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Model Student

Mira Dayal


IT ISN’T EASY FOR A BEAUTIFUL FACE to turn heads in a city where beautiful faces are the norm, but that is exactly what happens every time Karyna, the rising superstar model, enters a room.

Such was the case when we made our way to a booth at Bottega del Vino on 59th Street of Fifth Avenue recently to meet with the 23-year-old Russian beauty, who now calls New York home.

The Kate Moss lookalike, who uses only her frst name professionally, was born in the former Russian republic of Belorussia, just months before the collapse of the Soviet Union. She was raised by her grandparents in a small city in what soon became the independent nation of Belarus.

She performed ballet and dance in the nation’s capital of Minsk for six years before a knee injury derailed her budding theater career.

Karyna says she knew since childhood that she wanted to leave Belarus. “When I was 20, I told my grandmother ‘I am going to America.’ When I was leaving, she gave me a towel. I said ‘this is America; they have towels.’”

She moved to New York in 2010 and signed last year with the small, boutique modeling management frm, Nadia Model Management. It has been a whirlwind of photo shoots and client meetings ever since.

“It’s the hardest industry to be in,” says Nadia, who manages Karyna’s busy modeling career. She added that it is difcult to get through lunch at favorite spots like Cipriani or Bar Italia without strangers approaching.

Now enrolled at City University’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Karyna juggles
a demanding undergraduate education with photo shoots. “I have class early in the morning; by the time I fnish my classes, I go to my castings,” she says. “I then have class in the evening, and then I have one weekend class.”

To stay fit, she eats healthy food, goes to the gym, practices yoga and walks nearly 40 blocks to school each day from her Upper West Side apartment. “You need to take care of yourself,” Karyna avers. “You have to be active, defnitely.”

She starts each day by making smoothies, using kale, spinach, grapefruit, lemon, cinnamon, and berries.

She does not let her looks go to her head. “Beauty is not on the outside; it’s what’s inside of you,” she says with a laugh. “I also believe a lady will never be beautiful if she has a dirty mouth.”

Karyna loves Manhattan and hopes to earn enough money to one day bring her family here, noting: “My grandmother is very proud of me.”

To learn more about Karyna, please contact Nadia Model Management at: