• Model: Vlada Gritsenko • Styling: Tori Ross • Photography: Karina Dobra • Retouch: Yul Zh • Hair: Jennifer Baker • Makeup: Mina Abramovic
Baha East dress, J. Reneè Couture Collection shoes
Vlada Gritsenko started her career in the fashion industry when she was only 13. Imagine a little girl with a lot of insecurities. A girl who dreamed of the catwalk. She started going to different castings, graduated from high school, signed a contract with an agency in Milan. Then life took her to China, Paris, Turkey and the United States. "This business is about beauty, but you will not go far only with the way you look," she says in an exclusive interview for GRAZIA. "You will have to keep going no matter how many times you hear "no." Vlada knows that the most important thing is how you feel, not how you look. And is the real epitome of confident yet powerful woman.
Get the cover look: Carolina Herrera blazer, YSL earrings
Fashion moves fast while style always stays in place. Do you agree?
I totally do. Style will always stay, no matter what is fashionable this season. Of course, fashion changes all the time, that is the whole point of something new and unusual, but classics would never go out of style. For example, you can always wear denim jeans with a white poplin shirt and any shoes of your choice. Personally, I could break this look for different occasions or times of the day. If it’s evening time, I would wear it with heels to look more elegant, but during the day it’s better to be more casual so I would go with boots or even sneakers, and still look stunning.
What’s something that you think would never go out of style?
I would say that it is the trench coat, preferably in beige color. You can wear it with a dress, jeans, skirts, just name it! look good with literally anything.
Opening Ceremony dress, Emanuel Ungaro boots
Is there a fashion era that you would love to go back?
It would definitely be amazing to go back to the 90's. The collections and styles were unspeakable, supermodels dominated the industry. Denim! A lot of denim! Mom jeans, belted trench coats, leather jackets, flared jeans, I have them all. Oh, I just love this style so much. Working in the field, not once I’ve heard people saying that I look like Claudia Schiffer, which is pretty flattering.
If you have 10 minutes before you go out, what do you put on?
(Laughs.) Well, that makes me think about it, but I can say - probably a simple tank top with jeans and comfortable heels plus a jacket if the weather is already chilly. Regarding my makeup choice, I would go for barely noticeable one and my hair up in a bun. But you know what, even if I have 10 minutes, I won’t forget to add some jewelry to my look.
Can you, actually, get ready for 10 minutes?
Oh, absolutely! People who know me personally would confirm for sure.
Ovi blazer, Carmen March pants, vintage necklace
What can we find in your wardrobe?
What does the model's wardrobe look like, hmm? I would say I have plenty of jackets and blazers, and I do have them in different colors. Also, you can find lots of flare pants and jeans, I’m just obsessed with them. I love the way they point out my body. That’s actually my main go-to choice for castings and day-to-day life. Of course, I have a bunch of shoes. What type of girl doesn’t like shoes? I think as a woman, even with a steady small heel, you become more elegant and stunning. Despite that, I still love to feel comfortable - that's what hoodies do. I enjoy wearing them with my beige trench coat. It is perfect to just go and enjoy a cup of coffee with my girls in NYC.
Is there any particular person you would describe as your style icon?
I am the icon in my personal world. (Smiles.)
St. John suit, Amazon earrings, Christian Louboutin shoes
What makes you happy?
Honestly, it's the little routine things which happen everyday. The first example which comes to my mind is the opportunity to wake up early and have some time to myself. I usually do yoga and meditate to set the mood right and then enjoy a cup of coffee while reading something new. Throughout the day the most joy I get is from meeting new people and exchanging life stories and experiences with them.
What makes you sad?
As a human being I do get sad, of course, but for me it lasts a few minutes. I have always been a very positive person and I always try to see the good in everything.
What motivates you?
People do. Those who dream big, who have personal self-growth, who are not scared of moving forward. I like to watch them and learn for myself. Literature makes me inspired as well. I do find books including self-growth very useful and I love reading them.
Carolina Herrera blazer, Outdoor Voices shorts, Dior bag, Givenchy shoes, YSL earrings
What do you think it makes you, YOU?
I think my smile is everything that says about me. (Smiles.)
If your modeling success could talk, what it would say?
Being signed with EMG Model Management in New York City and walked the New York Fashion Week this year, I would consider it my the biggest moment. This success came with not giving up, keeping focus, hard work and always believing in myself.
Is there anything you really want to do but still haven't gotten the chance to?
The moment I will get an opportunity to do so, I would love to volunteer in Africa or Asia. I think it would be an incredible experience to spend some time in the camp for elephants.
Happy Nature dress, Jimmy Choo shoes
You've participated in international beauty pageant Miss Supranational. It's safe to say that this moment changed your life for good...
Yes, I have participated in 2016, I was representing my country Russia. I won the title Best Body Miss Supranational 2016. This pageant has put a lot of impact into my modeling career and changed my life. It was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience. The thought that there were 71 gorgeous participants from all over the world, still blows my mind! It gave me a big push to move forward, keep working on myself and believe. As long as I remember myself, the stage has always been my element. The first experience was when my parents took me to the ballet school, I was 6 years old. I am very grateful for everything they have done for me. I always loved the feeling of being on stage. Even now, all the time when I’m walking the runway, the second before my first step I get goosebumps and then I continue my walk with the power and confidence of a woman.