A Pretty Bird Flight

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

A Pretty Bird Flight

Brownstone Cowboys Magazine A Shirt Tale main image

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

No items found.

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Pretty Bird Flight

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Pretty Bird Flight

HASSON

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

No items found.

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
A Pretty Bird Flight

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

No items found.

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Pink

frost

Thistle

brown

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Super talented stylist-turned-photographer Thistle Browne and stylist Heathermary Jackson — both in New Zealand during COVID-19 lockdowns — traveled to Rangitoto Island, a dormant volcano off the coast of Central Auckland, to shoot the new campaign for New Zealand jewelry designer Jasmin Sparrow. The shoot showcases Sparrow’s timeless gold and silver jewelry, and a beautiful collection of hand-beaded bras and skull caps designed with Glen Prentice. Models wore mainly vintage from Search and Destroy and Brownstone Cowboys’ collection, combined with some local, sustainable brands and New Zealand gumboots (rainboots).
Photography: Thistle Brown
Styling: Heathermary Jackson
Designers: Jasmin Sparrow and Glen Prentice
Models: Charlotte Moffatt, Nina Katungi, Obadiah Russon

A Pretty Bird Flight

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Ana: As a refugee, you've been talking about humanitarian help to Ukraine. How did you perceive that?

Irina: For instance, I will donate part of my book sales to help refugees.

The war triggered some old traumas I had as a kid: a feeling of being displaced and unable to return home. I was in Paris at the end of February. We collected food and supplies that were going in buses to the border of Poland and Romania. 

I want to help more in Romania; many refugees need accommodations. However, we must develop a long-term plan as this war will not end soon.

It's a horrible situation for the Ukrainian people and Russians who don't want this war and live under a dictator regime.

I was born in Romania under the communist regime. You couldn't express reviews about the government. If you did, then you would disappear. It's horrifying to see the same situation repeating after 30 years. 

Ana: Did you go back to Romania?

Irina: I went back for the first time in 2004 with my parents to visit grandma on her farm in the mountains. I went a couple more times after and did several events and jobs in Bucharest. I get very emotional and sentimental when I go back - eat the food, hear the language because it's my country of birth.

I want to come back this year to collaborate with an NGO and raise awareness about Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border. 

Ana: How did this background impact your personality?

Irina: In a way, it made me stronger and gave me a perspective on how lucky I am to have this life and the ability to accomplish my dreams.

Most of that was because of my fashion career, which gave me freedom and opportunities to develop my artistic drive. But when I was younger, I had imposter syndrome, felt I didn't deserve the things happening to me or didn't understand why I got to do all these fantastic things. So I always thought I didn't belong.

Ana: What was your way of dealing with trauma?

Irina: I worked through it: a lot of therapy and medication. Then, before I retired around 2014, I was touring and recording, doing shows or shootings, and always going back and forth between New York and Paris.

I've reached a point where I was in my early thirties, trying so hard to be what everybody else wanted me to be that I lost my identity. 

I moved to the countryside and spent some time with my family, which I didn't do in years. I've had a baby and wrote a book about the crazy naughties, the beginning of my career, the people and situations that shaped me as an artist, my style and personality. So this book was very therapeutic in a way.

Ana: Do you think that you've found yourself?

Irina: I'm comfortable being myself with my flaws, quirkiness, and bubbly personality. It's just who I am. I'm not hiding a persona or behind a character or a caricature. I'm a work in progress. We always strive to understand ourselves and the world that surrounds us. I'm a lot more comfortable now than I was before. I'm a lot more at peace and centered, focusing on what's essential in my life - my boy, my family, and my work.

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Pretty Bird Flight

Brownstone Cowboys Magazine CONSCIOUS GIVING Main Image

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Ana: As a refugee, you've been talking about humanitarian help to Ukraine. How did you perceive that?

Irina: For instance, I will donate part of my book sales to help refugees.

The war triggered some old traumas I had as a kid: a feeling of being displaced and unable to return home. I was in Paris at the end of February. We collected food and supplies that were going in buses to the border of Poland and Romania. 

I want to help more in Romania; many refugees need accommodations. However, we must develop a long-term plan as this war will not end soon.

It's a horrible situation for the Ukrainian people and Russians who don't want this war and live under a dictator regime.

I was born in Romania under the communist regime. You couldn't express reviews about the government. If you did, then you would disappear. It's horrifying to see the same situation repeating after 30 years. 

Ana: Did you go back to Romania?

Irina: I went back for the first time in 2004 with my parents to visit grandma on her farm in the mountains. I went a couple more times after and did several events and jobs in Bucharest. I get very emotional and sentimental when I go back - eat the food, hear the language because it's my country of birth.

