Posted by StarNow on 08 Aug, 2014
5 Minutes with Curve Model Katya Zharkova from Wilhelmina Models
We recently had the privilege of talking to prominent curve model Katya Zharkova, who is signed with Wilhelmina Models in America. Katya started modelling when she was 14 years old and is considered the first plus-size model of Belarus. She has modelled for labels such as Forever 21, Silver Jeans, Macys and plus-size specialists Fashion To Figure. She became an international social media sensation because of the editorial "Plus Size Bodies, What's Wrong with Them Anyway?" which was published in “PLUS Model” Magazine in January 2011. The photoshoot went viral and received thousands of shares via the Internet while Katya started to fight for curvy women’s equality in fashion and in society in general. This lead to Katya being selected as one of Plus Model Magazine's Women of the Year 2013, as an advocate for woman's choice to be healthy and not to subside to society's standards. StarNow: What’s it like being a ‘Curve’ model?
StarNow: How did your modelling career start?
Katya: My mom was a photographer and she always took pictures of me since I was very young. Then my friend told me that we should go to a model agency and try it out for real. I did and at the age of 14, I started going to modelling school before becoming a plus-size or ‘Curve’ model.
Katya: It’s like being a fashion model. There’s no difference: shoot, castings, runways, presentations.StarNow: What would be your 3 best pieces of advice you’d give a new ‘Curve’ model that’s just starting out?
Katya: Go to dance class, it really helps with movement during a shoot and even a runway show. You should learn to use your full body, not just your smile. Always smile naturally. Also do not copy others; it’s important to find your own style. And find yourself – it comes over time. StarNow: Are there specific woman who have inspired you to embrace your curves?
Katya: My mom, of course. She is my leader. StarNow: The focus on high profile ‘Curve’ models has helped bring awareness and diversity to the industry, but do you think there still needs to be more?
Katya: I think we should continue our work until the designers start working with curvier models for every collection, for every fashion week, in every part of world. We are all different: different nations, different genetics, and different body types… Meaning there are a lot women who deserve to see themselves on the runway. StarNow: How do you prepare for a modelling shoot?
Katya: I always eat healthy food. I don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol because I need to look the best that I can - it is my profession. I do yoga – it helps me a lot. I am always looking for new poses I can show to the photographer and I’m always thinking about my reflection during the shoot. StarNow: What’s your personal fashion style?
Katya: It depends on my mood. Mostly I prefer street style: jeans, nice blouse, leather black boots or heels. Today I can be ‘Marilyn’, tomorrow I can be ‘Jackie’, it all depends on how I feel. StarNow: Who are some of your favourite designers?Favourite models?
Katya: I am obsessed with Maison Martin Margiela as a designer because many looks from their collections are oversized, so they fit me well. I also love Max Mara and Marina Rinaldi.
My favourite model is Coco Rocha – she is my true inspiration – her movement during photoshoots is both amazing and professional.StarNow: What are your modelling career goals for 2014 and beyond?
Katya: All models dream to work with high-fashion photographers and I do too. All models want to be on the cover of Vogue, and I’m no exception. I want to add my name to fashion history.
Do you think you've got what it takes to become the next global curve model? Enter the StarNow Curve Model Search 2014