The Princess of Siberia. Top Russian model. Jana Ogladina
I would like to tell you the story of one ordinary, but very beautiful and charming girl, who became well-known international top model. I interviewed Jana and decided to share her story with you, as if she told it to the world herself.
I was born in Russia, small provincial town Prokopyevsk in the center of Siberia – one of the mining capitals before, empty and poor nowadays. People raised in such a small habitat are cut off from major cities, civilization, progress, open-mindedness… They either reconcile with reality or aim to the TOP. My intention was to become one of the TOP, though it worked out the other way that I’ve planned.
Since I was a kid I’ve always been starved for attention – I liked pretending living different lives, stories borrowed from series shown on the TV, I liked dressing up, wearing pretty dresses and mom’s lipstick, granny’s high heels (yes, my grandma is wearing high heels, until now though she’s 75, I might have it in my genetics). If you ask my elder cousin (she’s 13 years older and I call her sister, we were raised together), she can tell you the story how she had to bring me to the date — because no one could stay with me — and I completely ruined it. By the end of the day I was saying I’m too tired and the guy literally had to bring me home on his arms.
At the teenage years I was really into journalism and I started my way in poetry at the same time.
Starting with publications for our school newspaper soon I became editor in chief. I took part in numerous local, national and international literature contests, and I must admit I did pretty well – I have received many awards, my achievements were quite big for someone my age (under 17). Same time I graduated from the school of modern TV and one of the options that I had was to start working for one of the local TV channels.
My sister is a nurse in local hospital, so I had an opportunity to visit the real operation and devoted big article to all medical workers, I believe that it’s truly daring work and I am immensely grateful to each of them for what they do every day, for every saved life. I do believe they are underestimated – we don’t usually realize how huge is their daily contribution to the society. If I’m not a model, I’d choose being a doctor! There is something for me in all social important occupations and I can’t explain it. I’ve always been the one fighting for the truth and rights, and I was involved into huge conflict around changing form of state exams and due to that I started thinking of moving somewhere else.
I do believe in fate, fatum is my religion. And fate decided that I have to move to Prague.
Prague always attracted people — by its antiquity, architecture, variety of cultures and nationalities, it is a heart of Europe indeed.
My choice was to study diplomacy – international relations and European Union itself. European education is completely different from Russian, so of course I had some problems, especially with self- control and self-discipline – no one controlled us there and most of the subjects were so familiar from school, so it lost my attention very fast.
I am very dependent on emotions. When it comes to real feelings like love or friendship, I’m ready to do anything instead of thinking rational first. Feelings completely overwhelm me, I can neither eat nor sleep, nor think about anything else. But I never considered it as a bad quality. Though my personality is always tempted by intricate and closed men. I always had lots of fans or admirers, but I was more interested in men who did not run after me, I liked to win hearts myself. I’ve never been the type for marriage or having kids. My kiddo is my dog. And of course two of my nieces now. Those are the sweetest, not even 2 years old yet.
I am more of the type trying to prove something to the world, daring to challenge, daring to change, so are my dreams. One of my first model dreams was to have a billboard, a huge one, no matter where – I just wanted all the people ever doubted in me to see what I can. Sounds funny I know. But anger or under appreciation are usually the strongest moving powers, especially for woman.
And once I came across an ad where models were wanted, and I thought “that’s it” but I had to send portfolio, which I never had.
By the way, during my first year in Prague I lost almost 10 kilos for 3 months (of course all of them I gained in Prague – students life, junk food, parties). I have always been tall and slim, but always considered myself too fat – that’s the part of perfectionist. I can’t even tell you how many times my friends and people around me were saying that I’m already way too skinny and I’d better gain a little but I already knew my next goal and didn’t want to stop.
I’ve found a photographer and arranged my first photo shoot – I brought my own clothes, did make- up and hair myself. And I was really happy, I enjoyed every second of my time in front of the camera.
For almost two years I was working hard for my portfolio, sometimes shooting for free, I was participating in many projects including charity. I was walking exclusively for Adidas and Reebok, I took part in few small beauty pageants (as I couldn’t go for big ones with no citizenship), even got one crown like Miss Summer Prague, 2nd runner up.
