• Model: Yana Lester • Photography: Igor Malakhov • Styling: Sofia Popkova • Styling assistant: Natalia Prokopyeva • Makeup & Hair: Alla Yakimova • PR: Mariia Borovenska
"Sometimes life pushes you to incredible coincidences and puts you into strange circumstances. In those moments, you need to notice it and catch your luck", Yana Lester shares in our brand new digital cover story. Being a successful model, dreaming about the acting world, and working with Wes Anderson, in particular, she sure knows how to make things happen. Just get ready to listen!
Get the cover look: SUKEINA dress, Mahrukh Akuly earrings
When did acting and fashion become a part of your life?
I was drawn to the stage since childhood, even though I was shy. Later, when I was working together with directors on the character's appearance, I started developing an interest in fashion. We usually don't pay too much attention to heroes' outfits, although they talk about social status, whether they are single or married, habits, jobs, goals, etc. In our everyday life, we do exactly the same, and our outfits sometimes say more about us than we think. So I think fashion and cinema are very much interconnected.
Justfab dress, Mahrukh Akuly earrings, Georgina Jewelry rings, Keeyahri boots
Has studying at a film school helped you in achieving your goal?
I believe that education is an important part. Everyone would like to work with professionals, especially in the film industry, where every hour of work costs production a lot of money. Film school shows you how to work with your tools (body, voice), analyze the script, and work on camera. After that, you are more prepared for this tough business and ready for huge competition. It definitely helped me and would advise those who are at the beginning of their career path to find a good school.
Do you think that moving to LA is a necessary step to move forward and get recognition? I guess settling in a new place is never easy.
You're right, it's not easy at all. I'm not sure about being recognized, but I strongly believe that if you want to achieve your goals, you need to step out of your comfort zone. I think LA gives a lot of opportunities to work with people all around the world and learn something interesting from them. And what could be a better place to achieve your dreams than Hollywood?
Rita Vinieris dress, DM Jewelry Designs earrings
What are your other passions? I know you were mentioning extreme sports and contemporary art. That's an interesting mix!
Oh, thank you! I would say that something they have in common is that they can both create strong emotions. While it's more or less clear with extreme sports, art is not that obvious. For example, I'm a great fan of contemporary ballet, and when I see a performance with those amazing dancers and witness the possibilities of the human body - it just takes my breath away.
You sound like a person who always surprises people around. Is that true? Do you like surprises in general?
I'd probably say that's true. But sometimes, having done something, I wonder what I was thinking of... it's insane. (Laughs.) Generally, I love surprises, and even more, to surprise my loved ones. It's a way to show them my love and care. One of my best friends dreamed of Paris, so for her birthday I brought her to the airport and told her we were going to Paris. We had such a great time!
Do you believe in luck or hard work?
I do believe in hard work but with a touch of luck. Sometimes life pushes you to incredible coincidences and puts you into strange circumstances. In those moments, you need to notice it and catch your luck.
Luciana Balderrama dress, Weisheng Paris earrings
I know you've been doing modeling before. How did it start?
At that time I didn't even know about modeling and didn't think I was pretty enough to become a model. My friend asked me to go with her to a modeling agency, I walked into the office, the CEO glimpsed at me and said that I should become a model. I thought it was a joke, but shortly after that, I went to Milan for my first modeling job.
What's your biggest career goal at the moment?
I dream of working with one of my favorite directors Wes Anderson. He finds a more sophisticated way to express his unique world with aesthetic visuals and eccentric, charming heroes. His stories are so funny! I adore him and his work philosophy.
RVNG dress, Mahrukh Akuly earrings
Do you agree that knowledge is power?
Absolutely. That's my kind of attitude towards life - to learn as much as I can, as I believe that when you gain knowledge, you can easily reach your goal. The main difference between successful people is that they have mastered their skills and taken action.
Simply enjoy life and work, work, work. Let's make a happy ending like Hollywood loves to find true love as well. (Laughs.)