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Matiu / IMG

shot in Paris on March 6th, 2016 / published on May 30th, 2016

In Paris we have taken the streets for our portraits of Matiu, in the most classic Models in the Raw way. Unfortunately early March is not Spring time yet. And if you were thinking a model from Russia would be more accustomed to the freezing cold, well, you’re miles out. So we had to keep it short. But it was still enough time to get to know this former basketball player, who left home to discover the world as a model, with a pair of high heels, a book and a lot of Gretchka in her bag. She may not be immune to the chill, but her sense of humor and her enthusiasm for the world are just contagious. So enjoy this new exclusive feature!

Thanks for meeting us, Matiu! You grew up in Samara, a pretty big city in Russia we never heard of… How’s life there? Do you miss it?

Samara is a very big city and I love my hometown so much. Life there is calm. There are no big events, so sometimes it can be so boring. Actually we used to have a big rock festival called “Rock on the Volga” and people from all over the world would come to see it. There were such famous groups as Rammstein,Limp Bizkit, Deep Purple etc. It was amazing! But it’s been over since 2013… Now I try to work abroad as much as possible and go back home just to see my family and relax a bit… Of course I miss my home, especially my little sister and brother!

Back at home, you have been playing basketball for over 6 years. Do you ever miss having a team?

I meet with my ex-team when I’m at home. I think basketball helped me in many ways. Sport always makes you stronger.

You said you love that you get to travel so much being a model. What’s most fascinating about the world? What are you looking forward to when you travel?

Yes, I love to travel so much. I always dreamed of traveling, but I thought it was impossible because I would have needed a lot of money. And now I have such a great chance, so I’m happy about it. I’m so in love with discovering something new that I can’t even stop walking when in a new city. I can walk around 20 km every very day, because it’s so exciting!

What has been the best place you have been so far?

I guess both Berlin and Paris. But Berlin I love more, I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s very similar to Russia. Maybe because there is this special energy and people are very creative.

What makes a city more beautiful? Its architecture, its art or its people?

It’s the people who surround you. In the worst city you can feel happy, if you are with good people. Just as you could be sad in the most beautiful city, if you’re alone.

What’s always a must in your travel bag, because you can’t live without?

So many things should be in that category, but a must is definitely books. And buckwheat. A lot of girls from CIS take Russian buckwheat with them. It’s so funny when you run into a Russian model abroad and she has her whole suitcase full of it…

When we met you were reading The Red and the Black by Stendhal. It actually deals with his contemporary restauration society around 1830. Why is it still interesting for young readers as you, almost 200 years later?

Stendhal writes well, it is easy to read and pretty succinct. The content of one chapter could well fill a whole novel because of the many events. This book of 700 pages covers all the interesting fate of Julien Sorel, who was unlucky to be born in a poor family. He then achieves notable success because of his intelligence and commercialism, but as a result the same plays him a terrible and cruel joke.

Do you always read such classics of literature? And is there a book that has influenced you in particular?

In fact, I read all sort of literature, not only classics. Mostly it’s a friend’s advice, but very rarely I can find a book I’ll be addicted to.

Model life is not always easy. What helps you when you are in a bad mood?

It can be very, very difficult. But then I’ll start thinking of what a great chance I have. Sometimes I can’t realize that it happened to me.

And what makes you cry with laughter?

The sitcom “Friends” – so many years have passed, but it’s still so funny.

When you wake up in the morning, you know that it’s going to be a good day when…

Not when. You just know that it’s going to be a good day without conditions. You just believe in it!

©modelsintheraw.com / photos: Thomas Sing / text: Chiara Padovan