Victoria Kosenkova: The next Russian Supernova

Photography and Interview by London Fashion photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

VICTORIA KOSENKOVA

Is Victoria the next Russian ‘supernova’ after fashion model Natalia Vodianova? She was listed as Top Newcomer from S/S 16 by models.com.  She made her debut on the runway as a Burberry exclusive! She made a buzz in what was her first season walking for the biggest designers. She walked Valentino, Prada, Dior, John Galliano, Chanel, Burberry, Sonia Rykiel, Paul & Joe and Miu Miu. She is a fresh face and having photographed her I think she has the special something. 

  • Could you tell us a bit about you? 

Well, my name is Victoria and I’m a 17 years old Russian model. I really love traveling and meeting new people and that’s what I think my job helps me with! I also love sport and was playing tennis for 9 years but now I don’t have enough time for it so I usually just go to the gym or a swimming pool. 

  • How did you get into modelling?  

I was not actually scouted and I didn’t do elite model look and stuff. I just was on a summer holiday in London with my mum, I was 15 that time, and my friend told me that I should try to go to Elite because I look like a model, basically a lot of people were telling me that. The morning after I did it and they liked me which I was surprised with because I was not super sure in myself, but I was super happy haha! So that’s how I signed the contract with my mother agency and started working. 

  • You walked for so many top designers. It must be very tiring doing so many shows. What does your life look like during Fashion Week? 

You’re kind of out of life for a month, I find it super fun actually!  90% of models would  say that the most tiring thing is no sleep. As for me it’s really hard to wake up in the morning because of that. I don’t hear my alarm for ages so girls who I live with start hating me haha. 

  • What are some of your favourite designers?  

Oh, that’s a good question! I’d say Alexander Wang, Burberry, Valentino and MiuMiu.

  • You opened and closed Burberry show at S/S 2016 Fashion Week. How did it feel walking for such prestigious brand? 

I was such a fresh new face that time, as you know it was my first show ever! To be honest, I really was nerves before it so lovely people who I worked with were supporting me. Everything was very new for me , but for sure I was enjoying it a lot! When the show started and I went to the runway I felt like the happiest person in the world! For sure! After the show I started getting more followers, texts and stuff, I was smiling for the whoooole day haha.

  • How would you describe your fashion style?

Oh, it could be so different, to be honest. Sometimes I wear girly dresses and stuff like that but sometimes it’s more similar to London, Camden Town style if it counts!)

  • What item in your closet do you wear the most?

Well, for now, my dr Martins shoes, love them.

  • What can’t you travel without?

My headphones and a book!

  • How do keep fit and healthy?

I just love being an active person, hate sitting at home. So I’d say doing sports, being active and not overeating.

  • You appeared in Vogue Russia? How did it feel being photographed for such a well-know fashion magazine? Can you tell us about the shoot? 

It was really fun! Teams on shoots like that are always amazing, so we were just enjoying the process. I also met some nice people during that shoot who I am still in contact with, which is really cool!

  • What had been your favourite modelling experience so far? 

Opening Burberry show, for sure!

  • Has modelling changed you as a person? 

Oh, yes! I was kind of a shy person before I started doing modelling, and now not at all, I can talk with whoever I want about everything I want ! I also became more mature which helps me a lot because when I’m working or traveling I have to sort everything out by myself. 

  • What do you like most about modelling? 

For now I will definitely say that meeting new amazing people and making new friends in every country.

  • What is the best modelling advice you’ve been given?

You always have to have fun of what you’re doing!

  • What advice would you give to aspiring models? 

Just don’t be shy, don’t stop doing it if something went wrong at the beginning. And if you don’t know English , learn it! Just as soon as possible!


Follow Victoria @_victoriakosenkova_

Follow @breznanikova.photography (40k followers) for more fashion photography, model shoots, model and celebrity portraiture and interviews


Xio from Crystal X: The Rock Chick

Music photography and celebrity interview by London celebrity portraiture photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

XIOMARA CRYSTAL

Xio is a very talented singer and song writer from alternative rock music band Crystal X. She came over to the studio with her manager Stuart to shoot her EP cover and promo shots. She has a cool fashion style. Xio can not only sing high notes but she also plays the guitar and writes her own lyrics! She is very dedicated to her music - check out her music Facebook page. 

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  • Tell us a bit about your new record. 

It’s my first official EP release, consisting of 5 original songs that I’ve written over the last few years. I’d say it’s alternative rock that really focuses on anthemic melodies, soaring guitar riffs and war drums worthy of Game Of Thrones.

  • How did it feel recording at famous Abbey Road Studios? 

The first time I walked into the building I must say I was overwhelmed! Just looking at all the portraits of rockstars and composers that have recorded there before me was just incredible. It really made me feel like I was part of the legendary history of Abbey Road and creating my own unique music legacy.

