Shayk was born in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia. She says she inherited her unusual looks from her father and she has said that people often think she is South American. “My father was dark skinned, because he was Tatar, sometimes Tatars can look Brazilian,” she says. “I get my light eyes from my mother”.
Irina started her career relatively late for a model, at the age of 19, when she began modeling in Paris. In 2007 she replaced Ana Beatriz Barros as the face of Intimissimi and in the same year debuted in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Since that time, she has appeared in every annual edition, attending photoshoots in such places as St. Petersburg, Naples, Grenada and Chile and has been on the covers of many other world famous magazines like Vogue, ELLE, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and so on.
Photos by Santiago Esteban