Victoria’s Secret model and angel Shanina Shayk of Australia announced that this year’s event won’t be happening. While the fashion industry scratches its head as to when the new show will go ahead, we talk about Russian beauties who have already conquered the catwalk of this famous brand.
1. Kate Grigorieva
This 30-year-old Victoria’s Secret model and former angel was born in the small town of Olenegorsk (1,800 km from Moscow). In 2012, she won second place in the TV show Top Model Russian-style. In 2014, Grigorieva took part in the brand’s final show, and in 2015-2016 she was its only Russian angel.
Grigorieva was also scheduled to model in the 2017 show in Shanghai, but the Chinese authorities denied her a visa. No official reason was given.
She has not appeared in any of the company’s shows since then, but continues to model for Vogue and other glossy magazines. In 2018 she married Anton Shunin, the goalkeeper of Dynamo Moscow soccer club.
2. Irina Sharipova
This sultry brunette was born in Uzbekistan to a single mother (she never saw her father), who raised her till the age of seven, after which she moved to live with her grandmother in Tatarstan.
While studying as a fashion designer at the Kazan State Technological Institute, Irina won the Miss Tatarstan 2010 title, and that same year became First Vice-Miss of Russia 2010. She went on to represent Russia at the Miss World beauty pageant, where she finished in the Top 25. After the contest, Sharipova was signed up by the modeling agency Women Management. In 2014, Irina took part in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show in London and opened Dolce&Gabbana’s presentation in Milan.
3. Valery Kaufman
The 2016 Victoria’s Secret show in Paris with Kate Grigorieva featured another Russian model, Valery Kaufman (girlfriend (for one minute) and now ex of Jared Leto).
According to Models.com, little is known about this supermodel who is listed in the Top 50 Best Models of the World. Born in Moscow, Valery’s childhood passion was dancing, and in 2010 she began sending her photos to modeling agencies in New York. Soon she was invited to a Tom Ford show, followed by covers for Vogue and displays by Chanel, Dior, Valentino, and other brands.
The last time Valery was seen on the catwalk was at the Balmain show in Paris in September 2019.
4. Vitalina Sidorkina
Vitalina was still a child when she realized she wanted to be a model. So after high school, she and a friend signed up for modeling school. At 13, she signed a contract with the Moscow modeling agency Cherie Models and did her first assignment in Japan.
In 2013 Sidorkina took part in the New York and Paris high-fashion weeks, and two years later appeared in the final Victoria’s Secret show. Later she married Italian businessman Valerio Morabito; they have one daughter.
5. Anna Vyalitsyna
AFP; Getty Images
Who, according to the press, has this supermodel from a Russian family of doctors not dated? First, the tabloids gossiped about a brief affair with Leonardo DiCaprio. Then the girl was alleged to have had a two-year affair with Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levin.
In 2015 the supermodel gave birth to a daughter, Alaska. According to media reports, the father of the child is Yahoo Senior Vice President Adam Cahan.
She has modeled in three Victoria’s Secret shows: 2008, 2010, and 2011. And at one of them Adam Levin gave her a kiss on the cheek.
6. Natasha Poly
This supermodel’s real surname is Polevschikova, but she changed it to the more pronounceable Poly.
At 15, Natasha took part in the New Model Today competition in Moscow, coming second. Throughout 2004 and 2005 she took part in 54 shows over two seasons, but it was on the Victoria’s Secret catwalk that she suffered her most embarrassing moment, losing one of her shoes. Poly remained composed and did her best to continue walking as if both were still in place. Later she appeared in another of the brand’s shows, and became one of the most popular models in the world. The French edition of Vogue even listed Natasha in the Top 30 models of the 2000s.
In 2011 Poly married Dutch businessman Peter Bakker; they are raising two children together.
7. Irina Shayk
Global Look Press; Getty Images
This model from a mining family in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Region was known long before the Victoria’s Secret show of 2016 — if only for her relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo, and after that Bradley Cooper. However, it was at that show that her enlarged belly stole the headlines, which alleged that Irina was pregnant by the actor. The rumors were confirmed, and in March 2017 the couple had a daughter.
But in 2019 they announced their breakup. Fans of the model suspected that Cooper had left Irina for Lady Gaga, which sparked a large-scale flash mob on the singer’s Instagram. As for Irina, she let her work do the talking — in September she appeared in shows for Versace and Isabel Marant, and starred in a perfume ad for Jean-Paul Gaultier.
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