Four months ago, 16-year-old Kristina Romanova arrived in New York for the first time. Since then, this Russian beauty has made impressive strides in the modeling industry. In her first fashion season, this former dancer chalked up 23 shows. Romanova’s star-making lineup included Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander, D&G, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Yohji Yamamoto. With her doll-like features — big eyes, plump lips, long, silky hair — and warm, levelheaded personality — Romanova is positioned to take her career to the next level.
Height: 5’ 9.5”
Birth sign: Gemini
Home country: Russia
You became a model by just walking into the local model agency in your hometown?
“I didn’t want to go to the agency. I thought, ‘It’s not me, this isn’t for me.’ But my friends advised me to go. They said, ‘You should! You should! You look like a model.’ (Laughs) And, so I did it, and now I’m here. It’s exciting to be a model. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.”
Were you nervous before BCBG, the first show you walked in New York?
“My first show, I was really nervous. But, then, it was really good and I didn’t feel nervous at all. Before I became a model, I was dancing. There was always a performance. It’s not a new experience to be on the stage.”
Do you have a favorite show?
“I liked very much Marc Jacobs. They played classical music and it was a very good collection. The hair was crazy. And Alexander McQueen was very exciting. It was the first show without him. Everybody was crying backstage — models, hairdressers, everybody. But it was a beautiful show, and the collection was really McQueen.”
Did the hair in Marc Jacobs take a long time to do?
“A very long time. The call time was eight hours before the beginning of the show. They bleached our eyebrows. That was crazy, too.”
Do you have any hobbies?
“Dance is the main thing. I try to go the gym when I have time. I like to run. I like to work out. It keeps your body strong. It’s also for my mood.”
Do you have a favorite feature?
“I liked my hair when it was long, but I still like it very much like this. It’s easier. I like my lips, too.”
When did you cut your hair?
“One week ago, right after the shows. I cut almost a foot off. Change is always good, and my hair is still long! It’s much easier now. I think it looks healthier.”
Do you have a favorite designer?
“I don’t have a favorite, but I very much like D&G. The collection felt like summer. It was very cute. I like Versus, too. It was very beautiful. More girlish and kind of sexy with short dresses.”
Do you have any favorite pieces in your own wardrobe?
“I like dresses very much. I always buy dresses, but in life I wear more jeans — more casual. I like Anna Sui. I did the Anna Sui show and she had a gift for me, a dress. It was really nice — a kind of silk material with a very nice print. It’s one of my favorite dresses.”
What would you like to do if you weren’t modeling?
“I would like to have my own business, but I don’t know what kind because I haven’t finished school yet.”
Are there other models that you look up to?
“I like very much Sigrid [Agren]. She’s very nice and cute. I like Snejana Onopka, because she’s very beautiful.”
Being 16, and new to the industry, did any models give you advice?
“Yeah, I had a lot of advice from other models with more experience. They tried to help me sometimes. Like how to do my hair, what I should wear on castings and how I should act [on castings].”
Earlier you said you didn’t expect so much success so quickly.
“I didn’t expect such a big success in the first season. It’s a lottery. You don’t know what tomorrow will be. Today you are a star, tomorrow you have nothing. You can’t even plan. Everything can change. I crossed my fingers and hoped that the season would be good.”