  • For those who have not heard your music yet, explain your sound in 5 words. 

Anthemic, melodic, universal, uplifting, empowering 

  • When did you first start singing? 

I started singing quite early on, but I remember deciding at around 14 that I wanted to pursue singing as a career. I began my vocal training in classical and operatic singing, achieving a Grade 8 Trinity Guildhall certificate with distinction at 17. I then took it further with musical theatre until I discover Ken Tamplin and his vocal academy on youtube. I spent three month with him in Los Angeles training under his guidance and finding my true rock voice.

  • Do you enjoy writing lyrics?

Just as much as I love creating melodies too! It just depends on what I’m inspired by and what comes first, but with lyrics you can really tell a story or convey a specific message, while with melodies or the music it’s more the feeling it gives you individually.

  • Where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs? 

Life experiences mostly! Sometimes out of my own experience or what I see from the lives of others. Sometimes it starts with an idea or a concept and I work my way from there. Other times it’s as simple as coming up with a melody or a piece of lyric.

  • Where would you most like to perform?

I have an obsession with old and historic venues, like beautiful churches, theatres or opera houses. Would be amazing to perform rock music in one of those venues but I would just as much love to perform at Wembley arena or Glastonbury festival!

  • What is your favourite song to belt out in the car / in the shower? 

I love my classic rock and 80s hits, but I’m a big musical theatre fan so you’ll probably hear me belting out some Phantom Of The Opera in the shower or a classic Disney song.

  • What is your fashion style? 

Black on black with a superhero twist.

  • Do you ever get nervous? 

Most definitely! But it’s more of a buzz and excitement to perform rather than being afraid to be on stage.

  • If you could open up for any artist on tour who would you choose? 

That is a difficult to answer, there are so many! But out of the ones I’ve seen and love my dream would be to open up for U2, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars, Bon Jovi, Coldplay or any other amazing bands.

  • What’s your motto or philosophy in life? 

“Music can change the world because it can change people” Bono

  • What are the tree things you can’t live without? 

Vegan food, Hans Zimmer soundtracks and my daily workout.

  • Who is your celebrity crush? 

Jared Leto or Tom Hiddleston

  • What else can we expect from you in the future?

A lot of great music and world tours!

Follow Xio @xiomaracrystal


Musician portraits / Music photography by London celebrity portraiture photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

Follow @breznanikova.photography


Jordy Casteleijn: The Dutch Crusader

Interview and Photography by London Fashion & Portraiture Photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

JORDY CASTELEIJN 

Jordy is a model from Amsterdam who has appeared in photoshoots and commercials alongside big names like Adriana Lima and Antonio Banderas! He has worked with many brands including Coca-cola, Beck’s, Carlsberg, Desigual, Pegasus, Font Vella and Audi. He is very charming (somewhere between Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio) and I could only try my best to try to capture his amiable personality in his photos. He genuinely cares about the environment and saving the planet. 

“I want to save this planet. I want to create work which will inspire people to think about their lifestyles and the consequences of their lifestyles and eventually make them change their lifestyles for more conscious eco-friendly ones.”

Jordy Casteleijn

  • Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I am twenty-seven-year old, born and raised in Amsterdam, young man with a passion for life and a dream of inspiring people. In Amsterdam I studied business and entrepreneurship, worked for 3.5 years in Holland’s biggest corporate retail company Ahold as a business analyst. Last two years I’ve lived in Barcelona, Spain, with a following of a couple of months in London to now finally settle back in in Amsterdam. In Barcelona I started acting and modelling, within these two years I’ve shot about 10 to 15 television commercials and did a lot of photoshoots. In London I realised I wanted to combine my intellectual capabilities, modelling experience and love for the planet into one. This is how I started working on my own projects and started my own (at the moment one-man; me!) creative agency; Fotosynth by jors_truly.

  • How did you get into modelling?

The classic story, I got asked on the streets of Barcelona. And since I just moved there when I got asked, and my only day-spending back then was Spanish classes, I said, well yeah, sure lets try this!

  • You have been in some cool commercials. Can you tell us bit more? 

Well, yeah, haha there some really cool ones in there and some really fun ones. Like my first commercial I did was together with Adriana Lima #HellYeah! for Desigual, upfront i didn’t knew that she would be there, so I almost cancelled because I didn’t really like my role in the commercial, but after all I was quite happy I didn’t cancel ;) Also my 10 day shoot in Istanbul for Pegasus airlines was awesome; I played the part of Thor, my suit was absolutely massive! Or my shoot on a major yacht with Antonio Banderas, or my Liverpool shoot in a F1 racing car, or shooting in Lissabon for Becks beer just acting to be partying all weekend for the video wasn’t too hard for me haha

  • What is your philosophy in life? 

