Irina Shayk has lived and learned.
Speaking with PEOPLE ahead of the Falconeri store opening in New York City’s Soho neighborhood on Wednesday night, the supermodel, 34, reflected on what she’s learned over the course of her nearly two-decade long career — and how she’s stayed true to her roots during the ups and downs.
“Sometimes different work and personal life things come up and you want to go full on Russian,” Shayk, who split from ex Bradley Cooper in June, joked. “My mom said one thing to me that I remember from many years ago… ‘Whatever happens in life, remember you have to be a lady.'”
Amid her whirlwind year, the notoriously private star (who teamed up with Falconeri to introduce the Italian cashmere brand to the U.S. market) also told PEOPLE that she wakes up every morning thinking, “I’m 34 and I’m so lucky to be working.” Not only is Shayk still working, she’s at the height of her career.
“I think women are like a good wine: better with age, wiser and better decisions in life,” Shayk, who shares 2-year-old daughter Lea with Cooper. “I think a woman just has to feel she never ages inside. It’s all about personality. It’s all about how you take life in and send the energy out there.”
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The Russian beauty recently graced the digital cover of harpersbazaar.com, closed out the Oscar de la Renta fashion week show, stripped down for Calvin Klein and starred in Falconeri’s new ad campaign.
Shayk has worked with Falconeri’s parent company, Calzedonia Group, since the start of her career so the new partnership made sense.
“They’re the one who discovered me back 12 years ago in Russia,” she told PEOPLE. “I always loved Falconeri because it’s really comfortable, it’s high quality and it’s more than classy and simple. You can layer it, it’s warm and it lasts long.”
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Shayk said she traveled to Iceland with Falconeri to shoot the latest campaign, which focuses on “connecting between human and nature.” The model added, “while we were shooting, these icebergs in the back were melting.”
“I don’t want to work and be face of the brands that I truly don’t represent from the inside out — I’m really looking for high quality and the message behind ,” Shayk explained. “Falconeri is very connected with reminding the whole world about global warming. In places Iceland, maybe in five to ten years, they’re not going to be there anymore.” (People.com Latest News) More