Hailing from Ukraine, new Face Elina Nikitina is slowly building an impressive portfolio. Discovered on Facebook, Elina soon found herself walking as an exclusive in Marc Jacobs S/S 16 and F/W 16 shows and appeared in the pages of Love magazine. With porcelain features and wide eyes, this beauty is showing promise of great things in her future.
Tell us about your childhood.
I grew up in Ukraine. My mom is a photographer, my dad is a bodyguard and I have a younger brother. I’m very close with my younger brother even though we are 10 years apart. My mom always told me how important it was to be positive and taught me English at a very young age which is why I speak it pretty well now. My dad taught me how to protect myself; I even know how to use guns and fight.
Tell us about how you were discovered.
My mother agent found me on Facebook when I was 12. She found me through a friends page, another model. I already knew how to pose since my mom is a photographer. I was lucky enough to book two jobs in my first two hours as a model.
What were the biggest challenges you faced moving to New York from Ukraine?
People in Ukraine are less likely to show and share emotion. I really enjoy New York, as it seems to be the opposite. People are very open, honest and happy to get to know each other as individuals. It’s very different from what I was used to growing up.
What was going through your head when you walked in the Marc Jacobs show?
Before the show I had so many thoughts. I was afraid I was going to fall or step on my dress. However, the minute I stepped on the runway all of those feelings went away. I was completely clear-headed and felt overwhelmed with joy.
When you’re not modeling what do you like to do in your spare time?
Yoga, running, hanging out with friends, exploring the city, meeting new people and working on my social media.
What’s on your radar at the moment?
I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ed Sheeran, Adam Levine, Maroon 5 and Green Day. In my free time I like watching TV series like Sherlock, Elementary and any good comedies. All in all I think it’s very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which never goes out of style. Being healthy makes me feel beautiful, happy and keeps my energy up.
What do you hope to get out of your modeling career?
My dream is to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Vogue Paris cover.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Everyone seems to be surprised that I began working when I was only 13. It was an easy transition though, my mom was a photographer since a young age, so I learned to pose and be very comfortable in front of the camera. I’m also trying to learn Chinese. I think it will be a very useful language to learn.