Ksenia Ocheredko: What Does It Take to Be a Model

(Margarita): How did you start your modelling career and what made you do it?

(Ksenia): I haven’t planned to become a model, I was getting a bachelor degree in hospitality when during summer holidays I was traveling and ran into a modeling scout. He insisted I should pursue this career. I was skeptical at first, but when I came back home I signed with an agency and just gave it a try. My first shows and photoshoots were in my hometown Vladivostok, I’ve taken part in the TV reality show with other aspiring models and then received more offers. I started to get job offers from abroad, first Asia, then Europe. Modeling became my full-time occupation and a lifestyle.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I want to keep working in the field, getting more jobs in print and commercials, becoming a great professional. I feel there is always a space for improvement, especially when it comes to fashion, you need to keep up with the changing trends and adjust fast and be able always to suggest something better and newer in this very competitive area.

What was the most exciting collaboration you’ve had so far?

There are no boring projects for me, right now I am at such level of understanding the profession that I know that every assignment is to be treated with respect, and I do my best to be excellent. I really enjoy the variety of tasks, whether it is a studio photoshoot or a themed one on location, I try to benefit from every experience and enjoy every second of it. I think a rare job is as exciting as modeling is, because every day you have a new task, new challenge to take, new team to share it with. Now I am looking forward to New York Fashion Week, it is always refreshing because this is when everyone starts feeling that spring is just around the corner. A few months ago I got a role in Christian Dior’s new fragrance commercial and I am very excited about it.

Who would you like to have a photoshoot for?

I am aiming at a campaign with a big cosmetics brand or maybe a jewelry company, something classy and on beauty side, or maybe a fun video, too! I do like to work with different styles.

Who inspires you?

Colleagues, fellow models do. Goals they set, achievements, things they surpass on their way. The industry is competitive but if you are lucky and manage to keep a few reliable people by your side, the community can be extremely supportive. I know so many fantastic female and male models who didn’t break under pressure, who are successful and at the same time loving and trustworthy and are great friends. Modeling work may get quite unstable and staying close to other people in the industry, their energy, motivation, is what won’t let you give it all up when the times are hard and uncertain.

What was the most challenging project/photoshoot you worked on?

I like to challenge myself and learn new things because this is how we grow in the profession, but a model must keep positive attitude and look good no matter what, and this isn’t always easy. I remember one of my last editorials – 12-hour shoot in the mountains in the snow in January. Changing outfits outside. Models get into situations like this all the time, these are work specifics. Just grin and bear it, as they say. The shoot will be over and the results will be amazing, but the client will remember in a bad way a negatively-minded and constantly complaining model. The industry works by recommendations and loyalty of the customers.

What does your diet look like? Do you have any food preferences?

I try to eat healthy, it is essential for looking good. I drink a lot of water, prefer vegetables, fruit and cereals. Lately I excluded meat out of my diet.

What is your workout routine like?

I work out three times per week and I try to combine cardio with strength exercises. If I feel tired I would do yoga instead or go to a swimming pool. I like trying different classes and do dancing, barre, pilates when my routine bores more.

What beauty products you cannot live without?

I like using natural oils for my skin and generally prefer organic products. When I am getting ready for the shoot a night before I start with a light peeling, apply face mask and a moisturizing night cream. In the morning, I just use a face serum to bring glow to my skin, like the one from Intelligent Nutrients I really love. For hair care I choose Korean brands.

What advice would you give to girls starting their modelling career?

Be aware that you will have to work hard! Sometimes models must attend more than ten castings per day and call backs in the next few days in different locations to book a job or two. It takes huge amount of time and energy, considering cities traffic and long lines to get in. Try to grow “thick skin” as everyone gets rejected from time to time, things may seem really bad for you at the moment but you must have enough strength to keep going. Be serious and responsible, believe in yourself, find what makes you stand out of the crowd, concentrate on your goals.

Follow Ksenia @xenia_oche