Irina Shayk: Bleacher Report's WAG of the Week
Irina Shayk, known for being extremely attractive and gracing the cover of the recent Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, as well as dating footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, has had quite the life, beyond modeling.
I mean, dating a famous soccer player has to be interesting enough. Every time you look next to you while watching a game, some drunk is spilling beer and blowing on a vuvuzela.
In this slideshow, I, at Bleacher Report, will give you an in-depth look at the wonderful Irina, who is beautiful inside and out.
So follow along, chaps, and let us go on a journey through space and time, admiring Irina for her many accomplishments.
We salute you, Irina, we salute you.
Why Should I Care About Irina Shayk?
I bet you're wondering, "Why should I care about some random model? I mean, there are models everywhere."
Yes, indeed, there are models everywhere, but this is not any ordinary model, folks, as I will show you in this slideshow.
Not only is she one of the tops in her class (getting on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is like winning the Super Bowl for models), she also seems like a sweet gal who didn't rise to fame coming from a celebrity-filled family that regularly does reality shows for attention.
As you'll see, Irina had a rough childhood and worked for everything she got.
Oh yeah, did I mention she's really hot, too?
Irina was born Irina Shaykhlislamova on Jan. 26, 1986 in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia.
She probably changed her name when she realized writers would hate writing "Shaykhlislamova" and "Yemanzhelinsk" in the same sentence.
She says some people find her to look South American, but she's not.
Irina's mother was a teacher of music in Kindergarten and wanted Irina to study music, as well.
Irina has one sibling, a sister named Tatiana.
She also has niece named after her.
Irina's father, a coal miner, tragically died when Irina was 14 years old due to pneumonia (we will get to that later).
Because Irina's mother was a music teacher, she entered a music school at age 9 and studied there for seven years.
During this time, she sang in a choir and played piano.
During this time, when Irina was just 14, her father, a coal miner, died of pneumonia, leaving her mother and her to work two jobs, as well as sister Tatiana helping out.
Irina first started off studying marketing, but became quickly bored with it.
One day her mother saw a local ad on a bus stop advertising for a local beauty school.
Irina and Tatiana became intrigued and enrolled in the school.
Purely by chance, a woman from a local model agency spotted Irina when she was standing next to the beauty school.
The woman became instantly drawn to Irina's beauty.
She suggested Irina enter a well-known beauty contest in the area, "Miss Chelyabinsk 2004."
The rest is history...
The Start Of a Remarkable Modeling Career
Taking the woman's advice, Irina entered "Miss Chelyabinsk 2004."
She not only impressed, she won the whole thing!
At the contest, she was noticed by famed scout Guia Jikidze, who told Irina she should start modeling in Europe.
Irina took his advice, moving to Paris in 2005 (where else would a lovely lady go?).
European Modeling Work
It took a while for Irina to assimilate into the modeling industry, seeing that she didn't speak much English.
She also started rather later for a female model, at age 19.
But she soon rose.
In 2007, Irina became the face of Intimissimi Lingerie (which I'm guessing means "Intimate Lingerie"), taking over for Ana Beatriz Barros.
According to Irina's official site, she continued for three more years under Intimissimi Lingerie, "being perfect for it with a body of a goddess and Mediterranean looks."
Geez Irina, fairly confident in yourself, aren't ya?
Well, you should be...
Irinia became the official ambassador of Intimissimi Lingerie in 2010.
Irina may have just boomed after becoming the cover model of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, but she actually had appeared in the yearly issue since 2007 (not that I "read" those issues regularly or anything).
She's been internationally known since that first appearance in 2007, but it took a little longer for her to boom to gigantic proportions (not her body, her popularity).
She became the first Russian model ever to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in 2011.
For you photography lovers out there (and there were many after the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue), Irina has a list of well-known photgraphers she's worked with in her career.
They include: Pamela Hanson, Steve Erle, Riccardo Tinelli, Rennio Maifredi and Raphael Mazucco.
Since 2007, Irina's been featured in ad campaigns including: La Perla, Lacoste, Paciotti 4US, Guess, Germaine de Capuccini, Beach Bunny, El Corte Ingles and Armani Exchange (where she supposedly met Cristiano Ronaldo).
Guess Who? Why, Guess Girl, Of Course
During her time with Guess, Irina worked with the company for three seasons, embodying their creed, "Sophisticated. Feminine. Unapologetically sexy."
Congratulations Irina, you definitely succeeded in being "unapologetically sexy."
Who apologizes for that anyway?
"Excuse me, male in his 20s, sorry if I bothered you being so sexy. I could see why it would annoy you."
Song Inspired By Irina
In 2008, Irina appeared in a promotion for the Ryan Leslie single Diamond Girl.
Leslie liked her so much he produced a song titled I-R-I-N-A.
Beach Bunny Irina
In 2009, when Irina became the face of Beach Bunny swimwear, she actually designed two swimsuits.
Her swimsuits were featured in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Irina is a designer now? Anything else you can do, Irina?
Authors Like Her
In addition to the various magazines in publications Irina's been featured in, she's also been approached to do work in books.
She appeared in About Face in 2010 and was photographed by Peter Beard in his latest book in 2010, as well.
Kanye West Ties
Hip hop artist Kanye West invited Irina to participate in his main project called Power, directed by artist Marco Brambilla.
Not only has Irina worked hard to build her career since working two jobs as a child, she also has jumpstarted numerous charity projects.
In Russia, a lot of families can't afford health insurance for their children, so Irina goes around spreading the word and collecting donations for the families.
She also has infused a maternity hospital near her home town with money, helping renovate the building.
She also bought things for abandoned children at the hospital, including furniture, food and diapers.
Such a caring, fine woman!
That's why we love you Irina!
Irina's Prestigious Rankings
Recently, Irina was ranked 10th of the 20 Sexiest Models posted on Models.com.
She was ranked first in Complex magazine's 50 Hottest Russian Women list.
To cap it all off, she was awarded Best International Model of 2010 by The Glamour Spain.
Way to go Irina!
How Irina Found Out She Was the Cover Model of Sports Illustrated
Irina found out she was the cover model of the 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition while on The Late Show with David Letterman.
The cover was unveiled and recognized by Letterman during the live telecast.
Irinia Helps Out on Letterman's Top 10 List
On Letterman's Top 10 Good Things About Appearing in the 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Edition, Irina read No. 6 on the live telecast.
Irina, ever the jokester, said, "When police officer asks me for ID, I say 'Check page 47.'"
Where Irina Currently Resides
Irina travels a lot due to her work, but she resides in New York when she gets a much-needed break.
Thanks for everything you've done Irina and for gracing us with your presence in America!