Today I’m just easy-breezy,” says Irina Shayk, with impossibly full lips and a thick Russian accent to rival that of any Bond girl. “No make-up, no hair: I don’t want to look like a model when I’m in New York City.”
Of course, that doesn’t stop everyone in the Bowery Hotel’s sunny backyard garden from rubbernecking as she plops down on a wicker couch, fresh from Pilates class, tendrils of dark hair trailing in the wind, her endless legs extended in skintight yoga pants. Most New York models are so freakishly thin, they appear to be stretched funhouse mirror reflections of pretty people. Shayk, who just arrived from Brazil and flies off to China in two days, is an old school, unapologetic bombshell – one with a chip on her shoulder.
“People don’t realise that models are not just size-zero clothes hangers,” she says, gesturing to the curves of her hips and noting that the mean-girl roommates of her youth told her she’d never make it in the business. “I’m not a size zero.
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