Irina Shayk (Russian: Ирина Шайхлисламова) on January 6, 1986 in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia) is a Russian model known for her 2007 through 2011 appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She is the cover model for the 2011 issue.
Irina Shaykhlislamova was born in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia. Her late father Valeri was of Tatar origin and her mother is Russian. Shayk says that she got 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.” Shayk’s mother was a pianist who was the music teacher in a kindergarten, and her father was a coal miner. She has one sibling, an older sister named Tatiana. Shayk started playing piano at age six. At age nine she enrolled in a music school and studied there for seven years, both playing the piano and singing in the choir, as her mother wanted her to study music. Her father died of complications of pneumonia when she was 14, leaving her family with little money and forcing her mother to work two jobs to provide for the family.
After high school, Shayk studied marketing but was bored by it and entered a local beauty school with her elder sister. While there, she was noticed by a person from a local modeling agency who was struck by her unusual beauty. She was urged to participate in the "Miss Chelyabinsk 2004" beauty contest, and she won.
Shayk 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.
After being the image of Intimissimi for three years (six seasons), Shayk was made the official ambassador for the brand in 2010. Her other modeling contracts include Beach Bunny (2009), and Guess spring/summer 2009. Other work include the Victoria's Secret catalog, Lacoste and Cesare Paciotti. Her magazine covers include Annabelle, Bolero, Woman, Jalouse, and Paris Capital.
She signed with modeling agency IMG on May 2009.Shayk modeled the Armani Exchange spring/summer 2010 campaign. She also starred in Kanye West's “Power”, directed by artist Marco Brambilla. She was on the cover of Ocean Drive and GQ South Africa for the August issue. She ranked first in the "50 Hottest Russian Women" list by Complex magazine.
She made a change from swimwear to high fashion with a spread in Spain's Harper’s Bazaar and landed the cover of Elle Spain for their November 2010 issue.
Since May/Spring of 2010, she has been dating footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Shayk and Ronaldo allegedly met through their Armani Exchange campaigns. (Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irina_Shayk)
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