching a new collection on October 9th, which is all very comfortable, again like a second skin, with tons of materials like fibre, nice warm fabrics and cashmere bodies.’

Do you prefer matching sets or mix-and-match?

‘I think you just have to have fun with lingerie; I love a g-string, I would never go for like a full [brief]. A g-string and a really comfortable bra is my go-to, so I’ll wear a red g-string and a plan black lace or basic collection bra. You can have fun with it, same as with swimsuits, so I think mis-match.’

Name three items you think every woman should own to help her be really confident

‘Having the right person next to you – I think you can wake up and look as bad as you think you can possibly look, but if somebody next to you makes you feel confident you feel sexy and beautiful.

‘But in terms of products, you should have some lipstick, because if you feel like you’re not dressed enough, you can just [put some on]. Definitely some classy, sexy piece of lingerie, Insimissimi, lace, and comfortable shoes. No high heels, I hate high heels! You will never see me in them – only now because I’m working – but otherwise, once you have comfortable shoes [on] you feel sexy.’

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