Marina Linchuk thinks only about penguins. When our interview ends, Marina will rush to Boulders beach in Cape Town to take photos with them and will post the shots to Instagram.
She’s already drunk protein shake after her morning workout in gym. She’s already put on TopShop skirt and white swimsuit with as much amazing decollete as the fact that there are penguins in Africa. Milan and Paris no longer have an opportunity to enjoy Marina’s decollete and legs because of her trip to South Africa which is first in her life.
Linchuk hasn’t visited Fashion Weeks even as a party star for the first time in 15 years. She hasn’t visited runways for a long time also, only one Balmain show had been planned but she again chose penguins, hiking in Lions Peak, «the craziest sunsets on the whole planet» and ten work days for permanent money clients instead of the show.
It used to be a lot of time since Steven Meisel took photos of her for Vogue America and Sofia Coppola took photos of the minsker with straw color hair for Miss Dior commercial. French Vogue added her to the list of 30 top models of 2000. Victoria’s Secret trusted Marina her sexy lace for the shows but in 2013 it was the last show for the model. The best Belarusian model ran away from that loud ball as Cinderella to Mexican Tulum’s jungles.
— I was 26 years old then, I had been working since 13 without stop, I didn’t know life, Linchuk explains to me why she left modeling industry. — I went to the plane, the plane took off, I slept one night in a hotel, worked, again went to the plane, the plane again took off and I flew somewhere else. It lasted very long 13 years. I was irritated, bothered by everything what surrounded me. I had tried to understand myself, to understand who I am.
Models are more and more saying «I’m tired, I leave» in our era of conveyor fashion. Australian model Miranda Kerr said goodbye to runway with the same phrase «I had been working since my 13, modeling for underwear has become a too big part of my life». She left to raise her son, to divorce with Orlando Blum, to develop her own line of cosmetics and to start writing a book «Empower Yourself».
Besides previous models also Erin Hiterton from America left Victoria’s Secret in 2013. She was always asked to lose the weight and it began making her depressed so now Erin has started working on a fund for Uganda people. Changes don’t stop! 2 years ago Cara Delevingne at the young age of 22 also left this industry. She had even wrote an essay, where she said «I have lost myself trying to get others’ approval». English lady found herself in film industry and, to be honest, she’s pretty good at it (not common for models). She acted in Suicide Squat last year, Tulip Fever by Tom Stoppard and London Fields by Martin Amis with her participation are coming out this year.
Linchuk played a role of a sexy vampire in a Sofia Coppola’s drama «Somewhere» before her «break-up» with modeling but she didn’t build an acting career and chose posting photos from Mexican beaches. She’d better launch a charity foundation. Her first agent Pavel Zotov advised her to do so when the whole Paris literally lied near her legs in Dior commercial where she flew a balloon. Philanthropy is the most effective way in our era to stay a well-known star after the leaving without any other skills and talents. Marina agrees.
Linchuk’s leaving in Chatsky style still disappoints Russian fashion experts. And the fact, that she appreciated commercial shootings more than others also does. And spending much time with her boyfriend Sal Morale, one DJ from New York, like it was the time of Kate Moss youth does the same.
She thoughtlessly cheated her mother agency DNA, in which she worked with Natalya Vodianova, Linda Evangelista and others. Smart models stay at their mother agencies till their old age, because agencies’ investment is immeasurable. Linchuk exchanged DNA for Ford (2 million dollars claim), than she came back to DNA but again left because of The Lions agency.
It’s Russian style to behave like that but Marina is from Belarus. The story, which was told me by Elena Lyandres, comes to mind. Once upon a time, when Lena worked in New York, she was told «The shooting for American Harper’s Bazaar is tomorrow». Lena decided to go to a party that night, and in the morning, when the alarm called, she thought «What the hell? I’d better stay here and sleep». This is the answer to Linda Evangelista with her phrase «I don’t wake up if I’m going to get less than 10 thousand dollars». What are you talking about fashion experts? What charity foundation do you mean?!
— You know, I think about it sometimes too, — agrees Marina. — I think models from the post-Soviet space get star fever more often than others. It’s difficult for us to achieve something, and when we get what we wanted we relax. When I only started my career, even getting a visa was a big problem. American models are lucky because they can go to college and start doing their first steps in this industry at the same time. I don’t mean that it’s easier to work for them, no, it is difficult for everyone. I just want to say that we have to waste 2.5 years only to come to America.
