Masha Yerokhova is an Ukrainian freelance model based in Italy who never has been represented by an agency because of her height. Anyway, she’s working across the world and hope that one day things will change in the fashion industry.
Model Management: You became a model at 13. Was it by chance or is it something you always wanted to do?
Masha Yerokhova: I became a model when I was 13 by coincidence. I used to be in love with a boy who did not notice me so I decided to shoot with a photographer who had a really unique taste. I liked his work so much. After having the first photo shoot together he called me again and after publishing the photos I have been contacted from other photographers and make-up artists. The boy did not notice me anyway but I thank him for encouraging me to make the first step in the beautiful world of fashion.
These are 2 photos I have made when I was 13.
MM: What was your very first job as a model?
MY: My first real job was a photo shoot of handmade costumes. I remember with terror because I was not sure of myself and didn’t know what to do. It was winter, and in the shooting location, it was about 15 degrees, it was very cold to be in costume, and the next day I got sick. I never saw the pictures and I hope I will never find them somewhere
MM: Can you give some advices to models that are maybe too afraid to start a career?
MY: A tip for the models: be sure of yourself, but never too much! In this job it’s hard to be remembered, but in my opinion the best way is to be natural and sincere. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and do not be sad if you don’t pass the casting, because it certainly will come one day and perhaps even much better.
MM: We know that you’re only 1.68. Has your height been a disadvantage when finding work as a model?
MY: Unfortunately height is very important in the fashion industry. Every day I have to “fight” against this standard. Because being short means I can neither work for high fashion nor have a catwalk, because every agency has height limits they need to consider to work with them. But I do not lose hope and I continue to work showing to myself and the others that fashion should not be followed but created. I hope one day short models will be required as well in the same way.
MM: What would you say to all of those aspiring models who think they cannot succeed in the fashion industry by not having the required measurements?
MY: As I already answered in the previous question, you need to create fashion and not to follow it. I think that if you have a unique style, the measurements don’t matter. Every girl is beautiful, and I am against the standards of measures and I don’t see any reason why girls should avoid their natural beauty by following the standards, trying to lose weight. They must be sure that they want to follow this way and be brave because it will be tough.
MM: What are your hopes and ambitions and why?
MY: Being a model stimulates me a lot because many told me “you cannot do that because you are not high enough / slim / etc”. But every time I go to work and I see satisfied clients or photographers, I understand that I’m doing the right thing and I don’t listen to people who don’t trust me: I do that because I like it and I feel comfortable. Moreover doing what we really like is the best thing to do. In the future, I hope people will understand that height is not that important, but that you just need to have a good personality and sparkle in the eyes.
MM: Being a model can be stressful. How is a typical day for you?
MY: Maybe I was lucky but I have never had a really stressful day at work. I always respect the customer and the photographer so I never argue on the set, but this thing happened to a lot of my friends. I always try to create a friendly atmosphere between me and photographer, so that we are able to understand each other better and work goes much faster and funnier. I can confidently say that from now all people with whom I worked were very kind and although the first time I was worried and I was afraid I could go right away thanks to their beautiful behavior.
MM: We know you just got married. What your husband think about all of this?
MY: I’m very lucky to have met my husband. He’s a smart person who’s always helping me and giving me many useful tips for both my life and my job. Let’s say that photography is our common passion. I know that many girls-models have problems with their boyfriend because of jealousy: I have never had those problems. It’s my job, and both me and my husband respect that. He’s always expecting to see my new photos, sometimes we even spend entire days discussing on photographers, poses and new trends in photography.
MM: To you, how important it is to be active on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and your personal website?
MY: Social media are very important nowadays because we grew up with that and everybody is connected. When I moved to Italy, my first contacts were made by Facebook. They started to notice me and asked me for photo shoots. Then, since zero agencies wanted to represent me, I decided to create my own personal website to show my portfolio. Then, for me Instagram is mostly like a Life Style blog where I try to post professional pictures but it’s always going to be photo diary.
MM: You’ve recently joined Modelmanagement.com, what do you think about it so far and what do you expect for the future?
MY: I’m really happy to be part of the Modelmanagement.com community. I hope to be introduced more deeply in the fashion industry and maybe sent to magazine editors, photographers and advertisers. I would like to build a well-balanced career by creating opportunities and meet new clients.
MM: Could you share with us some of your future plans?
MY: For me, planning does not really work. I like to say yes to opportunities that come along. I am a very energetic person and I love to experience new things in life. There is not one single thing that I would do different when I could do things over. And I feel so blessed to feel that way. Life is so beautiful. Realizing how fast years are passing by makes me believe that you have at least to try and enjoy every day as much as possible. I would like to say to everybody: “Find out what makes you happy because being happy should be everyone’s plan for the future.”
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