The charming Anna Kostenko is one of the most popular models on a global scale. But this is only a small part of a long list of her achievements.
JOY: Anna you are a popular model, you work with many brands, what is the most interesting in your work?
ANNA - One of the main advantages of the profession is interesting acquaintances and contacts in a fashionable environment. The flow of new people makes it possible to realize oneself not only in the modeling business but also in other areas. Also, by learning all the subtleties of craftsmanship, you learn to be elegant and graceful to discover new facets in yourself. This is a path that inspires self-improvement.
JOY: At the 2016 New Silk Road Model Look World contest, from which your career started, you represented Ukraine. What difficulties did you face?
ANNA - This is a professional modeling competition that aims to draw attention to the New Silk Road - the transformation of the trade and economic model of Eurasia. The competition was held for two weeks in China. This is my first long trip abroad. There were many difficulties: communication, understanding the behavior of people from different countries, a busy schedule, constant travel to new cities, acclimatization, and food.
I am proud that I was able to acquaint people with the culture of Ukraine.
I also felt a great responsibility and tension, as I was the face of Ukraine. Of course, I did my best, so at the end of the competition, I felt squeezed like a lemon. But it was worth it! I was proud that I was able to acquaint a huge number of people with Ukrainian culture and values.
JOY: In 2019, you became the winner of Miss Eurasia - 2019. How did the finals go and what is it like to be the most beautiful girl on the entire continent?
ANNA - Miss Eurasia is in the TOP 10 world beauty contests. Of course, she dreamed of winning. In the final, when the rewarding began, I felt confident that I could win. But when the winner was announced, my knees were shaking.
Interesting Facts. My favorite time of day is morning because it's like the beginning of a new life. Favorite book - "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki. Favorite movie - animated comedy "The Secret Life of Pets". Favorite celebrity - it's hard to single out someone else, but I would like to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger. My beloved person is my mother and sister Olya, who always understand and support me.
I didn't believe it when the president of the competition, Leonid Karatygin, called my name. It all happened so quickly! It seemed that I had stopped breathing, my eyes were filled with tears. It was like a fairy tale. But only the next morning I realize that my life had changed dramatically. Surprisingly, this did not frighten me, but, on the contrary, gave me more self-confidence.
JOY: What other countries have you visited while taking part in competitions or shows? And from which of them the warmest memories?
ANNA - I have worked all over the world: in Italy, France, Portugal, Monaco, Turkey, China, India. In European countries, it is easier and more comfortable for me, because the culture and values are similar to ours. And the hardest part was in China. In India it is very interesting, especially to shoot designer lookbooks of their traditional clothes. And their wedding dresses are incredible!
JOY: As a teenager, you played sports. Can you say that you came to the modeling business through sports?
ANNA - Yes, for me doing active sports is a pleasure. In addition, from birth, I was surrounded by sportspeople. And also - after the IFBB: Women’s Bikini Fitness fitness bikini competition, I believed in myself and was not afraid to go to my first beauty contest.
JOY: In 2018 you took part in the original Miss Tourism World travel competition. What are the special features of the event and what skills, in addition to modeling, did you have to demonstrate?
ANNA - The event took place over three weeks, we visited more than ten cities in China. Each of them told about our national values and culture, demonstrated costumes with ethnic symbols, visited orphanages and charity events. I am sure that I was able to show the Ukrainian people beautiful, talented, and intellectually developed.
JOY: There are many things that connect you with tourism. Even the General Directorate of the Eurasian Tourism Organization noticed your activity and invited you to become a goodwill ambassador. What's the most interesting thing about your mission?
ANNA - I devote my time, talent, and energy to raising public awareness regarding the efforts of the Eurasian Tourism Organization (ETO), aimed at promoting tourism and travel, improving the living conditions of billions of people around the world. My task is to report on ETO events and issues of concern. That is the promotion of the organization's outreach activities. As a goodwill ambassador for tourism, I also visit places where programs and events are implemented. This contributes to a clearer vision by the international media of pressing regional and local issues.
JOY: What values should the ambassador of the Eurasian tourism organization have?
Initiative and energy, striving for professional development, willingness, and ability to work fruitfully.
ANNA - It's important to be able to spot random opportunitiesю.
JOY: This year you were invited as an expert to the jury of the beauty contest. I wonder if it's harder to be a member or to evaluate others?
ANNA - For me, being on the jury is a wonderful moment when I can apply the knowledge and experience that I gained during my participation in beauty contests. This is a huge responsibility entrusted to the president of the competition, Leonid Karatygin. I carefully studied the biography of the girls, watched how they behaved in society, was interested in their values. My choice was based not only on facts but also on a sixth sense. In my opinion, you need to evaluate the totality of what nature gave the girl, what her parents invested in her, and what she needed herself. It is interesting that being both a contestant and as a member of judging, it is necessary to seriously prepare for the event. As a participant, I must represent my country in the best way, and as a member of the jury, I must defend the interests of the event and choose a worthy girl, without any personal relationships.
MODEL : ANNA KOSTENKO @kostenko_anika
PHOTOGRAPHER : YULIA NAR @yulia_nar
STUDIO : Photo Studio NYC / LA @ceoportrait