So, how would you go from a small, isolated mining town in the middle of Russia to become one of the most sought-after women in the world, on the arm of the biggest stars of England and the United States who local girls her age would love to be with?
Well, to be truthful, I don't know. But we have here someone who does know how, because she's done it: Irina Shayk.
Irina was born Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamova on 6 January 1986 in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia. If you can pronounce all that, you must be Russian. She says it is about three hours from Moscow.
Irina is the daughter of a Tatar coal miner. She says she got her looks from him. She has a married older sister.
Irina participated in the "Miss Chelyabinsk 2004" beauty contest, against the daughters of other coal miners. Did you win? What do you think?
Winning the contest got Irina her start, but she says it really began when a manager at a model school spotted her. She went to Paris and says she had a hard time there, but then moved to New York and things took off. By 2007, Irina was in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has remained in the SI Swimsuit Issue straight through 2015 - and maybe beyond.
Irina has been the face of Intimissimi for three years, becoming the official ambassador for the brand in 2010.
Irina has done some acting in music videos, such as Kanye West's "Power." She also appeared as Megara in Dwayne Johnson's 2014 film "Hercules."
Irina's Labrador is named Caesare, after Julius Caesar. She says it is the result of an affair by one of the dogs in "Marley & Me."
Irina has done some catalogue work for Victoria's Secret, but that's not what she is most famous for.
Irina dated the man whom many consider to be the top football (soccer) player in the entire world, Cristiano Ronaldo. They were together from 2010 to 2015. If you live in Europe, there are few celebrity men that a pretty young lady would want to be with.
Heading a little further west after that, Irina hooked up with Bradley Cooper. If you don't know who Bradley Cooper is, well, look him up. If anything, he's even a better catch than Ronaldo.
Irina is very philanthropic and works with a maternity hospital in her home town in that place that's hard to pronounce. She also raises money for Pomogi, a charity for sick children.
Naturally, Irina has been on a lot of covers, which include but certainly are not limited to:
Brazil: Vogue Brazil - February 2017
Japan: 'Vogue Japan' - January 2017
Russia: 'Tatler' - February 2011; 'Condï¿½ Nast Traveller' - April 2012; 'Marie Claire' - April 2012; 'Cosmopolitan' - June 2012; 'Glamour' - July 2012; 'Grazia' - July 2012; 'GQ' - August 2013; 'Allure' - September 2013
Saudi Arabia: 'Harper's Bazaar' - March 2012
South Africa: 'GQ' - August 2010; 'FHM' - March 2012
Spain: 'Woman' - July 2005; 'Woman' - June 2009; 'Elle' - November 2010; 'GQ' - December 2010; 'Glamour' - January 2011; 'DT' - February 2011; 'Ragazza' - May 2011; 'Cosmopolitan' - June 2011; 'Yo Dona' - July 2011; 'Elle' - December 2011; 'Marie Claire' - March 2012; 'Man' - March 2012; 'Cosmopolitan' - May 2012; 'S Moda' - May 2012; 'DT' - March 2013; 'Vogue' - November 2013
Switzerland: 'Bolero' - June 2005
Turkey: 'Esquire' - March 2012; 'Cosmopolitan' - May 2012
UK: 'Esquire' - February 2012; 'The Sunday Times Style' - June 24 2012
Ukraine: 'Harper's Bazaar' - May 2012; 'Marie Claire' - May 2012
US: 'Ocean Drive' - July/August 2010; 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' - 2011; 'Twelv' - November 2012; 'Vs.' - Spring/Summer 2013
Irina says that she gets mistaken a lot for having Spanish blood, which perhaps accounts for all those covers in Spain.
Irina is sometimes known as Irina Sheik, but her real name is... ok, we won't go into that again. But it isn't Sheik. It's Shayk....
Irina is much better known in Russia, where she hosted "Russia's Top Model."
Irina was the placard bearer for the Russian team at the opening ceremony for the 2014 Olympics.
Irina has appeared on the Russian television show "Evening Urgent." She also has done the usual chat shows in the US, such as David Letterman, Chelsea Lately and Craig Ferguson.
Irina has done some video work, too, appearing in "Need for Speed: The Run" in 2011.
Like other international beauties, Irina makes the "sexiest girl" lists. She has been, for instance, named "The Sexiest Girl in the World" by a Spanish magazine. She made #10 in the 2011 FHM List of the "100 Sexiest Women in the World." It is usually difficult to rank highly on the FHM list if you aren't an American actress or singer, so it was quite an honor to make the top ten.
Oh, Irina also made #4 on Maxim Magazine's 2014 "Hot 100" list.
|Irina Shayk, Vogue Japan, March 2017.|
Irina was the cover model for the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Irina was born in the old Soviet Union, so technically she was raised as a communist.
Glamour Spain named Irina as the "Best International Model of 2010." They call it Mejor Modelo Internacional" over there.
Irina does not model nude; she says that any pictures of her nude have been digitally altered.
A Hungarian magazine named Irina "Sexiest Woman in the World." Since she had to beat out hometown beauty and international modeling superstar Barbara Palvin to do that, it was quite an honor. The two are said to be good friends and they probably had a laugh about it. A lot of admirers would choose one of these two beauties as the prettiest girl in the world, and that ain't beanbag.
Irina is the L'Oréal Paris International Spokesperson since October 2015.
Irina was the first Russian to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.