The Ukranian Model Market: Before And After The War x Valeria Rudenko

Interview with Valeria Rudenko- A Ukrainian model. Before and after the fashion industry. What it is like to become a model in Ukraine. Her first steps in the Asian market. The impossibility of working in your country. The decline of Ukrainian fashion. All this and more with Valeria Rudenko.

Valeria Rudenko

Valeria Rudenko, born in a small city of Ukranie called Donetsk, made her modelling debut at just 13 years old and two years later went to Asia to improve her modelling career. She was not wrong, she became one of the most famous ukranian model. Learn more about Valeria and her life as a model in Ukraine.

Kyiv: The Unknown Fashion City

FIV: You have been modelling since a long time ago. When and how did you start modeling?

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VALERIA: I started modeling at very young age. First I signed with mother agency in town close to my hometown named Donetsk in 2011,I was 13 back then. I had some experience working in Ukraine and after couple years they sent me on my first working contract to Tokyo when I just turned 15.

FIV: So as you started in Ukranie you must know perfectly how the Ukrainian industry works. From your own experience, how does modelling in Ukraine differ from, for example, Paris?

VALERIA: Yes it is very different. Paris is one of the most important locations in fashion industry but I would say that Kyiv is becoming very fashionable. People around look very stylish and modern. 

A Fashion Industry Destroyed By A War

FIV: I take this opportunity to give you strength now that we are living a terrible incident. How do you see the impact of the war on the model market?

VALERIA: Fashion in Ukraine began growing after Ukraine got independence from USSR and started to look more at European side. There was plenty work in Kyiv or other big cities for models. Now I don’t work there much, I prefer to work with solvent clients, who are ready to pay more for a good model. But I hope that once war is over, economy will grow and every brand will have ability to pay good money to all team.

Model Standars In Ukraine: Classy Beauty

FIV: You are our first ukranian model. How is to become a model in Ukraine?

VALERIA: It’s very easy. First of all, we have a lot of amazing women. At the same time we have some good mother agencies, who are managing careers of top Ukrainian models and others. So I find it very easy, you just have to look through internet for a professional model agency. Personally me, I represented by System Ukraine.

FIV: What are the standards there or what are the requirements for new faces?

VALERIA: Standards in Ukraine for models I would to say the same as in Europe. A little bit of everything. You have to be tall, slim and have a model look. On my opinion, the most popular is classy beauty, the face that could do anything is leading. At the same time there’s a place for diversity. 

Asia’s Market: Good Option For Beginners

FIV: Was Ukranie a difficult place to build a career? Do you have any tips for beginners?

VALERIA: It was definitely a hard way to the point I’m at now. I born in a small city and first I started my career in Asia and I worked a lot in such markets as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand or Japan to get some experience and portfolio. But if a girl already knows English, it will be much easier and faster for her to start working in main markets. So my advices to beginners is to start to prepare yourself even before the first work trip: learn English, do sports, eat healthy and take care of your skin and hair. Then it will be less difficulties on the way.

Ukrainian Model Making A Living From Modelling

FIV: Some models have a few jobs to pay the rents. Can you live only from modeling?

VALERIA: Yes, I find model salary one of the highest among all professions. If you work hard and you spend a lot of time improving your skills and being at the main markets, which means you have to travel all the time, there’s a chance to gain enough money for good level of living. Personally me, I live only from being a model and I’m very happy with it.

Valeria’s Next Step: Becoming An Actress

FIV: What is your dream? Which one could you perhaps already fulfill?

VALERIA: If we talk about career, I would say my dream is to do some actings. I feel that modeling and posing is only a half way and I need to move further to acting and playing and grow in that direction, but for now it’s only dreams.

Modelling: The School Of Live

FIV: What have you learned through modelling that can be useful in life?

VALERIA: Modelling is a school of life: you need to share lodging with others, find good communication with clients and team at the set, be educated, polite, respectful and responsible. Nobody is there to help, when you travel alone to another county with not familiar language and culture, you have to be ready to face all difficulties and besides you have to work hard, sometimes with no sleep, rest or time for food, during cold or hot outside and still make people like you and working with you.

Dispelling Modelling Myths

FIV: There are a lot of clichés, prejudices and misunderstandings about models and modeling, for example about eating habits. Can you maybe clear that up a bit?

VALERIA: Nobody will trust my words, but I can tell, in my life, people who eat the most are models. After hard working day we usually go together to eat pizza or pasta! Mostly, models have good DNA or they just do a lot of workouts to stay as fit as they are.

FIV: Anything else?

VALERIA: Also I would like to clear up cliché that models are stupid. Most of them speak at least 2-3 languages, they study in best universities, have diplomas and different hobbies. Because they open minded and travel a lot, most of them are very educated and interesting persons.

FIV: Thank you so much Valeria, we love to have this time with you. FIV Magazine hopes that you, your family and friends are well and the war ends as soon as possible. With best wishes!