The New Faces Staying Mindful and Overcoming Adversity

Iryna

Who:
Iryna (Ira) Balinska (@irynabalinska); 180 cm / 5’11”; Ukrainian from Lviv, Ukraine; born May 12th.

Where:
Dope Models (mother agency), Monster Management (Milan), Uno Models (Barcelona)

— The most interesting thing about your family?
I have two younger brothers, and like any other siblings, we fight a lot. We find ourselves very competitive about almost everything, from “who bakes more” to “whose sandcastle is better” 🙂

— Who is someone you admire and why?
Emma Watson is a huge motivator for me, she’s an amazing actress and the kindest human being. I also admire my mom, it is unbelievable how she manages her work and us at home.

— The best and worst aspects of your personality:
I’m extremely lazy, I would spend days lying in bed watching movies or scrolling insta if I could. But I love myself for being able to overstep laziness, even on the most terrible days. These probably are the worst and best aspects of my personality.


Freddie

Who:
Freddie Dadson (@freddiedadson); 187 cm / 6’1.5″; British from Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK; born May 4th.

Where:
Models 1 (London – mother agency)

— One thing people may be surprised to find out about you:
I have a series of vlogs from my youth on YouTube documenting my life living in a small village. One in particular (and an absolute classic) is the short series titled ‘Skateboarding in the Countryside’. It focuses on and highlights the struggles one faces when trying to skateboard out in the sticks. I remember skating past the pub, where the terrain was particularly rough, and falling off in front of all the farmers having a pint. Crashing down onto the country lane swiftly followed by a jeering ‘waheeey’ from the old boys at the Carps was the bitter harsh reality and embodiment of… ‘Skateboarding in the Countryside’.

— Who is someone you admire and why?
My friend Tim. He is always up for a good time and having a laugh, meeting new people and “havin’ a good yarn”. Despite having a very stressful job, I have never heard Tim complain. 

— What’s your most prized possession and why?
At the moment you won’t see me without my copy of the play Howie The Rookie by Mark O Rowe. This has to be my prized possession as I hope to put it on in a theatre near you with my friend this year. There are two characters and two acts. Each character has their own act, so the play is essentially two twenty-page long monologues! You might say that I am in fact the possession of the play, for the fear that’s instilled in me to learn all these lines has possessed me in such a way that I will surrender to its every demand.


Katia

Who:
Katia Schneider (@woefulwasp); 175 cm / 5’9″; American from Portland, Oregon, USA; born July 5th.

Where:
Blossom Scouting & Development (mother agency)

— What are three interesting facts about you? 
1. I love rats, I have cared for 11 of them over the course of my life! They truly are some of the sweetest creatures.
2. I have been keeping a journal for almost 5 years now.
3. I love pickled foods; artichoke hearts, capers, kimchi, sauerkraut, ume, and of course the classic, dill pickles. 

— Who is someone you admire and why?
I have many people I look up to, but the person I look up to most is my mom. She is an eighth-grade teacher and has made quite a significant impact in the community she is in. Not only is she able to be an amazing mom to me and my younger sister, but she also continues to question the curriculum she teaches and listens to the world around her so that she is able to be a helpful and supportive teacher to her students. It makes me proud to hear her former students tell me about her impact, and lucky to have a role model in my life that is only a call away.

— An issue or cause you are passionate about: 
I am passionate about waste reduction, slow fashion, and reusing things you already have! In today’s market, it is quite difficult to truly be a mindful consumer, and I feel very fortunate to live in an area that has access to many second-hand stores, local markets and public transportation so that I am more able to implement these practices into my everyday. Although individual impact is minuscule compared to industrial impact, I am very motivated to leave less of a footprint when I can. 


Promise

Who:
Promise Adeyeye (@promise.adeyeye); 186 cm / 6’1″; Nigerian from Osun, Nigeria; born June 28th.

Where:
Led Model Management (mother agency)

— One thing people may be surprised to find out about you:
People are surprised that I was born with one of my arms shorter than the other. Every time I am out and about, people always ask what kind of accident or illness resulted in my arm being short and I tell them I was born that way; they look so shocked and are in disbelief.

— Who is someone you admire and why?
I admire my mom. She is so powerful and relentless. As a mother–especially from my country–giving birth to a child without complete arms like myself has been a challenge for her, with people talking and gossiping about her (even sometimes the extended family) but in all she keeps providing for me, caring and motivating me to see there’s more to me.

— How did you become a model?
My friends & I just finished shopping. On the way home my friend tapped me on the shoulder to look across the road. There was a man (Mr. Godwin) in a car stuck in traffic, calling and waving his hand, telling me to come over to him. It was strange because I never imagined modeling ever in my life. He gave me his card and told me to make sure I give my parents the card so they can call him. My mom called and here I am.


Radija

Who:
Radija Mendes (@_telma_radija_); 178 cm / 5’10”; Portuguese from Olhão, Algarve, Portugal; born September 29th.

Where:
Elite Lisbon (mother agency)

— What’s a story your family/friends like to tell about you?
When I was born, I was already so big that the baby clothes my parents had bought me didn’t fit!

— What’s your most prized possession and why?
A gift from my grandmother, because it is the only thing I have from her now.

— An issue or cause you are passionate about:
Animal rescue. I love animals and they are so pure that they don’t deserve to live in the bad conditions that some do…


Yeray

Who:
Yeray Allgayer (@yeraylam); 186 cm / 6’1″; Spanish from Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Spain; born January 29th.

Where:
Pop House (Las Palmas de G.C. – mother agency), Soul Artist Management (New York), 16 & 16MEN (Paris), Elite Milan, Elite London, PMA (Hamburg), Elite Spain (Barcelona), IMM Bruxelles (Brussels), Elite Amsterdam

— An issue or cause you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about mindfulness and how the brain works. There is nothing more important than mental health and being comfortable with ourselves. Also, I’m really into know other people’s opinions cause we all living in our own reality and perspective about life.

— What are three interesting facts about you?
1. I have Brazilian and German heritage, was born in Andalucía and raised in the Canary Islands.
2. I’m a passionate and sensitive person. I usually get emotional when I surf at sunset or when I go by myself to surf.
3. I didn’t really know what to do with my life till modeling found me. Now I made this my professional goal.

— One thing you never want to do again?
Lie. Once I lied to someone important to me, and he said he was gonna still love me but he felt disappointed in me. Disappointed—that word hurt me so much that I couldn’t ever lie again.