Milana Ivashkina knows the meaning of drive – and how to say it in multiple languages. An international success by age 19, she conquered the modeling industry of her home country and also landed high-profile bookings in the US and China. She has been featured in magazines including Poza, Magblacks, Pump, Swing Magazine and more. This year, she won the crown at the Ms. USA World Universe pageant, a massive achievement for a self-described “small-town girl.”
Milana’s career began when she was 7 years old. Her mother recognized her talent and acted as her daughter’s first coach and biggest fan.
“We gave it a shot and it all worked out,” Milana shares. “Some photographers liked me and that led to my first agency signing. From there, I became an ambassador for children’s clothing brands. The Chinese market was a really good fit for me, so things kept progressing. I got lucky.”
Milana’s early success continues to this day. She elaborates, “After working in China, I started to do jobs in Russia and then I moved to the US where I’m based now. Each market has been a little different for me. In China, for example, I did a lot of photoshoots for brands and magazines, it was all very commercial. In the US, I’ve been more focused on the fashion industry, doing runway shows for various fashion weeks as well as photo shoots.”
Milana names Irina Shayk and Natalia Vodianova as inspirations. Both are global supermodels who grew up in small towns and worked their way up from print jobs to become the faces of major brands. Step by step, Milana is determined to follow their lead on the path to superstardom.
“Modeling means so much to me, I consider it my calling. The sense of being connected, of developing incredible relationships with talented people all over the world is so meaningful. I love collaborating and building something beautiful together. There’s nothing like it,” explains Milana.
Recently, Milana entered New York’s Ms. USA World Universe pageant where she was crowned with the winning title. 37 participants from different parts of the country vied for the prize, but Milana was the one who caught the judges’ eye.
Milana reflects, “It was an amazing experience! I met so many new people and I learned so much from the photographers, stylists and coaches. I’m so grateful to everyone who believed in me and gave me their vote!”
She has certainly earned our vote. We’ll be keeping our eye on Milana as she continues to take over the modeling world.
Follow her Instagram – here