‘A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives you flowers.’ - I try to be as friendly and helpful to everybody I meet, always. I believe in well-doing, being friendly without expecting anything in return. It saddens me to see that nowadays people get scared when I give them a friendly ‘Hello!’ when I pass them by on the streets. Nevertheless I won’t ever become negative or pessimistic.

  • What has been the most difficult job?  

E-commerce wetsuits. wow. worst day of my life. E-commerce is terrible on itself, boring as f*ck. But a full day going into (dry) wetsuits is absolutely terrible, end of the day I had blisters on my hands!

  • What do you like to do when you are off-duty?

I love to travel, do sports and nowadays I’m working hard on creating awareness in the society on environmental issues. I love this planet and dream of inspiring people to care more for this world.

  • What do you feel passionate about? 

As said at the previous question; I’m super passionate about doing work with a message, a more deeper level than just inspire people to buy products. Actually I would rather inspire people not to buy products. We can and should live with way less products. You don’t need that 11th pair of sneakers or 2nd car. And eating beef every day? really? That’s so not necessary. 

  • What are your aspirations? 

To save this planet. I want to create work which will inspire people to think about their lifestyles and the consequences of their lifestyles and eventually make them change their lifestyles for more conscious eco-friendly ones.

Where do you hope to be in 10 years? 

In 10 years I hope to be very busy on a broad scale of projects that help this planet and its habitants to preserve this beautiful little rock we call Earth.


Follow Jordy @jors_truly

Check out another interview with model Jordy where he talks about shooting with Adriana Lima and gives modelling and commercial acting advice

For photography and celebrity interview announcements follow @breznanikova.photography (40k followers)


Hannah Judd: The Australian Babe

Photography and Interview by London fashion photographer Zuzana Breznanikova

HANNAH JUDD

Hannah is a fashion model from Melbourne Australia. She enjoys travelling and loves animals. She walked for the likes of Vivienne Westwood. We did a fashion shoot together few years back with three other models on the set and she was definitely the star of the shoot. Hannah has a very interesting and unique look and is very versatile as a model. She has a very outgoing personality. 

“I was scouted on Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia. I was 18 and had just finished high school so timing seemed perfect”. 

Hannah Judd


  • What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I went to school in Malaysia, Houston, and Tokyo as a kid ! My dads work had us traveling heaps as kids. 

  • How did you get scouted and at what age?

I was actually scouted on Bondi Beach in Sydney Australia. I was 18 and had just finished high school so timing seemed perfect. 

  • What had been your favourite modelling experiences so far? 

Probably just all the cool places and locations I’ve been lucky enough to go to for work. I did a shoot in Hawaii on a boat which was amazing. 

  • What is your philosophy in life?

Just to do what makes you happy. If you’re not smiling everyday, make a change. 

  • What is your favourite food? 

Hmmm probably Italian or Thai. But I also love French cheese. I love my food haha. 

  • What can’t you travel without?

I can’t travel without my teddy I’ve had since I was a baby, Robbie. Oh and my phone of course. 

  • What is the most exciting runway show you ever done?

I walked for Vivienne Westwood in London fashion week and that was probably the most exciting show I’ve done. The hair and makeup was amazing and just got the best feeling walking down runway. 

  • Do you have any beauty routine? 

My beauty routine is quite simple really. I use cetaphil to cleanse and moisturise my face every night, that product is amazing for sensitive skin like mine. I also use Rosehip oil daily and coconut oil. I also sleep with a hair mask in once every week or two. 

  • How would you describe your fashion style? 

My style is always changing really depending on my mood. I always have to be comfortable though! 

  • How have your views of modelling changed? 

Modelling is physically and mentally draining. Without my family and friends I probably would have gone insane. 


Follow Hannah @hjuddd

For more fashion photography and model interview announcements follow Photographer Zuzana Breznanikova @breznanikova.photography


Alex Fisher: The Striking Footballer

Interview and Photography by Zuzana Breznanikova

ALEX FISHER 

Alex Fisher is an English professional footballer. He plays for Inverness Caledonian Thistle. I met Alex during a photoshoot and he is such a nice, down-to-earth guy - very handsome too!

“If you work hard and have the right attitude you’ll always know within you you did everything you can to fulfil your dreams.”

Alex Fisher


  • When you were young, did you and your parents think there was a realistic possibility of you playing professionally? How did you get scouted? 

When I was about 6 I was scouted playing local boys football by a professional team. Having progressed through their youth set up I was left with a decision to go full time professional or continue my education. Football was always my ambition as a kid so it was an easy decision. I did however continue my studies in my spare time as a fall back but the older I became, turning pro became a more realistic possibility.

  • The image of a professional footballer is one of glamour. Is it? 

