International fashion model Daria Plyushko has walked the runways of Paris and London, been featured in a worldwide campaign for Swarovski, and appeared on countless magazine covers. She spoke to Essentials’ Jamie Durrant about her career, family values, love, life and her wildest dreams.
Coined in the 1980s, the term ‘supermodel’ is perhaps synonymous with multimillion dollar contracts, campaigns and product endorsements, coupled with worldwide fame. Three decades on, is this kind of success still possible?
DP. Three decades on, everything is more positive, and just about anything positive is possible, of course all depending on the model’s destiny and love of the fashion world. Some models achieve all they desire within two years, some in five. However, I feel like I could work my whole life – at least into my mid 40s, if possible.
To build a long-term career, as with any business, takes a step-by-step approach. I think it’s best to start with a strong, stable, comfortable life position, and then be ready to make a jump or a step forward.
Fame and success that comes fast often leaves fast. Models need to be ready for what they create; they need to be mentally and physically strong. A long-term modelling career requires the model to have strong skills.
How would you describe yourself professionally and what are your goals?
DP. People call me a hard worker. I love my work. I have experience with several different shooting situations: beauty, fashion, TV commercials – I’m flexible and can mould to different visual styles as requested by clients. With every job I try to improve on the previous. I like to bring a lot of positive emotion to my daily work. It’s important to create a good atmosphere during every photo shoot.
I do have other business ideas besides modelling. However, these require time, focus and an additional investor. One of my current passions is photography, and I’d love to exhibit my work in the near future. The future is full of surprises, so let’s wait and see what opportunities may arrive.
Do you consider yourself a confident, outgoing and strong person or more of a humble human being?
DP. I’m a woman and with this I can be shy, weak and humble; but my mostly, yes, I am strong and confident. As the saying goes: You never know how strong you can be until being strong is the only option you have left. In astrological terms, my sign – Capricorn – reflects a lot on me. I concentrate on work and this is my destiny.
You’ve achieved a huge amount in your career to date. How have you managed to stay emotionally strong and focused given the competitive nature of international modelling, endless travel and other physical demands associated with your work?
DP. When I was young my father kept telling me: ‘Sport is a good discipline to exercise and will aid any success in any profession you choose’. Now I’m older I understand exactly what he meant. Sport and physical exercise does help to build physical beauty, emotional endurance and focuses the mind towards a constant awareness of possible weaknesses. Intensive exercise fortifies my self-esteem. It gives me confidence and ambition to do more and better my work – and it releases stress!
I’m lucky to have daily psychological support from my parents. We all need someone who can support our destiny with words such as: ‘sweetie, all will be okay’, ‘get up and go for it, ‘don’t give up!’ etc. I wish all to have a loved one who’s always there as a support. I would like mention a big thanks to my parents for their emotional support.
I love to read books and see movies that offer a life lesson. I prefer to learn about life by viewing others’ mistakes rather than my own. But in some moments in life we are unable to use our best knowledge. We have to make our own mistakes in order to better ourselves.
We’re excited to have discovered your stunning photographic art. Your images appear thoughtfully angelic and dreamlike, with descending rays of sunlight, unusual cloud cover, B&W and sepia toning contributing to this completely individual view of European cityscapes. How focused are you on this personal creativity?
DP. I think any good eye can capture a good image with any camera, whether it be an Android phone or professional Canon or Sony camera. The camera I’ve been using over the past year is a Leica V30. It has an optimal lens and a great portable size that fits into any bag I may use [any wonder Leica has a reputation as being a favourite with photojournalists world-wide – Ed].
A friend of mine calls me Lady Bond (he’s a big James Bond fan). I noticed that in the movie Goldfinger, Bond uses a Leica M3 camera, and so I thought, with this camera I can truly be a Bond Girl.
I do want to exhibit my photography art in the near future. It’s only a question of time. I can often be found in front of my computer all night, working with all my pictures. And for my modelling work I require sleep, needing to always look fresh – it’s a hard combination! Photography takes a lot of my time. Sometimes I wish a day could be 48 hours long, and that there were 15 months in a year.
For the moment, however, I’m focused on my core work of modelling. Photographic creation will have to remain on the sidelines. But we never know – in the future this may become a serious passion.
Your parents have been instrumental in helping you to develop your modelling skills and visual image. How close are you to your parents and do you visit them often?
DP. I love my parents. They are my angels. With my travelling all around the world, I don’t have time to visit them as much as I would love to and when I do manage to come home, my work always follows me. The only time I’m truly free and able to spend ten or so days with my family is at Christmas time and in our summer holiday season in August.
For the past two or three years my mum has visited me (I’m based in Paris) – we take a great vacation together, travelling around Italy, Spain, France… Last year she came to see me in New York and stayed for almost two months. My mum is my best friend – I can talk to her about anything and always she will understand.
I’m thankful to my parents for the way they’ve brought me up. It was hard for them to let me go – to travel to Europe at the age of 16, on my own without any new language skills or help. They, however, always manage to trust and believe in me – this is very important to me.
Many of your Facebook posts are enlightening, charming and high-spirited. This is a recent post: ‘I believe in red… miracles… Lots of kissing… Being strong when things are bad… Happy girls are the ones in love’. Are you happy and lucky in love?
DP. I’m surrounded by a love of life and nature. My friends and my family continue to help me stay strong, both physically and mentally. In terms of romance, I’m married to my work. My prince has not yet found me.