And I quickly realized that the model market there was unfortunately too small, while I never wanted to try myself in France or Italy – I never thought I’d fit – not androgynous, not teenager, too womanly. But I’ve always been attracted to Asia.
By the way, I always had a lot of “paper problems” during my staying in Prague. It was getting really hard to extend visa, rent an apartment or get normal job, political situation was affecting our lives a lot, even the studying. So the decision to move somewhere was easy — the main question was where to.
The easiest way was to return to Russia, but I guess that was just not for me – I didn’t want to go back to the province. I tested myself with one of the most important cities of Russia – our northern Venice — Saint Petersburg. For almost one year I lived in between 2 cities (Prague and Saint P). I am a big fan of our culture, language, history and this city will always have its place in my heart. I’ve met lots of great people there – amazing make-up artists, designers, photographers.
But it still wasn’t 100% my place, I was still looking for something bigger, better, more wondering and extraordinary. With nothing to lose I accepted the invitation of one Chinese agency (through my Slovakian mother agency) to come for on-stay contract for 3 months. It was my first contract and of course I didn’t get much then experience. But that seemed as a start of something bigger.
My first working trip to Asia happened to be to Beijing. From small Russian provincial town to the huge mega polis again. Crowded and polluted. But I really enjoyed my twenty-four-hour work. Shootings for catalogs, numerous fashion shows (I got to walk for Elie Saab right on my birthday). When I came back home after my 3 months contract I was tired but at the same time I so wanted to fly somewhere else again.
This place feels like home to me, from the very first moments and that’s a mutual feeling. When I fly somewhere else I’m always looking forward to come back. It’s almost 2 years that I’m here now (2 years with breaks, I was staying here for 1 year straight and then I came back after traveling and few more contracts).
The reason why I came here first was another model contract, I was supposed to stay for 3 months but I was working so good that by the end of the day I stayed for one year. I did a lot of great projects here and all my billboards and campaigns (for SM Malls, Fisher Mall, Amazonas sleepers, Wacoal underwear, Rustan’s fragrance, Korean brand Consfield), editorials, catalogs, fashion weeks and fashion shows for such brands as Lacoste, Porsche design, Armani Exchange, SuperDry, Marks&Spenser, Brooks Brothers.
My latest works are skin care campaigns, few movie tapings and fashion shows. One of my movie partners actually was Colossus from Deadpool – Stefan Kapicic.
I enjoy climate and people who I work with, I like local people a lot — they are friendly, willing to help, and what’s really important – they speak English. Last year I had another unique experience – I’ve got a title of Miss Global Russia 2017 and I was honored to represent Russia for the world finals in Cambodia. This is definitely “once in a lifetime” experience which I’m very proud of. As for Cambodia I actually never felt worse about any country – extreme poverty and people all around you hoping for help. We’ve been to numerous provincial schools, different events. All those 3 weeks with heavy heart. I know many will say that the Philippines is not very rich country too but still here we have big progress and development, middle class people and modern districts. Many people keep this stereotype thinking Asia is like this. I’ve been to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, China and Hong-Kong – all over Asia — it’s not all the same.
Aside from Miss Global I took part in one of our national beauty pageants in Moscow last December. I came back home with the crown and the title — Miss Fashion of Russian Empire.
Nowadays I still work as a model, maybe not as much as before, but still. Let’s say I’m very choosy now and I try to pay more attention to my other projects which I don’t want to advertise yet. I can only say it might be connected with writing again. That’s one of my lifetime principles – 3 things to keep private: love life, income and next move.
As for the love life I can only say that I’m taken. I’ve found everything I’ve been looking for in one person and I hope it’s for a lifetime. And I’m glad he’s not a public person – I’m too jealous to share him with the world.
It’s not mine to decide if I have already taken it really far for a girl from Siberian province, but I still have so many in front — so many years, so many opportunities, so many plans, so many ambitions — even including modeling – I do believe that nowadays you can keep working in the industry as long as the way you look allows you.
For those who want to follow Jana’s daily routine, enjoy her beautiful travel and working pictures or even have collaboration ideas — here is the link for her Instagram