Meet the ukraine model Vladimir Pelikh
19 out, 2016
I was born on Crimea peninsula (it’s on the south of Ukraine, close to Turkey) in 1989 in a very very small town. I lived there until I turned 16 after that I moved to Odessa (it’s a big sea port city not far from Romanian border) I studied there and then began working, living in a hostel for foreign students.
I fell in love with this city and stayed. I still live in Odessa when I’m back in Ukraine. I love to draw. I even finished collage and I also completed computer engineering at the university. I love to travel and I’d say it’s the way of life, not even a hobby or interests. I love learning languages (I speak 5 now: Ukrainian, English, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese. I understand a bit of Chinese, full Polish, Czech all the ex Yugoslavian languages, French and Italian. I don’t speak those – just understand). Sport is also a way of life (when I’m not too lazy) it’s gym, swimming, basketball. I love sea fishing and snorkeling.
I love to cook. Sins I live on the coast – I often snorkel to get some sea shells, crabs to cook them after for me or to invite somebody for dinner. Before modeling i was studying and working on farms and building constructions at the same time.
And how did all Begin?
Well, I’ve been found walking on the street 8 years ago. A girl (she was 5-6 years older than me and was a retired model, owning her own agency) proposed me to become a model, I was a little bit shocked and I refused, saying that I’m not interested. She put her visit-card in my pocket so I didn’t have chance to say “no thank u” and then she left. Of course I called her in a week or two after that and that how it all started.
My first test shoot was really fast, it was in some old house with 5-6 meters height selling. Then not to long after that I got my first magazine shoot. I love this job first of all for great possibility of traveling around the world, seeing countries, meet people, learn languages and culture. See what most of the people can’t see. Also it’s not a worst job ever, right
Posing to Photographers
The thing I like the most – it’s the result. So I’m focusing on that when I work. I shoot a lot of underwear, I’m used to it, you can’t call it “get naked” but still. About “get naked” – I did it 2 times… First time was awkward, but then it’s fine. I don’t really have (or may be just don’t remember) the backstage stories. From the all photographers I worked with there was one from Argentina (really good one). I think one of the best in South America and known in USA and Mexico too.
He was screaming on me calling “bastard, p*ndejo”, other bad words, saying I need to learn how to work (good that I’ve been told before about him) so I didn’t take all the things he said personally. Girls was crying, guys were getting mad, I knew he’s like that. In the end he put his arm on my shoulder and told me “really good job. I’d like to work with u again”. In few month he flew me to Argentina for another campaign.
The catwalks´ experiences
I don’t do a lot of catwalks because my height is 185. I can just tell I did fashion weeks in China, Ukraine, Ecuador, some catwalks in the Philippines and Mexico. I just remember: Vetallo, Scappino, G-star, Kenzo, Paul Frank. Some designers. In total may be about 100-120 fashion shows.
My first fashion show was in Ukraine for a local Disigner. When I went to the stage I was so stressed, my knees was shaking same as all my body, but I think the best fashion show I did ever was for Kenzo in Ukraine about 5-6 years ago. Kenzo crew arrived in Odessa and made same runway as in Paris. It was in a nice venue, with a nice buffet. The best I’ve ever seen I guess.
Another good one was Ukraine fashion week 2013 in a big nice show also with a good buffet (yes I eat a lot. I like it) and we were doing runway with Paris Hilton. There was many celebrities on that fashion week and The Paul Frank show was in Sanya (it’s a city on the Chinese tropical island close to Vietnam) was really fun there. We all got burned on the sun and needed an extra make up to cover it.
The fashion industry for models
I think females still running it, but line between us is going thinner and thinner. I’d say David Gandy is the one who inspiring me. I love his work. Besides many photographers and stylists I worked with say I look like him sometimes. I just know we have same type of ok, so when I see him – I see me in 5-7 years. Something like that. May be I’ll be lucky to work with some really big brands like him.
Concerning the market for black models in Ukraine, for example, they are really popular. We don’t have that much as in Brazil, or USA, or France, but we still have them and they always welcome. I got 6 black male/female model friends in Ukraine (local and immigrants)
Vladimir, a fashionista?
Not really. I’d say sometimes I like to dress convenient. I remember I was working in Mexico DF for one runway (it was opening new grand mall) David Gandy was there also as a special model – guest, he did commercial for it. I came with a shorts on, big shirt, snickers and cap. When I finished my runway we went to the buffet – I felt so awkward. Everybody was dressed in suits, dresses, and all the eyes of all the people was on me (I think they were thinking: “what is HE doing here”) Jon Koryajarena was there too and he looked at me the same way, but after 3 glasses of wine I didn’t care anymore I was just having fun.
Long before I became a model I used to live in a district with a lot of black people. So almost all my friends I had was black. I was fan of hip hop, I spent big time on a basketball court. Be honest i didn’t even have formal clothes, just big pants, big long shirts and Nike shoes sometimes changing with Timberland boots. I even had Afro – cornrows on my had for like a year. Actually this how I was looking when that girl who invited to become a model. Sometimes I still dress up like that. Sometimes suit. I don’t like to be always the same. I like when people say: “oh gosh, it’s not you Vlad! I met u wearing suit, and now you look like a gangster”. Or opposite.
Imagine u a famous model surrounded by a huge crowd!