I want to come back this year to collaborate with an NGO and raise awareness about Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border. 

Ana: How did this background impact your personality?

Irina: In a way, it made me stronger and gave me a perspective on how lucky I am to have this life and the ability to accomplish my dreams.

Most of that was because of my fashion career, which gave me freedom and opportunities to develop my artistic drive. But when I was younger, I had imposter syndrome, felt I didn't deserve the things happening to me or didn't understand why I got to do all these fantastic things. So I always thought I didn't belong.

Ana: What was your way of dealing with trauma?

Irina: I worked through it: a lot of therapy and medication. Then, before I retired around 2014, I was touring and recording, doing shows or shootings, and always going back and forth between New York and Paris.

I've reached a point where I was in my early thirties, trying so hard to be what everybody else wanted me to be that I lost my identity. 

I moved to the countryside and spent some time with my family, which I didn't do in years. I've had a baby and wrote a book about the crazy naughties, the beginning of my career, the people and situations that shaped me as an artist, my style and personality. So this book was very therapeutic in a way.

Ana: Do you think that you've found yourself?

Irina: I'm comfortable being myself with my flaws, quirkiness, and bubbly personality. It's just who I am. I'm not hiding a persona or behind a character or a caricature. I'm a work in progress. We always strive to understand ourselves and the world that surrounds us. I'm a lot more comfortable now than I was before. I'm a lot more at peace and centered, focusing on what's essential in my life - my boy, my family, and my work.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Pretty Bird Flight

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

A Pretty Bird Flight

FASHION & BEAUTY

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Ana: As a refugee, you've been talking about humanitarian help to Ukraine. How did you perceive that?

Irina: For instance, I will donate part of my book sales to help refugees.

The war triggered some old traumas I had as a kid: a feeling of being displaced and unable to return home. I was in Paris at the end of February. We collected food and supplies that were going in buses to the border of Poland and Romania. 

I want to help more in Romania; many refugees need accommodations. However, we must develop a long-term plan as this war will not end soon.

It's a horrible situation for the Ukrainian people and Russians who don't want this war and live under a dictator regime.

I was born in Romania under the communist regime. You couldn't express reviews about the government. If you did, then you would disappear. It's horrifying to see the same situation repeating after 30 years. 

Ana: Did you go back to Romania?

Irina: I went back for the first time in 2004 with my parents to visit grandma on her farm in the mountains. I went a couple more times after and did several events and jobs in Bucharest. I get very emotional and sentimental when I go back - eat the food, hear the language because it's my country of birth.

I want to come back this year to collaborate with an NGO and raise awareness about Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border. 

Ana: How did this background impact your personality?

Irina: In a way, it made me stronger and gave me a perspective on how lucky I am to have this life and the ability to accomplish my dreams.

Most of that was because of my fashion career, which gave me freedom and opportunities to develop my artistic drive. But when I was younger, I had imposter syndrome, felt I didn't deserve the things happening to me or didn't understand why I got to do all these fantastic things. So I always thought I didn't belong.

Ana: What was your way of dealing with trauma?

Irina: I worked through it: a lot of therapy and medication. Then, before I retired around 2014, I was touring and recording, doing shows or shootings, and always going back and forth between New York and Paris.

I've reached a point where I was in my early thirties, trying so hard to be what everybody else wanted me to be that I lost my identity. 

I moved to the countryside and spent some time with my family, which I didn't do in years. I've had a baby and wrote a book about the crazy naughties, the beginning of my career, the people and situations that shaped me as an artist, my style and personality. So this book was very therapeutic in a way.

Ana: Do you think that you've found yourself?

Irina: I'm comfortable being myself with my flaws, quirkiness, and bubbly personality. It's just who I am. I'm not hiding a persona or behind a character or a caricature. I'm a work in progress. We always strive to understand ourselves and the world that surrounds us. I'm a lot more comfortable now than I was before. I'm a lot more at peace and centered, focusing on what's essential in my life - my boy, my family, and my work.

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

A Pretty Bird Flight

Talent: Irina Lazareanu  

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera

Makeup: Deanna Melusso

Irina Lazareanu is one of the 2000s top models and Karl Lagerfield's muse. Ana Tess, our fashion editor, talked with Irina about her life path and career.


After a week of book signing sessions, Irina landed at Brownstone Cowboys Apartment to have a shoot but spent a fun Saturday with our team. Dimitri (photographer) and Irina met long ago when she was a rising star. He did a test shoot with her back then, which should've ended as a L'Oréal campaign. More than ten years later, they reunited, carrying stories and dreams. So to say, Irina was one of the models I followed throughout her career. Being a 16-years old teenager, style.com was my best source to track which and how many shows each girl walked. That was a different realm, nostalgic to remember, and precious to get to know through the witness of golden fashion years. 

