Getting to know gorgeous and glamorous international model, fashionista and entrepreneur YILENA HERNANDEZ…
Congrats on your first-ever MAXIM Australia cover, Yilena. How do you feel?
I’m still in shock! I’m very excited and super blessed to be on the cover! It really is a dream come true. Being a cover model for MAXIM has always been a goal I’ve set for myself – it is an honour. I’ve dreamt of this opportunity since I started my career and it truly means everything to me. It’s empowering and I’m blessed to have worked hard to be at this point in my career.
Tell us about this photo shoot.
We shot this in the very early morning at Malibu, California. It was so chilly outside I had goosebumps the whole time, but it was so worth it! I worked with some very talented people that day and I think we really got some gorgeous shots.
Agreed. You look gorgeous. When do you feel at your sexiest?
Thank you! I feel sexiest when I’m in a great outfit and all dressed up. I love doing my hair and my make-up – I love it so much that I actually have an eyelash line coming out called Yilena Luxury Lashes. I’m inspired by women, like me, who work hard and want to look their best. So, I created a line of lashes that allow women to smile with their eyes.
And you’re a fashionista, too.
Fashion to me is a form of art and expressing yourself and I feel like I express that in what I wear. When I go out to an event with my friends and I’m having fun, that’s when I feel confident and sexy.
Nice one. What is your best asset?
I’m very loyal. Even on my bad days my family and friends are there for me and I’m there them. I always want them to know that I have their backs no matter what!
You were born in Cuba but now live in L.A. – tell us a bit more about yourself.
Growing up in Cuba was a blessing in disguise. Even though it was tough, rough, edgy and painful at times, it made me strong, resilient and taught me that if I can make it there I can make it anywhere. My life now revolves around the fashion industry. If I’m not modelling, I’m collaborating with fashion brands. I’m a socialite in the fashion community and I travel a lot to fashion weeks all over the world. I love styling out of my closet and creating outfits for myself. I’m also working on my own swimwear line that will launch later this year and I love spending time with my loved ones.
You started modelling at a young age but didn’t seriously get into it until 17, right?
Yes, I always wanted to be a model but I honestly never imagined it would happen. Growing up, I didn’t have confidence in myself. I didn’t feel pretty enough. It was a struggle at first but I kept pushing because it has always been a dream of mine. I’ve dealt with a few models that have been rude but for the most part I’ve worked with a lot of lovely models and made a lot of great friends.
If you were not modelling what career would you choose?
Definitely a fashion designer. Acting has also been something I love – I’m very good at it but only a few people know that.
What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
I’m very unpredictable. My Cuban side keeps me saucy! I’m very outgoing and I’m not afraid to try new experiences.
You travel a lot for your work. Ever been to Australia?
No, I’ve never been to Australia but it’s on the top of my bucket list! I’ve seen amazing stuff about your country and I would love to shoot there.
What’s the best way for a man to win his way to your heart?
Shoes. Just kidding! I would say just by being present, kind and caring. Also being supportive. Modelling can be gruelling hours and it’s important to have someone who supports you in your career.
What’s one thing men should always remember about women?
Women want to feel loved and cared for always.
Describe your ideal date?
Being with great company in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.
If you had to take MAXIM on a date, what would it entail?
The date would be in Australia and we would start the day in Bondi Beach laying in the sun and then go shopping for the perfect outfit to wear to our dinner later!
You have a big social media following. Would you ever date one of your social media followers?
I don’t see why not. Unfortunately, there are some creepy people on social media but I just block them if they are being too inappropriate.
What’s been the most embarrassing moment you’ve had on a night out?
One time I was twerking in a club and my leather pants ripped down the middle leaving almost everything uncovered.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I’d like to have my own clothing line and have it be very successful.
What’s next for you?
I’m going to keep striving for more. I set new goals for myself every week and I achieve them one by one. Challenging myself helps me grow further. Get ready to see more from me because the sky is the limit!
FULL NAME: Yilena Hernandez
BORN: June 26, 1993
HOMETOWN: Holguin, Cuba
LIVES: Louisiana, USA
FIVE-WORD SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Creative, passionate, driven, unpredictable, elegant.”
HOBBIES: “Designing clothes and playing dress ups.”
FAVOURITE DRINK: “I love a good martini or a good bottle of wine.”
HANGOVER CURE: “Drink lots of water and watch lots of movies.”
PHOBIA: “I don’t like any type of bugs!”
GIRL CRUSH: “Lady Gaga.”
SLEEPWEAR ATTIRE: “Sports bra and panties.”
LIFE MOTTO: “‘I’d rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I am not.’ – Kurt Cobain.”
PHOTOGRAPHED BY BRIAN B HAYES
INTERVIEW BY SANTI PINTADO
For the full article grab the May 2019 issue of MAXIM Australia from newsagents and convenience locations. Subscribe here.