Model: Kseniia Bazhenova @little_newyorker @The Queens @the_queensmodels Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Alexandra Ivanova @sasha.snova Photographer: Maria Yasan @maria.yasan
Happy to have you here, Kseniia. Tell us your story, how did you get started modeling and where is your home at the moment?
When I was 7 years old, my mother and I went to the seamstress to take measurements for my school uniform, the TV set was turned on in the studio, on which there was a program about super models. I first heard about Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford, I was so impressed by them that I became eager to become a model myself. At the age of 15, I saw an advertisement about casting for shooting in a video clip of a rock band and the very next day I arrived at the office of my first modeling agency. Knocked on the door, I heard “come in”, and after crossing the threshold, my first words were “hello, I want to become a top -model” (laughs).
Even now I live in Russia, but planing on working in the USA and Europe pretty soon.
Tell us more about yourself. What else do you do next to modeling?
I’m very active: I go to the gym, do yoga and dancing and I like to go out with my friends. Besides I learn foreign languages (English, some Italian and Chinese) and read books. Also I’ve started my own boutique model agency The Queens in 2019, I’m scouting new faces and help them to get into fashion industry. So far I have worked with 20 models placing them with the best agencies in LA, London, Milan, Mexico, China and South Korea.
What do you love most about being a model? And, what do you least enjoy?
Oh I love a lot about modeling: first of all, I love that our work is very creative, every shooting or show I play different roles, which gives different images as a result. That is certainly a work of the whole team: designers, show directors, photographers, stylists, hair and make up artists, and I’m flattered to know and work with so many talented people, who are very passionate about what they do. I enjoy wearing on beautiful and uniq pieces of clothes, forgetting about everything in the world at the shooting where it’s just me and camera, and opposite - I enjoy attention of public at fashion shows.
I love that my job allows me to travel a lot. I was born in Russia in 90’s in a very average family, if it’s not modeling I probably wouldn’t be able to travel to 25 countries by the age of 25. My first model contract was in Hong Kong when I was just 16, I’ve never seen double decker buses before I arrived there and when I was leaving three months later - ads for different brands with my pictures were on these buses and in the best shopping malls of the city. That was the first moment in my life when I was really proud of myself, especially because no one back in my hometown didn’t take modeling seriously and believed in me except for my mom, which is why I’m so grateful for her.
What is the most challenging being a model?
The most challenging as for me that there is unregulated schedule: you can be busy 24/7 one week and have nothing to do within the next month. That’s what usually happens after fashion week.
If you could change something in the modeling world, what would it be?
I’ve worked as a model for 12 years, and I know most of the trustful agents and agencies, I’ve managed to solve some problems as well. But there are still some people who try to appear as what they are not. I’m happy that industry finally talks about models rights, and information about modeling becomes more and more public, so younger models, who just start their journey can see who is a real agent, who is professional photographer, and they don’t work for exposure.
What fuels your imagination and provides you with inspiration?
Watching beautiful fashion shows or pictures in the magazines, reading books, nature and people. Sometimes I read interviews of successful self made women and it motivates me a lot. I’m amazed by Vera Wang, Donna Karan and Tory Burch.
What keeps you excited about life in general?
Realization that my happiness depends only on me: it’s your choice every day to be happy or not. We are all human beings and sometimes we all have bad days, but it’s just a matter of choice to keep negativity in your mind and soul or let things go, find new opportunities, be kind to people and stay open hearted. There are many small things which can make me smile, and more fundamental: to do what I love and to help people to achieve their dreams and see them happy.
Looking back how has modeling experience changed your personal/professional life? Have you grown more comfortable with yourself since you have started?
Definitely, I’ve became more confident and mature. Being far away from home in a big world full of competition when you’re young teaches better than any high school. I went through some challenging moments, when you have to make right decisions fast - that’s what made me more and more confident. Also there were people along my way who were very kind and helped me, these situations show who really has your back and who is your friend when it’s only profitable for them.
What kind of life would you like to have?
Happy life. Life is unpredictable and short, time flies fast, so it’s the most important to enjoy every moment. Of course I want to have kids one day, but my life will be connected to modeling anyways as a model, agent, or a fashion magazine editor.
What are the achievements you are proud of most of today?
As a model most of all I am proud of doing New York fashion week, and walking shows for Alice&Olivia, Bubhu Mohapatra, Laurence and Chico, Cinthya Rowley, Leanne Marshall, Kaimin, Ground Zero. shootings for Century 21 stores in United States, working for Viktor&Rolf in Paris, and Rick Owens in Milan.
Besides modeling, in 2020, while pandemic took the place: I’ve got my bachelor’s degree in management.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
They can find me on models.com, websites of my current agency in New York- EMG, and my own agency The Queens - queensmodels.com. I post some pictures on Instagram: @little_newyorker