Interviewed by JETSS
The face of Ralph Lauren for over ten years, supermodel Valentina Zelyaeva explained to Jetss, in an exclusive interview, how she became the muse of one of the greatest designers of the fashion business. “I’m very professional, I’m never late and I don’t complain. I take each picture very seriously and I treat everyone with respect” says Valentina. Regarding the secret behind Ralph Lauren’s great success, the Russian beauty says: “after so many years Ralph is involved in every detail. He loves what he is doing and I believe this is the secret to all success.”
Living in New York, her favorite City, Val also shared her thoughts about the modeling industry, “Modeling is an industry that judges you purely by your looks. Today you are on the top of your game and tomorrow a new girl arrives and all eyes are on her. It happens every season.”
Zelyaeva is one of the world’s top-earning models featured in 10th position on “The Money Girls”; the fashion website Models.com.
Jetss: You are mostly known for being the face of Ralph Lauren for a decade. Why do you believe Ralph Lauren and his team chose you among so many other models to represent his brand?
Valentina Zelyaeva: First time I met Ralph it was during New York Fashion Week. I tried a couple of outfits and Ralph liked the way his clothes looked on me. Besides, I have this natural, classic look and Ralph Lauren is famous for creating timeless clothes and lifestyle accessories. This is how I organically became a part of the brand. I love being a part of such a legendary brand. Over the years he chooses very beautiful models and actresses for his ad campaigns and I feel so lucky to be a part of the team. People work for Ralph Lauren for 25-30 years! I’m very professional when it comes to work. I’m never late, I don’t complain and I give 100% to each single shot. I do my best on the set, I take care of my body and skin and I treat everyone with respect. I’m sure they appreciate this and those are some of the reasons I work with company for so many years.
Jetss: How was I working with Ralph Lauren, one of the biggest names in the fashion industry?
VZ: It’s a dream come true! I shot every single ad campaign for the past 10 years and I have been a part of the fashion show every season since 2003. It’s truly amazing! The best part is I get to see Ralph himself behind the scene. It’s very inspiring. I think it is so great that after so many years Ralph is still involved in every detail. He loves what he is doing and I believe this is the secret to all success.
Jetss: What is one of the best memories you have of long modeling career, and of course, the worst?
VZ: Opening my first Ralph Lauren show in 2003 is by far the best memory! I don’t have bad memories, except maybe when my flights get delayed and I have to go to work without having a good night rest. Or a3am call time… (lol)
Jetss: As a model, you’ve travelled all over the world. If you had to pick one favorite place, where would that be and why?
VZ: I love travelling to amazing Countries such as Brazil, Anguilla, Greece, Peru, but I always love coming back home to New York. I love this City; it’s exciting, international, with great restaurants and entertainment. It’s fast and it never sleeps. I love everything about New York.
Jetss: Is there anything you don’t like about modeling or the fashion business?
VZ: Fashion is fun and ever changing. I learned to enjoy the present moment because you never know tomorrow will belike. Modeling is an industry that judges you purely by looks. Today you are on the top of your game and tomorrow a new face arrives and all eyes are on her. It happens every season. I feel so lucky to work for a brand like Ralph Lauren. Because once you are inside you become part of the family. I’m truly grateful for my long career.