In MIU MIU Jacket and bra
Marina is going to visit Maldives after this trip to South Africa. She’s going to work for free for 10 days, more precisely, she’s going to collect beach rubbish. Now she’s a Parley for the Oceans member and their aim is to save World Ocean. Its volunteers go to bad-known islands like Dzhmanafusha or Dkhaandu and work there. Cheval Blanc or maybe Four Seasons weren’t there so instead of snow-white sand you’ll see heaps of plastic which they need to collect. Also Marina tells children at local schools about the environment and teaches them correct attitude to it. It shows what the person she is more than Instragram hashtag #climatechange or modeling for magazines.
— This work has changed my view on the life, it’s changed my plans for the life, — she says enthusiastically about her work and, it seems, thinks about penguins at the same time. — How we can talk about fashion, when THIS happens to our planet?! You walk through the beach full of knee-deep Cola bottles! If we don’t change it, in 10 years we won’t have an opportunity to swim in the ocean at all.
As usual it happens in Marina’s life, the membership started from one New York party. Linchuk met there a founder of Parley Sayril Gooch. He had already turned it into fashion project: Farrell Williams, David LaChapelle, Julian Schnabel and others had joined, even Adidas started to make their clothes from plastic trash. Marina, of course, accepted his offer.
I’m just kidding saying that she has found a way to do both wear a swimsuit and be an activist. In other words, she doesn’t need to get cold on a protest for Donald Tramp or to take part in women’s marches to be called an activist.
— Actually, I collect rubbish in not so indecent swimsuit as I used to, Marina laughs. — But yes, my work and my love to warm climate, islands and beaches have matched. I have chosen the Ocean maybe because, you know, it isn’t the same to save bears in Alaska. I don’t take part in all this women’s movement because I don’t have any need in this. I’m obviously happy with my life. I adore jungles, I love to spend time with the nature. This is the reason why I stopped my career in Hollywood. It stays a kind of show-business, I’ve chosen something more real.
In WALK OF SHAME T-shirt and SHAN swimsuit
Having a body, which sometime attracted Semyon Varlamov, a wild character from NHL, Marina prefers Vêtements clothes. High heels and sexy dresses are not in Marina’s wardrobe anymore. She likes that type of clothes, which boys used to wear in time of her Minsk youth, but her boyfriend is against this style. She has been in relationships for 3 years with Brendon Green, a son of TopShop founder Philip Green. They met in 2014 on the amfAR dinner in Cannes.
— We only said «Hi» during that dinner, — remembers Marina. — Then we met on Ibiza, talked a little bit more and realized that we have a lot in common.
Brendon is 24, Marina will be 30 this September. Brendon doesn’t make Marina think he is smaller but even call her a child. Marina now wears high-waisted mom’s jeans TopShop, does yoga in lycra of Ivy Park, the line of TopShop and Beyoncé. Any permanent clients don’t disturb her from shows of almost family brand as an honourable guest, of course.
Linchuk hasn’t visited her apartment in Soho for a long time. Everything is native there: pudding from chia seeds with nut milk and match tea for a breakfast in Souen and Café Henrie; fitness in Gotham Gym and The Dogpound, friends Inga Rubenstein and Julia Restuan-Roytfeld, 20-years-old brother Volodya, who is now training from New Jersey Rockets for a El’beu accessory designer. Now she lives in Mayfair but she hasn’t got there something native yet besides a boxing club BXR London, which was opened by Olga Sardarova, Marianna and Rasheed’s daughter-in-law. The club was already called «Victoria’s Secret angels gym» by the press although the fact that only Marina and Sara Sampaio have its card. Annual membership costs at least 1.5 thousand pounds.
In VERSACE trench and CALZEDONIA swimsuit
Brandon hasn’t helped Marina on Maldivies yet; he’s busy in the office working for their family brand but supports Marina as much as he can. He accompanied her to Giovanna Battaglija’s wedding to Capri and Ana Beatriz Barros’s wedding to Mikonos, to Courchevel and Portofino, to Miami Beach, to the resort of Amanyara on the Turks and Caicos Islands, on the Burning Man festival. It seems he’s going to help her with strawberry on Linchuk’s kitchen garden. Marina’s parents, owners of fur business in Minsk, live in the agrotown Rakov near the capital of Belarus.
The successor of a condition of Great Britain, the fourth in size, most often shyly stays backstage during Marina’s shows. He has neither Instagram nor Facebook. But all this can change, right, Marina?
— There are people who want to be famous, — she says. — He, on the contrary, wants a peaceful and a quiet life. He wants us to go everywhere we want to, walk through the streets, and enjoy every day of our life.
She is too well at it.