Irina Shayk hated her looks so much growing up that she often wished she’d been born a boy.
The Russian stunner, who is currently dating Bradley Cooper, is one of the most recognisable faces in fashion. She’s been tapped by everyone from Victoria’s Secret to L'Oreal but admits she hasn’t always been so comfortable in her own skin.
“At 14, I’d have given my left arm to be a boy: I thought I was horrible, and that no-one would ever find me attractive,” she candidly told GQ Italia.
After being scouted by a model agent while studying at beauty school, Irina embarked on a new career and during her early years as a model she landed high profile jobs with Intimissimi and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
Her humble beginnings were in stark contrast to her new jet set lifestyle though, and she recalls her most embarrassing moment came when she landed in Paris for the first time.
“I was 20, and I had nothing to wear and nothing to eat. I remember how embarrassed I felt in front of the other models because of how I was dressed,” she shared.
Interviewed by Givenchy head Riccardo Tisci for the September issue of GQ Italia, 30-year-old Irina stuns in a series of sultry black and white shots. Talking about the model, Riccardo heaped praise on Irina and the raw sexual energy she brings to shoots.
“Irina is a sexual, sensual animal. She’s fearless,” he stated. "That’s the kind of woman she is: an ultra-glam sex symbol, brimming with power and intelligence.
"I can see why she’s a fantasy for men: she seems almost unreal, like a nymph from a dream."
During their chat Riccardo wanted to know if the brunette beauty, who previously dated Cristiano Ronaldo, could ever be attracted to women, which Irina was quick to laugh off.
"A woman? No way. I’m Russian: I’m into men, diamonds and caviar,” she smiled.