After seven years of absence, Irina is back on track. Again being at the right moment and place. 

Ana Tess: Do you think it made you happy to work with fashion legends in the industry?

Irina Lazareanu: It was an excellent professional learning experience, as I learned much from Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquière. In addition, people like Steven Meisel and Inez & Vinoodh formed my sense of style and helped me understand what it takes to create a timeless image through our collective work on set.

I'm a lot happier now when I step foot on set. Since I came back, I have enjoyed my job differently, spending the day with the team and finding the correct elements so we can make the best image possible. When I was younger, I would just come on set, get my hair and makeup done like a blank canvas, and do what I was told. I was like a sponge; I would observe and see what everyone was doing and how everything was coming together. I see things differently now than I did when I started. I was one of the lucky ones because I got to work with not one but so many of our industry's top creative minds. 

Ana: Would you think about the new-gen that is working in the industry?

Irina: Working with up-and-coming people in the industry is fantastic; a new generation always comes and brings something new and fresh. Fashion has changed since I retired, but for me, it has changed for the best; now, it's a more diverse and inclusive industry.

There's more room for creative people; before, it was very small. 

I work in a different capacity now. People book me for who I am. I get to bring certain parts of myself and my experience to the table and be more considered as creative, an equal rather than just a model.

Ana: If not modeling or music, would you take a different career path?

Irina: I love to write. It's been my passion since I was a kid. I've tried all kinds of writing formulas - poetry, song lyrics, short stories, and now with a fantastic experience with the book. I would love to do more writing. Also, I've gotten a lot into art direction over the last couple of years. I enjoy bringing different elements together, creating an aesthetic of an image, and then bringing it all to storytelling. For me, if it's a book, a song, or an editorial, it's always about the story, and how can we tell it in the best possible way?

Ana: What was your approach when you worked on a book?

Irina: I'm like a dinosaur. I started handwriting the book in a journal, sending bits and pieces on WhatsApp messages or email screenshots. After a couple of days, my writing partner, Pascal Loperena, told me it would not work. So I've had to use a computer like everyone else today.

But I always use pen and paper when I put down ideas. So it is in this organic way that Pascal Loperena (our curator) and I used the collages from the diary and started to think about how we will illustrate the book. We worked in tandem for over a year to get the perfect fit for the layout. 

Most of the stories were from the early two thousand; we didn't have smartphones. It was an era of Blackberries or flip phones. There are not a lot of pictures of that time. So we had to go back and contact friends that would have photographs of these events so we could illustrate and create an environment that could be described on the page.

I felt like a detective, finding someone with backstage pictures at a Babyshambles gig in Glasgow in 2005. 

Some of my friends found shoe boxes filled with old disposable cameras and sent them to my publisher Flammarion in Paris. As a result, we had over 2000 images to consider for the layout at one point. 

We used my journals as background in the layout. We wanted the book to be a collection of stories, ideas, and style tips. So when people open the book, they would feel like they're reading my diaries. 

People are chasing perfection sometimes, but we wanted the book to feel authentic. 

Ana: Do you have a favorite chapter?

Irina: That's so hard; I love them all. But that would be the first chapter about the life backstage and the relationship between the girls, our sisterhood. I wanted to explain to people what it was like back then to do the shows and what our lives were like.

Everybody thinks the models are catty, but that's not true.

Most of the time, it's this beautiful community of girls. We supported and helped each other out, a sentiment that remains today. So they'll come for my book or whenever I do an event somewhere in town. If I send them the book, they'll post about it.

Ana: Who helped you with a book?

Irina: We signed the book in January 2020. Pascal Loperena, my partner/curator for the book, took me to Flammarion, and together with their team, we found the proper structure for this story.

Then I met my editor, Kate Mascaro, with whom I've worked for hand in hand. This book was our baby, and we're co-parenting. So we would exchange zoom calls for hours and go through ideas and hundreds of emails. It was a two-year journey! And I feel fortunate to have worked with such a fantastic team.

Ana: Tell us about your music career path.

Irina: I was concerned that I seemed more of a writer than a musician, but I was lucky to work with some incredibly talented people. They always made it sound effortless.

We would do collaborative, improved events in Paris and music festivals with a band that Sean Lennon and I started called «Operation Juliet». I appreciate the communal aspect of music.

Ana: Did you dream about a career in fashion?

Irina: Not even in my wildest dreams, I never thought I would work in fashion. Instead, I wanted to study literature at university; when I was very young, I used to be a ballet dancer before I broke my knee. 

There were some surreal moments, like when I was very young, and I met Kate, and we became friends; that was surreal because she was Kate Moss, and I was like all the other kids who idolized her in the nineties. 

