Here, Yana Bovenistier speaks to her dreams of becoming a mother, why she prefers editorials over runway, and the importance of speaking up.
Hey! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m a 26-year-old Belgian of Congolese heritage. I grew up in Belgium and Spain.
How did you first get started modeling?
I was scouted in my late teens by a photographer in Belgium who shot new faces for a Belgian agency. I was a bartender at the time trying to figure out if I wanted to study or travel. Right before the modelling took off I did go for the travel and lived in a van for 3 months with a friend. I came back and worked as a model but only around Europe, and then I got scouted on Instagram by a booker at Women Management NY and my career kind of took off.
In the past few years, you’ve seemed to pivot from runway (Alexander Wang, Public School) to mostly editorial. Do you prefer editorial to runway? Why?
I never considered myself a showgirl. I don’t know what happened that one season, I guess i just got lucky and all these designers wanted me for shows because my look was “in” at the time, or because i caught someone’s eye. I occasionally walked a show after, but my main focus is on editorial and commercial jobs. I love to shoot so I’m happy where I am at.
What are some of your favorite photographers to work with? What are you most drawn to in a shoot?
I loved shooting with Harley Weir. She just asked me, “So what do can you do?”, almost as in a trick or an act. I loved it, because I could just express myself and be myself 100%. I love those kind of natural shoots that really show your personality.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, whether in modeling or elsewhere in life?
Don’t be afraid to speak up.
Who are some of your style inspirations / influences? How would you describe your style?
That’s difficult. I don’t have any role models and I don’t really follow trends. I feel like gypsies inspire me? I find it hard to describe my style, I just immediately know when I like a piece and when I don’t. And I love expressing myself through my style, so it changes depending on the day. I’ll dress all romantic or sexy one day if i wake up feeling like doing that, and then the other day I’ll wear all menswear. It depends.
What’s a dream that you’ve recently had?
I dreamed I was about to become a mother.
courtesy YANA BOVENISTIER
interview LILY SPERRY
More to read