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Israel cries out: Give us more Russians!

Russian beauty is in vogue

Russian beauty is in vogue

As the Israeli fashion industry grows, designers and photographers have struck a problem - a shortage of Russian models. Israel is on the hunt for Russian beauties to put on the cover of glossy magazines.

Maria Simmonds, Lina Geornina, Ksenia Stefanov, Valeria Panova - on the catwalk today, it’s Russian names and Russian beauty that are in vogue.

“Although Russia influenced the Fashion World seven, eight years ago, in Israel it’s only been in the last three years that they started taking part in the big campaigns. The number of Russian models is growing because they bring a level of professionalism far above what we’re used to in Israel. Today, photographers, after working with Russian girls don’t want to work with anyone else,” says Shai Avital, from Elite model agency.

Adi Barkan, a top photographer with contracts with leading magazines around the world, says it’s easier to work with Russian girls than with Israeli models.

“If a Russian girl comes to the studio at eight in the morning she works until eight in the evening without saying nothing. The Israeli model, after four hours needs a break. Secondly the models are different size. And this is what the designer wants and it’s cheaper than bringing a model from Europe.”

Olga Benenson is 14-years-old and was spotted walking on the street. She now models in-between school lessons and dreams of becoming the next Russian supermodel. She says photographers love Russian models because they have a European look and are different from the local girls.

But the dark side of this glamorous world is eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. Adi, who is spearheading a campaign to introduce a law that will prevent girls who are too thin from getting work, complains that the Russians make his job more difficult.

“Israeli girls are different in the size and when a Russian girl is coming, all of Israel starts to be jealous because they will never be like them,” he says.