Ana: Have you experienced periods of anxiety and fears in your career?

Irina: I was maintaining a frantic rhythm, and, at some point, not stopping became challenging for me. At a certain level, you are always saying yes to things. It made me struggle with depression and anxiety. But looking back at it now, I could've said no a couple of times and taken better care of myself. Today I'm more conscious about what I put in my body through; I meditate and incorporate a healthy routine. 

Ana: What was the best moment in your modeling career or music career?

Irina: In December 2007, Chanel went to London and asked Sean and me to do the soundtrack for the show. The idea was to create something original, eerie, almost a movie soundtrack. 

We had to perform live while the girls were walking the show. 

Ana: You have a chapter in a book related to vintage. Tell us about your passion for vintage and items you've been collecting?

Irina: I have some fantastic pieces stored in a closet in my house. The most special ones are from McQueen, Chanel Couture, Givenchy, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto.

During the pandemic, most of my neighbors were teachers and nurses who were the first responders. All the shops were closed, and people couldn't shop.

I was looking at all these beautiful garments just sitting there, and I thought this could make somebody very happy. So I called friends and neighbors and invited them to come and choose some pieces from my collection.

I hope I brought some joy to courageous people during a tough time.

Ana: What about your involvement in the «No more plastic» project?

Irina: We've been working on raising awareness against plastic pollution and microplastics in the ocean, finding alternative ways for people to use less plastic. Our ambassadors help us create special items using alternative materials we sell on the website and help us spread the word. For example, Helena Christensen and Cindy Bruna designed a pair of sneakers for us. We just launched a collaboration with «Wild and the Moon", creating an infused water with aniseed and spirulina in a non-plastic bottle. Before COVID, we went to different schools and talked to kids about plastic pollution. It provides them with some ideas to reduce waste. They are the next generation, sometimes even more aware and conscious than adults. Once I became a mom, I looked at things differently: what kind of planet are we leaving behind for our kids?

Ana: As a refugee, you've been talking about humanitarian help to Ukraine. How did you perceive that?

Irina: For instance, I will donate part of my book sales to help refugees.

The war triggered some old traumas I had as a kid: a feeling of being displaced and unable to return home. I was in Paris at the end of February. We collected food and supplies that were going in buses to the border of Poland and Romania. 

I want to help more in Romania; many refugees need accommodations. However, we must develop a long-term plan as this war will not end soon.

It's a horrible situation for the Ukrainian people and Russians who don't want this war and live under a dictator regime.

I was born in Romania under the communist regime. You couldn't express reviews about the government. If you did, then you would disappear. It's horrifying to see the same situation repeating after 30 years. 

Ana: Did you go back to Romania?

Irina: I went back for the first time in 2004 with my parents to visit grandma on her farm in the mountains. I went a couple more times after and did several events and jobs in Bucharest. I get very emotional and sentimental when I go back - eat the food, hear the language because it's my country of birth.

I want to come back this year to collaborate with an NGO and raise awareness about Ukrainian refugees on the Romanian border. 

Ana: How did this background impact your personality?

Irina: In a way, it made me stronger and gave me a perspective on how lucky I am to have this life and the ability to accomplish my dreams.

Most of that was because of my fashion career, which gave me freedom and opportunities to develop my artistic drive. But when I was younger, I had imposter syndrome, felt I didn't deserve the things happening to me or didn't understand why I got to do all these fantastic things. So I always thought I didn't belong.

Ana: What was your way of dealing with trauma?

Irina: I worked through it: a lot of therapy and medication. Then, before I retired around 2014, I was touring and recording, doing shows or shootings, and always going back and forth between New York and Paris.

I've reached a point where I was in my early thirties, trying so hard to be what everybody else wanted me to be that I lost my identity. 

I moved to the countryside and spent some time with my family, which I didn't do in years. I've had a baby and wrote a book about the crazy naughties, the beginning of my career, the people and situations that shaped me as an artist, my style and personality. So this book was very therapeutic in a way.

Ana: Do you think that you've found yourself?

Irina: I'm comfortable being myself with my flaws, quirkiness, and bubbly personality. It's just who I am. I'm not hiding a persona or behind a character or a caricature. I'm a work in progress. We always strive to understand ourselves and the world that surrounds us. I'm a lot more comfortable now than I was before. I'm a lot more at peace and centered, focusing on what's essential in my life - my boy, my family, and my work.

Talent: Irina Lazareanu at The Society Management

Photographer: Dimitri Hyacinthe

Style and Interview: Ana Tess

Hair: Jerome Cultera at L'Atelier

Makeup: Deanna Melusso at L’Atelier

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