Haha that’s a funny question. Okay. Honestly I had that experience in China 2 years ago. Not because I’m famous (no, not yet) but because it was a big fashion show and many people were waiting outside to take pictures with a models. If I’d say it was about 2-3 thousand people – I wouldn’t lie. People were taking selfie, pushing, screaming and I was just stepping back and back to the street to take taxi. Then on some point when it became really bad I just run away. Took taxi and left. People were crazy. So I guess it depends what kind of people are those and what do they want to do. If they act normal – I’d be okay, but if it’s going to be the same as I experienced – I’d move to the way where’s the taxi to just leave this place.
On show business
Show business is important these days. We live in a century of IT technologies, Internet, Instagram. People spies other’s lives. Let give them what they want!
Loving x Dating
I haven´t been dating for a while already. You know it’s hard when you always travel. But I want. I really want to find a person I’ll be free and honest with. A person that can share my way of life, and I can do the same for her. For now – just seeing someone sometimes.
It’s part of me. Can’t live without it. Basketball, gym. I was doing power-lifting before the modeling. Swimming…I grew up on the coast, can’t live without the beach and regular swimming.
Superheroes ane Superpowers
Saying about superhero – I have 2. It’s a Superman and Wolverine. Why those? Superman because he’s a symbol of protection of weak people, he’s elegant, strong, not malleable to weakness, handsome. Wolverine – because he’s tough (like us – east europeans), strong, immortal and just cool haha.
Atracting someone´s attention
I don’t think using your look it’s enough to attract people. Well, may be just attract but not keep. I think you need to show more because people get bored fast. If you just a good looking guy but nothing more – it’s boring, you know what I meant? Need to show your intelligence, knowledges, skills, need to have more cards to open. Your look it’s what people care about when they see you first time.
The way you act, the way you get dressed. But it’s just a tool to attract attention, not more. Then you use the heavy artillery. People like other people who has stories, speak languages, has baggage, experience, who traveled a lot and know many things, people who can support any speech in any sort of company because they always have something to say.
Craziest Summer time modments and fav underwear for all moments
It was a period when I was partying as crazy. Almost everyday. Be honest I never got drunk, just tipsy, never tried cigarette or drugs. Now I don’t party that much. I prefer chill at the beach, or do some activities.
About underwear (be honest I never buy it because I do lots of underwear shoots and I always get tones of underwear from the clients) i like different. As I said before I don’t like to wear something the same. Always different things. For the special moment I’m always getting ready well
Fav body party
I didn’t really understand question about favorite body parts. I guess you are talking about other people. Okay. My favorite parts are legs, hips and ass belly, also eyes … I like sport girls or milf, sort of “mamitas”. Not skinny ones.
Fav booking so far and why
The best job I’ve ever done – I guess it was a magazine called “CARAS” in Chile. We went to Patagonia for 1 week. Stayed in the best hotel there in the middle of the national park. It was 100% virgin nature, lots of animal, cold, sometimes extremely cold but very beautiful. I’ve never been to this kind of places before. I had lots of fun. Did many activities, mountain climbing, photos on my camera and my GoPro. I did many shoots on the islands of tropical places, in a nice resorts, but this one – this one was very different.
Music and Food
Anyone prefers food of his own country. Mine – is Ukrainian (obviously. We like to eat. We have really healthy food). I think it’s topical East European food. Lots of meat, mushrooms and potato. There’s hundreds of dishes I won’t spell it all now. I also like Mexican food. But just some. Chinese – well if it’s Chinese in China – “no thank you”, but Chinese abroad – it’s different thing. They know how to change it for us to not be weird but tasty haha.
I Still listen hip hop, but now when I´ve already grown up, I opened more things. Like jazz, soul. John Legend for example. Can be light alternative rock, pop music. But not too much. More hip hop or soul.
Nickname at school
When I was in school my mates called me Pelican, it was pissing me off so bad haha why pelican – because of my family name which is really similar.
If u weren´t a model….
I guess I’d be a IT engineer. That’s what i was studying in university for 5 long years. I’m also an artist. That is my hobby, not more. IT stuff is really boring, computers – your beats friends, loneliness. I realized it when I became a model. So without necessary – I won’t go back there.
Yourself in 10 years
If you would ask me 3 years ago about where I see myself in 10 years of say – in 10 years I’m running my own model agency. But now I´ve been thinking about building a hotel/hostel in my city in Ukraine (Odessa) and another one on the Philippines. Yes. It’s my dream. I’m a beach boy. What going to be in 2-3 years who knows. May be I’ll change my mind but for now – this is it.
I’m in Ecuador right now, next destination is Colombia, then Mexico and then LA, and probably Brazil. Many projects, many plans, many thoughts. I’m sure I’ll do it.
My real full name is Volodymyr Pielikh. That’s how you spell it in Latin. We have own alphabet so… This name for you would be just Vladimir. We say Volodymyr because this name has 1100 years old and it’s Ukrainian name, belongs to a great and powerful King. This name has meaning. It means “lord of peace” and it come originally from my country. Every country now using it in their own way. But that’s the original spelling of it. So if you want you can call me Vladimir Pelikh – easier (but not when you signing a contracts or buying tickets haha)
Shoe size: 43/44 eur (10.5 USA)
Mother agency: Oxygen Models (São Paulo, Brazil) http://www.oxygenmodels.com.br/
Interview by Ed, the brazilian editor