Belarusian top model talks about life and modeling
I’ve known top model Katsia Zingarevich for a long time, since 2006, when she was still registered in secondary school as Yekaterina Domankova. At the time, Katsia had just won the “Supermodel of the World” competition in New York. Now she is a world-renowned Victoria’s Secret Angel, the beloved wife of Russian businessman Anton Zingarevich (former owner of the British-based Reading Football Club), and a loving mother. She answered questions about her work today, her personal life, and her plans for the near future.
She was born Sept. 19, 1989, in Minsk
Sign of the Zodiac: Virgo
Advertising campaigns: Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herera, Intimissimi, Victoria’s Secret, Stella McCartney, Kerastastase, Jaeger leCoultre, VDP, Publishing Allure, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar
— Catherine, how often do you come to Minsk and what can you say about the changes that occured in our capital, especially after the World Hockey Championship?
– I don’t go to Minsk as often as once had, unfortunately. The reason for that is connected with my studies and the fact that I recently became a mother. This year, I received a diploma in international journalism from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), and I gave birth to my daughter, Marusia. So, now I am in Minsk only every 3-4 months. Minsk has changed very much, and in a good way. I am in love with this city, Minsk. It is my homeland, and when I feel bad, I go to my parents to get a huge charge of positive energy. Most of the time I spend with my family and relatives, but often visit many new places around the city. Minsk impresses my foreign friends. I’m very pleased, and I wish our city only prosperity!
– And how did you spend this summer? How was your holidays?
– This year has been very difficult because of my studies. Besides that, I also began my maternal duties. At the end of June, I received a diploma, after which I took Marusia to my parents in Minsk, and then spent time in the south of France.
– How has your life changed after the birth of her daughter?
– My life has changed only for the better. If there were any difficulties, they were only from the fact that I used to belong only to myself and traveled a lot, and now my life is aligned to my child. The transition to motherhood came without any problems. If I travel for a short time, then I’ll leave my daughter, because travel is stressful for a young child. But if I will be on a long trip, she goes with me, of course.
– What projects are you working on now? Where are you being shot?
– This year, there has not been much work. Because of the diploma and the birth of my child, I had to give up many proposals. However, I was recently featured in an advertising campaign for the Italian luxury brand Furla.
– We have all seen you participate in Victoria’s Secret shows in New York City. What were some of your impressions?
– This show was brilliant for me as a psycho-emotional event. Thousands of female models wanted to participate in it, and I’m very thankful that I was chosen.
I travel a lot as a working model. For instance, I went on an overnight trip to the Galapagos for the American magazine “Marie Claire”. However, the “Victoria’s Secret” show was a celebration of youth, a carnival of beauty. This was the brightest of all shows in which I have ever participated.
– How do you regain shape after childbirth, what’s your secret?
– I have not put a lot of extra effort in that as I have constantly worked out in the gym with a personal trainer both before and during pregnancy, and I do a lot of swimming. I’ve not gone on any special diet, but I also did not eat all that my heart desired. I thought about it, and about having to spend too much time removing those extra pounds from eating sweets.
And the secrets I have are pretty simple – it’s sound sleep and less stress. I never miss my evening skin rituals, I always wash off my makeup before going to bed, and I use eye cream and cream for my face and neck. I love hydrating masks as they freshen the face. I do not use a lot of cosmetics in everyday life. I visit my beautician only every 10 days or so.
– I’m sure many girls dream about a career like yours. What can you advise them?
– As a child I absolutely did not want to be a supermodel. Even in elementary school, what I really wanted to be was an archaeologist. I was interested in history. In high school, I wanted to do genetic engineering. But then I met Sergey Nagorny in a cafe and he persuaded me to try working as a model, even though I had a negative perceptions about the work. After a few months, I started traveling to London and Paris, and in 2006, I won the “Supermodel of the World” contest in New York City. After that, I continued to live in America.
There is no special secret of how to become a supermodel. Often, something just happens and it has nothing to do with you specifically. If you get the chance and you work hard, you may get something. You look hard and knock on every door, but it doesn’t always work. You just need to light up your own star.
– Do you have complexes or personal issues over recognized standards of beauty?
– I have broad shoulders, as I trained to become a swimmer for 5 years , and that was my personal self-image issue. But now I’m proud of my shoulders and I do not want any others.
– Is there any professional jealousy among supermodels? Have you run into any rivalries?
– I have not met any strong envy from any of the supermodels. I usually feel very good about other people, and if people have a negative attitude toward me, I try to just not to talk and keep myself insulated. But at work, you often can’t choose who you work with. Despite that, my relationship with the other girls often goes well.
– This year you received the diploma in international journalism. Are you going to work in this area?
– I was going to a couple of years ago, but then I realized that at that moment I was not ready, bec
ause television has very strict and serious deadlines. So I decided that I will continue to work as a model and to combine that career with raising a child. Maybe in the future I will be able to work in television.
– What is your daily routine?
– I get up at 9 a.m., dress my daughter, and we have breakfast while listening to music. I then drink coffee and read the news on my computer. I now have all my domestic duties scaled down so that when Marusia sleeps, I can do all my chores. Usually in the afternoon I feel much better, and I work out. In the fall, I plan to take my child to a personal development course. In the evening, I like to watch a good movie, read a book, and meet up with friends.
– Can beauty save the world?
– Beauty, as a symbiosis of the internal and external, it carries light, and gives hope, help, and inspiration. Everyone draws from beauty what they lack in everyday life. I take inspiration from beauty and hope that our fragile world can play with its different colors. It has a lot of goodness and light. I think that beauty, as kindness, can save the world. Beauty as just a picture? No. Beauty should be in the heart.
– Which of your achievements do you consider the most important?
– My main achievement at the moment, I think, is my daughter Marusia. She is now one year old, and all my main achievements will all occur through her as she grows up. I will try to put into her all my best and to convey what was told to me by my own parents.
Also important at this stage of life was, I think, getting a higher education degree. For me, it was not easy, since I was combining study with work and motherhood. Despite the workload, I mean coming to the lectures and seminars, I am proud to say that I have succeeded.
– What are you dreaming about now?
– I do not dream of becoming an actress or anything like that. Rather, it is through goals that you can move forward, not dreams. I dream of peace being everywhere. I dream about my family being healthy, avoiding troubles, and if they occur, I hope that we take from them the right lessons.
By Ksenia Gold
Published by tut.by
Photos via Katsia Zingarevich’s Instragram