Russian model Olga Pantyushenkova became the undisputed beauty of the 1990s as soon as she appeared in the photos promoting French Perfume brand Cacharel. Gorgeous Russian girl Olga Pantyushenkova was born in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) in 1975. To become a model or an actress was her childhood dream. Olga’s mother was good at sewing, and the house was always full of lots of fashion magazines. The decisive moment came when, in 1987 with the support of Raisa Gorbacheva for the first time in Russia was released magazine «Burda Moden». According to legend, the Foreign Minister of Germany Hans Dietrich Genscher said to the founder of the magazine Aenne Burda: “You have done more than three ambassadors put together.” This magazine was an epoch not only in Russia but also abroad.
In all that concerned fashion, Olga was supported by her mother. She knew how to sew well, and for the Soviet times it was a very important advantage. But other than that, her mother gathered information about all taking place in St. Petersburg beauty contests and supported Olga after the failure: she was always there. Olga was only 14 when she started going to castings, and the presence of her mother was necessary for her: she provided moral support, and insure against bad proposals. That success, which came to Olga Pantyushenkova was possible thanks to her mother.
Beautiful blonde Olga with long curly hair became a real heroine of the 1980s. With the support of her mother Olga Pantyushenkova participated in all the competitions available for the title of the most beautiful girl of the city, region and country.
Beauty contests appeared in the USSR in the late 1980s. The very first was the contest “Moscow Beauty”, which was held in the capital in 1988. Its winner was 15-year-old Masha Kalinina, who was offered a job for «Burda Moden» in Germany. She became one of the few winners of the beauty contest, whose career was linked up with fashion and show business.
Olga Pantyushenkova took part in beauty contests in the hope of being noticed. Among the events, in which she appeared – “Miss Baltic Sea” and “Miss Photo USSR.” Finally in 1991, she finished the third contest “Supermodel of the USSR”. But the fundamental importance was not the victory itself, but the fact that the girl drew the attention of the Moscow agency «Red Stars». Largely because of this she had signed a contract with the agency «People» and went on contract to Paris. In those days it was a great achievement: the children’s dream come true – Olga was one of the first Russian models who worked in Europe.
The relatively small agency «People International» is located in Paris. It was founded in 1985, but was engaged not only in models. In addition «People» specialized in the casting. In 2005, this area became an independent unit. Over time, there was also a separate department, agency dealing with children: it picked up children and teenagers from 4 months to 16 years old for filming in movies and commercials. But the main activity of «People International» still remained a selection of models. It is this agency which influenced the fate of Olga Pantyushenkova.
Back in Moscow, at the competition in 1991, she met one of the directors of the agency «Elite». In «Elite» Olga met with Didier Fernandez – the legendary Booker agent who raised a generation of stars, and worked, in particular, with Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. Didier gave Olga some very important advice.
First, he explained that the beauty pageant winner and model – two completely different things. Just be attractive or pretty isn’t enough: there are many beauties, but real stars of fashion models are few. The most important thing for a model – to find her way, actually come up with her own character and role.
The second tip was much simpler and more concrete. Olga Fernandez was recommend to change her haircut, it meant to cut off her beautiful long blond curly hair down to the waist. Ironically, the lack of long hair allowed others to see her – a fragile , vulnerable and tender. In many ways, this was the image that she was looking for. Having her angelic blonde curls cut, she suddenly turned into an angel girl.
New image of Olga Pantyushenkova proved to be so successful that the next six months she worked almost seven days a week. Shooting, casting, advertising. Then her shot for «Cacharel» made her a star. Olga worked for «Christian Lacroix», «Claude Montana», «Giorgio Armani», «Louis Vuitton» and «Yves Saint Laurent». She took part in the show of first collection of John Galliano, Home «Christian Dior». Starred in commercials «Thierry Mugler», where there was a blonde in a strict black dress, against the giant dinosaur. Her face appeared on magazine covers.
However, it soon became clear that the new status of the famous model – is not only an advantage, but also a list of commitments. First, Olga became a public person. Even the most innocent prank could turn into a major scandal. On the other hand, as a model she had to take care of herself and look good.
Olga has started a completely different life, where, contrary to common belief, there was no room for celebrations and parties. And no time for private life: too many had to work. When modeling career is going up the hill, you can not stop. No one knows how long this moment of success will be – a few months or a few years. But while the career is successful, you need to work because you may not have the next chance. About this rule Olga Pantyushenkova was also told by Didier Fernandez.
Proposals were so many that after a while the force ended. Olga was tired, she wanted to give up and leave. And once again Didier persuaded her to stay. Her professional fate was successful. In the late 1990s, Olga Pantyushenkova worked a lot on the show. She took part in the shows «Christian Dior», «Balenciaga», «John Galliano», «Chanel», «Valentino», and «Yves Saint Laurent». She participated in shows of all the famous brands, the work that gives the model stardom .
Model biography of Olga Pantyushenkova was not long enough. She appeared on magazine covers before the start of the millennium: in 2002 she decorated the Italian magazine «Grazia». In addition, she tried her hand as a stylist and for a time worked with the Russian edition of the «Marie Claire». In 2004, she was invited as guest of honor at the opening of the boutique «Chloe» in Moscow.
When she first started working, Didier Fernandez told her that the most important thing in the modeling industry – is to be yourself. The main lesson that can be learned over the years in the modeling industry: in order to become a star, it is necessary to remain yourself.