Irina Shayk (real name Shaykhislamova), sometimes credited as Irina Sheik, was born on Jan 6 1989 (in Eastern Church it’s the Christmas Eve) in a small town called Emanzhelisk, it’s in Ural, 50 km from Chelyabinsk.
As s schoolgirl, she likes literature, and most of all she liked making up stories and reading and at the time she wanted to become a teacher of literature when she grows up. At teenage her appearance was very exotic for her small home town. Her classmates often made fin of her as she looked so different from all the other girls.
Irina’s mother was a teacher of music in a kindergarten and she wanted her daughter to study music as well. When Irina was 9 years old she entered a music school and studied there for 7 years. She was singing in a choir and playing piano. Irina’s father was a coalminer and he died when Irina was a schoolgirl. Irina’s mother had to work at 2 jobs to provide for the family (Irina and her older sister Tatiana) it was a very difficult time for the family but mother and daughters were always helping each other. When Irina finished school they moved to a bigger town.
Irina started stydying marketing, but it was pretty boring and by pure chance (her mother saw an ad on a bus stop) she came to the local beauty school sccompanying her elder sister. When the girls came to this school by another pure chance a person from a local model agency (situated next door to the beauty school) noticed Irina and was struck by her unusual beauty. Right away Irina was proposed to participate in a beauty contest “miss Chelyabinsk 2004″. Irina never thought of a career of a modeol and it was a total surprise for her when she won the contest and became miss Chelyabinsk. She was noticed by a scout Guia Jikidze (he also found Natalia Vodianova, Eugenia Volodina, Polina Kuklina, Elena Melnik, Olga Sherer and many others), and he told Irina that she should become a model and start modeling in Europe, and in 2005 she came to Paris. She started her career pretty late, at the age of 19. In the beginning it was very difficult for her, as she didn’t speak English at all and everything was new but soon Irina was working in Europe and in USA and felt at ease during the most complicated shootings.
In 2007 Irina became the face of Intimissimi lingerie, taking over from Ana Beatriz Barros and she was making this campaign for 3 years in a row, being perfect for it with her body of a goddess and Mediterranean looks. She also starred in an Intimissimi commercial photographed by Greg Cadel in 2009. In 2010 Irina became the official ambassador of Intimissimi brand.
In 2007 Irina got international recognition when she appeared in the prestigious Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition of 2007. The location for the photographs and video in this edition was the White Stallion Ranch in Tuscon, Arizona. Irina Shayk, her skimpy lingerie dwarted by the cowboy hat, workers gloves and a bullwhip became a real sensation. Since 2007 she appears every year in Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, working with suck world wide known photographers as Pamela Hanson, Steve Erle, Riccardo Tinelli, Rennio Maifredi and Raphael Mazucco and shooting in the most beautiful places such as St. Petersburg, Naples, Grenada and Chile.
In 2011 Irina Shayk became the first Russian model to appear on the Sports Illustrated cover. The cover was shot by photographer Bjorn Iooss on the beaches in Hawaii.
Since 2007 Irina’s work has been featured in major ad campaigns for La Perla (ph. Maifredi), Lacoste, Paciotti 4US (ph. Mariano Vivanco), Guess (ph. Yu Tsai, Bryan Adams), Germaine de Capuccini (ph. Rafa Gallar), Beach Bunny (ph. Yu Tsai) El Crote Ingles, and Armani Exchange (ph. Matthew Scrivens)
She was a “Guess Girl” for 3 seasons, embodying its philosophy “Sophisticated. Feminine. Unapologetically sexy”.
In 2012 Irina becase a face of Armani Exchanged springg/summer campaign photographed by Matthew Scrivens.
She appeared in such fashion magazines as V Magazine; Vogue Latin America; Elle Italy, Spain and Russia; Harper’s Bazaar Spain; Italian Vanity Fair; GQ USA, France, Spain, SouthAfrica, Russia; Russian Jalouse; El Mundo; A magazine; Russian Tatler; View of the Times; Woman Spain; Marie Claire France, Spain; Paris Capitale; German Glamour; Cosmopolitan in 12 countries.
In 2008 Irina appeared in a promotion for the Ryan Leslie single Diamond Girl, and she inspired Ryan for producing a song “I-R-I-N-A”.
Irina’s sencual beauty was featured in Bettina Rheims’ exhibition “Just Like a woman”.
In 2009 when Irina became the face of Beach Bunny swimwear she made her own design of 2 swinsuits. “Because of my job I have had the opportunity to try on and model thousands of swimsuits. I think that I can segins practical and beautiful swimsuits that can be worn by any woman who wants to feel sexy and confident.“- says Irina. Her swimsuits have been shot for 2010 Sports Illustrated swimwear issue.
She was chosen by a famous make up artist Scott Barnes as a model for his book “About Face” which was out in 2010.
Irina was photographed by Peter Beard for his lastest book in 2010.
2010 was a very important year for Irina – she was on the over of Ocean Drive magazine, her cover of GQ SA had a great success, and had a beautiful shoot for GQ USA In the end of the year she graced the covers of Elle Spain and GQ Spain, and in January 2011 she sppeared on the cover of Glamour Spain. Irina received a lot of attention from press all over the world.
Kanye West Invited her for the main part in this project “Power” directed by artist Marco Brambilla.
In 2010 Irina started her charity projects. She always wanted to help children and she is helping a maternity hospital in her home towm. The hospital was in a very poor condition and Irina provided money for its renovation and also bought some studd for abandoned children like furniture, food, diapers. She was several other charity projects and she wants to do her best to help children – in Russia there are a lot a families that can’t afford paying the costly medical treatment for their childen and Irina wants to draw attention to the problems of such families and help collenting donations for them.
Irina’s magnificent body and emerald-green eyes won her the place in many prestigious top rakings. She is the 10th in 20 sexiest models on models.com and she ranked 1st in the “50 Hottest Russian Women” list by Complex magazine. The Glamour Spain awarded her “Best International Model of 2010″.
Irina is very attached to her family which lives in Russia and adores little niece Irina who was named after her.
Irina is travelling a lot but she resided in New York. She loves animals and has a pet dog Cesare.
In 2013, Irina was filming her first movie “Hercules”. She has a small role, with Dwayne Johnson “The Rock”. The film will be ready in August, 2014.