The media only tends to show the players playing at the very top so the image portrayed of a footballer is usually one of luxury and glamour. They don’t however see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Hours and hours of hard work in gyms and on the field. Football does provide you the opportunity to access a certain level of life and status however actually achieving it at the top level is extremely difficult. The lower down the pyramid you go, the more it becomes a job to provide for your family above everything else. You’re only one tackle or injury away from your sole income being taken away and for those of us who don’t have the security of lavish contracts more stress gets placed on staying fit and playing games.

  • Do you have any funny stories to tell? 

Over my 10 year career to date I certainly do have plenty of stories however they may be a little long winded for this. I would recommend reading the book The Secret Footballer. There’s plenty in there. It also provides an insight into the game people may never have previously thought about. One thing is for sure though, I can’t imagine you would experience what you see around a football team in any other walk of life. There’s some tremendous banter!

  • Do you like training? 

I enjoy training. You get to be outside everyday and have a chance to continuously better yourself doing something that you love. Sometimes the English weather can make you feel otherwise though! I have been lucky enough to play in 5 different countries so have had a chance to experience training methods and styles of play from across Europe. 

  • Who are your role models in football and why? 

I’m a big fan of David Beckham. In his prime I was at an age where he really influenced me. Not only was he one of the best players for his position in the world, he is also a role model off the pitch. He strikes me as a true gentlemen of the game. For my position though any in form forward I watch wills me to try and better my game.

  • To succeed in football, how much do you think is down to natural ability and talent, and how much is hard work? 

Natural ability is a great start and if you’re lucky it can take you to a high level. However, hard work and a good attitude I feel is a necessity otherwise you will not fulfil your full potential. I think most people would be surprised with the hard work and discipline that goes on behind the scenes at all levels of the professional game. 

  • What is the most difficult about being a professional athlete?

There are a lot of sacrifices. You train everyday and your season lasts around 11 months (starts from around 20 June - 20 May in England). I have missed 2 of my best friends weddings, a close family friends funeral and countless engagements and holidays because of our training schedule. I have also moved around a lot and it can become a very lonely life outside of working hours. 

  • What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

When it comes to playing the last thing you want is to have regrets so the classic cliches of ‘leave nothing out there’ and ‘play with no regrets’ are a good start. Football is a cut throat business and often there is no loyalty so make sure you make the right decision for the right reasons. Playing as high as you can for as long as you can was something I was told as a kid breaking into the game. You only have around 15 years of a playing career and that’s if you’re very lucky so making the most out of the time you have is important. I would not want to look back and think I should have done more. As I mentioned above - no regrets! 

  • How did you cope with/overcome any setbacks you’ve faced during your career?

Coping with setbacks are tough. I’ve had to come back from 3 operations from injuries I’ve picked up from tackles. There are times when the length of my recovery from such injuries have left me ‘out of contract’ and with no offer of an extension. So to remain mentally strong when you’re 6 months from playing again and with no income can be hard. I’ve been lucky with the support of those closest to me. A network of people behind you goes a long way!

  • Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

Live and play with no fear or regrets and make hay when the sun shines! 

  • If you weren’t a footballer what would you be? 

During the recovery periods of an injury a few years back I started a pilots license and would look to continue becoming a pilot if I didn’t play football. 

  • I know a lot of people told you that you should do modelling. If you were asked to shoot a commercial campaign for a big fashion brand would you say yes?

I certainly would. A few people have been kind enough to say they see potential in me and it would be something I would be interested in doing for sure. 

  • What are you passionate about? 

If it’s sport, I’ll play it! Outside of football I enjoy playing cricket and certainly golf. Sometimes the spare time you have outside of training is a good chance to do new things and playing the guitar and to a lesser extent the piano is something I also do at the minute. 

  • Which player in the game’s history would you have loved to play alongside with?

David Beckham would be up there. His crosses would provide me a few good opportunities to score some goals. Although even with his quality I would still probably end up hitting row z! 

  • How do you continue to motivate yourself on being the best player you can be?

That comes from within. I want to play at the highest level I can. You won’t get there sitting on the sofa so the desire to be the best I can whilst I’m in a position to do something about it motivates me. 

  • What would be your ultimate achievement?

I’d love to say playing for my country but sadly it’s not as easy as just saying that. I believe I can have an impact on the game at a high level and that would be an achievement for me. No matter what level you play, winning silverware and being part of a successful team is a common ambition. 

  • Have you got any final words of wisdom for any youngsters wanting to become professional footballers? 

Above all else, enjoy playing football and don’t lose that inner kid inside of you. Football can be a cruel and unforgiving world and remembering why you play the game can motivate you through the struggles you may experience. If you work hard and have the right attitude you’ll always know within you you did everything you can to fulfil your dreams.


Follow @breznanikova.photography on Instagram (40k followers) for more interview announcements and shoots with models, sport personalities, celebrities, artists and actors 


To book a model or sports portfolio shoot with Photographer Zuzana Breznanikova email: suzy@londonphotoportfolios.com

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