Olga Akhunova is an International Model born in the small town of Yekaterinburg, Russia. She comes from a small family; her mother, father and her younger sister. Her mother and sister are musicians, but Olga wasn’t interested in music at all. Soon after she finished high school, her modeling career began.
She first travelled to Tokyo, then Paris, Milan, New York, and finally to London where she now lives. Bigshot360 had the pleasure to meet with Olga and ask her a few questions about her life as a model. This is what the beautiful international model had to say.
Thank you for joining us at SHOT magazine Olga! You now live in London, was there a big adjustment living there vs. Russia?
The thing is that I've been traveling all over the world already and I have lived by myself. London is really a tough city to live in! It took me some time to understand how it all works here. And I am still learning. What I like about London is that you can meet so many people every day. When I moved to London I only had 2 friends living here. They helped me a lot. As people say London is a city of many possibilities. However, you have to work hard to make your dreams come true, but that is life.
How and where did you get discovered as a model?
I don't have a fairytale story to tell here. It was simple and quick. I was discovered by an agent from St. Petersburg, Alex Kashin. He got me my first contracts in Tokyo and Paris.
You have travelled to some amazing countries, which was your favorite and which would you go back to and visit when you are not modeling?
I love Italy for its amazing climate and food! And Japan is something special. I would want to go back there for holidays.
What type of modeling do you enjoy most editorial or commercial?
Editorial is more fun! Commercial can be fun too. Sometimes you work with amazing people that can turn a shoot into something unforgettable. Editorial is my first choice.
What were your feelings like seeing yourself on the cover of Italian Elle (2006)?
I was excited, but kind of not realizing that only 12 girls a year can get that cover. My friends were more excited than I was actually. I don't think I still realize how big it was for me then.
Being photographed as much as you have, is there a specific Fashion Photographer that you liked working with the most?
It's a long list. The Photographer is very important! Let's be fair, they do most of the work. They make a shot look great! I've been lucky to be working with very good photographers! And I would be happy to list all of them here if we had more space. Giampaolo Sgura was a big career changer for me. Worked with Ellen Von Unwerth - amazing work! Emilio Tini, Igor Ousenko... I wish I could list everyone.
You are wonderful on the runway! I see you have walked the shows for fashion brands like Just Cavalli, Dsquared2; you opened for John Richmond and have done advertisement for the Italian brand Vic Matie. When you are working on these projects what helps you stay focused (music, meditation, favorite keep sake, thoughts)?
When you walk on the stage everyone is looking at you! And everyone is giving you their energy. That is what helps me stay focused. Receiving the energy and giving it back is the most wonderful thing you can experience. And working on the shoots is a huge process of creating something beautiful. If you saw the video of Vic Matie you could see how many people are involved in the shoot. Everyone has ideas and stories to share. It's just an amazing experience of communicating, giving and taking and giving again! When you get good results it's very satisfying. Most important is when you love what you do - nothing can distract you!
Who is your dream Fashion Designer to walk for in the future or fashion brand?
I love walking for Fashion Designers! It would be my dream to walk for the Victoria Secret brand. It's all about the girls; they seem to have such fun personalities. It's sexy, cute and stunning all at the same time! People can see you, your face your body, they know who you are (laughs). Even just thinking about it makes me excited. So very much Victoria Secret! Yes!
You currently have 12.5k followers on Instagram how do you feel about that?
I love it! And love every one of them! Big kiss and hugs their way! Thank you for supporting me!
Your new passion is creating your own jewelry line; can you tell us what inspired this new creation?
This happened some time ago in Paris. I was waiting at the Park Hyatt hotel for my friend. All the architecture and art in that city helped me to create and fantasize. So I asked a waiter for a napkin and a pencil and started to put my thoughts on paper as drawings. With time I got better at it. One day I put one of my drawings into a piece of jewelry and it looked amazing. Very soon I will complete my collection and can present it to the world.
What advise can you give a model beginning her career?
In my opinion modeling is like gambling. You have to know when to stop. But you have to remember where you started and if you want to succeed start big right away. This business is either you work or you don't.
Where can we expect to see Olga Akhunova next?
A few magazines are coming out sometime in the next couple of weeks. Lately I have been doing editorials. Let's see…I don't want to say anything in advance. Just keep looking everywhere. An amazing story is coming very soon in Bambi magazine. Keep an eye out for it. That is for sure!
Olga, it was very interesting here at SHOT magazine to get to know you, your career, and your future projects. We definitely look forward to your up and coming.