The 32-year-old Russian model has opened up about her path into the fashion industry and is adamant that it was never her intention to be a celebrity, she just wanted to be successful in her chosen profession and make a good living.
In an interview with the London Evening Standard newspaper, she said: “I didn’t become a model because I wanted to be famous. I worked specifically to get the money. And it happened that I had success because I worked really hard.”
Irina began modelling after entering the Miss Chelyabinsk 2004 beauty contest, however, before she made this move she had never even read a fashion magazine, and had no ambition to be a model – in fact she wanted to be a journalist.
She said: “My favourite subject at school was literature. I was really good at writing and telling stories. My teacher was always putting up my work as an example to the older kids.”
She said: “I had no idea what modelling would be like. All I was thinking about was that I could maybe get some catalogue work and help my family. I didn’t speak any English.”
Irina – who has 16-month-old daughter Lea de Seine with her long-term partner, actor Bradley Cooper, with the family based in Los Angeles – admits it was hard living in France as a young, struggling but those times were the making of her.
She reminisced: “In Paris, I was living in [a] small model apartment with other girls. We had €40 pocket money a week. On Sundays, we would all share rice because we had no money left.
And on Monday morning we would jump on the subway with