Irina Shayk is the first Russian model to cover Sports Illustrated magazine’s Swimsuit Issue which is a big deal if you are a model. The elegant 5 feet 10 inches tall runway queen, who is ranked at number 8 in the world by Models.com, achieved the coveted feat in 2011 to announce herself to the world after having appeared in the magazine four times before that.
In 2014, she was selected to carry the placard for the Russian winter Olympics team at the events opening ceremony which was hosted by her home country. She has further walked the runway for brands and designers like Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Versace, and Givenchy and has covered magazines like Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, and many more. As glittery as her current status is, Irina Shayk didn’t have any of the fame she enjoys today handed to her on a platter.
From Her Humble Beginnings, She Made The World Her Stage
Irina Shayk was born Irina Valeryevna Shaykhlislamova, to Olga and Valery Shaykhlislamov, on the 6th of January, 1986, in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia. Her father, who is from the Volga Tatar ethnic group, worked as a coal miner before his death in 2000 while her mother, who was of the East Slavic ethnic group, was a kindergarten music teacher.
Due to her mother’s influence, Shayk began learning how to play musical instruments as a child. At the age of six, she learned how to play the piano and by nine, was enrolled in a music school where she studied for seven years. After her high school education, Shayk entered the university to study marketing but flunked out. She then enrolled in a beauty school and was spotted by a modelling agent who urged her to participate in the 2004 Miss Chelyabinsk beauty contest, which she won.
She Got Her Big Break In Modelling Shortly After Entering The Industry
Irina Shayk went on to begin her career in modelling but stayed in an apartment with there models in Paris before moving to New York. Subsequently, she caught her big break in 2007 when she was made the face of Italian clothing label Intimissimi, replacing Brazilian model Ana Beatriz Barros who held the title before her. She also made her debut in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that year, beginning the journey that led to her gracing the cover in 2011.
Shayk spent three years as the face of Intimissimi before taking another title as the official ambassador for the brand in 2010. She continued adding modelling campaigns to her resume, notable among them are the ones she did for Beach Bunny Swimwear and Guess for the spring/summer 2009 season, the same year she signed with IMG Models. Other significant modelling work in her name can be traced to Victoria’s Secret catalogue, Lacoste, Cesare Paciotti, Morellato, among others.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Cover Record Amid Other Successes
From 2010 to 2015, Irina Shayk reigned supreme in the modelling industry and beyond. She modelled for Armani Exchange spring/summer campaign in 2010 and appeared on the cover of Ocean Drive, as well as GQ South Africa. The model also made it to the top of the list of 50 Hottest Russian Women put together by Complex magazine.
Irina continued the number one streak when Glamour Spain awarded her “Best International Model of 2010. The same year, she featured on Spain’s Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, wrapping the year off with a nude photoshoot for GQ Spain.
In 2011, Irina Shayk made her fifth appearance on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue but added another feather to her well-decorated hat by becoming the cover girl for that particular issue which went on to break a record as the first Russian to be on the cover. Irina has continued to grab attention with her appearances on magazines such as Tatler Russia, Twelv, Cosmopolitan Spain, GQ Mexico, Glamour Spain, Amica Italy, and more. She has been on the cover of Vogue 31 times.
Exploits On The Runway and Movie Sets
Asides covering highbrow magazines as aforementioned, Irina Shayk is also popular on the runways. She has walked the ramp for brands like Miu Miu, Versace, Givenchy, Diane Von Furstenberg, Giles Deacon, Philipp Plein, Mango, Bottega Veneta, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, and Burberry. She walked for Victoria’s Secret while six months pregnant in 2016.
TV appearances are not left out as she has appeared in ad campaigns for brands like Burberry, Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Alberta Ferretti, Givenchy, Missoni, La Perla, Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared2, La Clover, Vigoss, Replay, Morellato, bebe, Lord & Taylor, Lacoste, Armani Exchange, Guess, Blumarine, Ellen Tracy, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria’s Secret, Avon, among many others.
Shayk dabbled into acting in 2014, debuting as Megara alongside Dwayne Johnson in the film Hercules. She then appeared in one episode (Psychopath Test) in 2016 on the series Inside Amy Schumer. Her other acting roles can be seen in music videos like the one she did with Kanye West on his 2010 track Power. She also voiced a character in the video game Need for Speed: The Run.
Inside Her Romance With Hollywood Hearthrob Bradley Cooper
Irina Shayk was in a relationship with Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated American actor Bradley Cooper who is best known for starring in movies like Wedding Crashers (2005), The Hangover (2009), Limitless (2011), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), American Sniper (2014) and A Star is Born (2018).
The couple began seeing each other in 2015 and just after a few months of dating, they moved in together as Cooper reportedly joined her in the New York West Village apartment she resides in. After two years of dating, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper, born on the 21st of March, 2017, in Los Angeles, California.
Two years after the birth of their daughter and four years into a relationship many were rooting for, Bradley and Irina decided to go their separate ways. They confirmed that the split is amicable and they would work together to raise their daughter Lea De Seine.
Before Bradley, There Was Cristiano Ronaldo
Irina Shayk was in a five-year relationship with Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo from 2010 to 2015. They began dating almost soon after they worked together, modelling in an Armani Exchange campaign. The pair were spotted together at various events as they also went on a vacation together that year, signalling to the world the beginning of their relationship.
In 2011, rumours of the couple’s impending engagement announcement circled the media but nothing was forthcoming from either party. The stories were later confirmed when Shayk was spotted wearing a massive ring at the Golden Boot Award ceremony in November that year. It was said that Ronaldo had proposed to his model girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, however, both parties remained tight-lipped about the inner dealings of their relationship.
In the following years, Shayk and Ronaldo were spotted at various events like the 2012 Madrid Open, looking very happy in each others company. She further supported him at various football-related events even though there were at the time strong allegations of infidelity on Ronaldo’s part, which he denied. Regardless of the accusations, the Russian model stood by her man and continued to spend time with his family and son.
The relationship, however, later took another turn in 2015 after Shayk reportedly found text messages on his phone flirting with other women. According to various reports, Shayk felt betrayed by the footballer after having stood by him in the previous cheating scandals and decided to leave him.