Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Model Behavior: Matvey Lykov -The Engaging And The Most Misunderstood

SOMW is recently collaborating with The Model Soup, more news to come about that soon...but we want to share with you an interview Geraldine had with Matvey...great interview and lets us know a side of Matvey nobody has caught until now...

For more you can visit:

This past Thursday I met up to chat with Matvey of Fusion Models. We decided the best way to meet and talk would be at Fusion Models, here in NYC. I showed up on time, but as many know, models always seem to run late. He was running about 30 minutes late for our appointment. This was the first time we ever met, but the conversations that day was engaging and very intellectually stimulating. Matvey arrives in a crisp white button-down Ralph Lauren Polo shirt and dark denim jeans, as though he just came off a page of a magazine editorial. You can tell when he arrived he was a seasoned pro. His charm overpowers the interview. Matvey is a happy individual who made me laugh during the Q & A. This interview was about 1 hour long, which I had to edit a lot out that didn’t pertain to the segment. Hopefully I was able to give you, the readers much more insight to this beautiful person. Not just physical beauty but inner beauty.

Matvey: Hi I’m Matvey. Sorry I’m late. This time difference is affecting my sleep.

ModelSoup: Hi. Nice to finally meet you. Did you just arrive?

Matvey: I arrived from Paris on Monday and still recovering.

ModelSoup: How long will you be here in New York for?

Matvey: Just till this Monday and flying back to Paris for the shows.

ModelSoup: Well thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to meet with me. Shall we begin? Let’s start off with the basic questions first… Where are you from and How old are you? Let me just turn on my recorder.

Matvey: What is that device?

ModelSoup: Oh it’s my video recorder to document the interview, instead of writing our conversation down.

Matvey: No…No… No videos.

ModelSoup: No it’s not going to be in the post. It’s only for my use for my records. Promise will not be shown publically.

Matvey: Ok. But where did you get that device? And what is it?

Modelsoup: At an event. In a goodie bag, they said it was a disposable recorder, but I knew it had to be not. It’s great it helps me a lot with my writing and work. It’s a FLIP camera/video recorder (I’m not promoting this certain recorder). Ok where were we… let’s begin.

Matvey: I’m from Saint Petersburg, Russia and I’m 23 years old.

ModelSoup: Now you mention you just arrived from Paris, France. Are you living there now? What are you doing in Paris?

Matvey: I just got placed there. I am now with Success Models in Paris. My mother agent is Fusion. I’ve been living there now for 3months. Not that long and not that short either.

(While saying this Matvey is giving me a charismatic grin and charm)

ModelSoup: Do you love Paris?

Matvey: Yes I love Paris. I love Paris as much I hate it. I hate it as much as I love it.

(Matvey putting on that charming grin when he says these words)

ModelSoup: What do you hate about Paris?

Matvey: Hate is such a strong word. No, let me rephrase that. It’s just getting use to the place. I’ve just lived so long here in New York. I’m so use to this place and getting transplanted to another city and country is disconcerting. Getting use to a new environment. I’m just getting use to it. Paris is a beautiful place.

ModelSoup: It is beautiful. You just need time to settle down and explore the new city you are living now. Are you in model housing or do you have your own place?

(As I say this Matvey is shaking his head and grinning)

Matvey: No.No.No that will not do. That is not for me. That is not happening in my life.

ModelSoup: (laughing) So no model housing for you. I take it you have your own place?

Matvey: Yes. No model housing.

ModelSoup: Trust me, I’ve heard horror stories. (laughing)

Matvey: Yes. Finally I have my own place after 3 years of being homeless.

ModelSoup: 3 years of being homeless. Oh my… don’t break my heart.

Matvey: 3 years of living in a suitcase and traveling. It’s pretty intense. It’s melancholy. You just asked yourself it would be nice to have my own bed.

ModelSoup: Since you have been traveling alot, have you gone back to Russia?

Matvey: No. I haven’t gone back. I got bored living there all my life. I wanted to explore other countries and be exposed to different cultures. I got this great opportunity to do just that.

ModelSoup: You wanted adventure. But don’t you miss family, friends, etc… I’m sure you miss home?

Matvey: Yes of course. I’m very close to my family. I call my parents every day. Just to call. I don’t know why I just do it.

ModelSoup: Who are you close with the most and miss the most?

Matvey: I miss my grandmother. This is not acceptable. I haven’t seen her in a very long time. I call my family every day. It just not the same. I don’t think she understands what I do or why I am traveling all the time. I think I confuse her. She’s been living in her small town all her life and she see her grandson who is this person who is always in a different country. She doesn’t understand.

ModelSoup: Will you start to teach her how to use Skype, since it would be easier for both of you to at least see each other?

Matvey: Yes. I will probably have to go to Russia. Give her my old computer and install internet in the house. It will be difficult I need to figure out how to make it easier. For now she can call me she has a phone.

ModelSoup: Let’s get back on track. How long have you been modeling?

Matvey: I think the anniversary is today (June 3rd) or yesterday. It’s been 2 to 3 years now. I think it’s pretty sharp. 2 to 3 years ago I was at this office standing over there (pointing to the white wall at the corner near the fridge) taking poloraids.

ModelSoup: So did you go to open call?

Matvey: I didn’t know what open call was… what is this open call? I came to New York and just went to this office. This girl greeted me at the front desk and asked me what I want. I told her I don’t know what I want, but I’m here. You know better. We went back and forth until they signed me.

ModelSoup: (laughing) Wow. Did you speak fluently English at the time?

Matvey: Yes. When I arrived here I knew my English. It was just difficult to understand the different dialects and the diversity of accents in this city. It overwhelmed me when I first arrived. But it’s getting better.

ModelSoup: How did you decide, ok I’m going to be a model? Did you just wake up and say this is what I want to do with my life? What made you get into this profession?

Matvey: Everywhere I went everyone told me I should be a model. When I came to visit New York, I decide this was the place to see if I could become a model. I figured it would be the best place to start.

ModelSoup: Tell me what current campaigns have you done?

Matvey: I don’t know, I would have to ask my agent (looking over to her desk he finds her busy on the phone). I don’t care about what jobs I get booked for. It’s more about the outcome and the results at the end. For me I like to deal more with the process and the involvement of the work I do. I like working with the photographers, stylists, and the team. The result is the most important to me when I do a campaign, editorial, or even a test shoot.

ModelSoup: Would you say that you wouldn’t get upset if you didn’t get the job such as a campaign or editorial?

Matvey: No. I wouldn’t get upset. I don’t see what the point is. These things happen. If you let those things affect your life… they bring so much negativity. I just try to move on from the disappointment. I try to be happy I don’t want to be frustrated. I don’t remember the bad moments only good moments of my life.

ModelSoup: What can you tell me about the shows you have done? Do you have any interesting stories?

Matvey: I don’t remember. The shows are for me a blur. You just need to go to the next one and the next one. There’s a schedule to keep up with. The only one I remember was a show that the runway was so long. I was the opening model for the show and it was taking forever just to get to the end. All I remember was that the casting director was telling me that I have to walk faster because a certain model was behind me and she was going to walk faster, and if I didn’t do so she would crash into me on the runway. I was so nervous who was this model ? Who was going to run me over? (laughing) Also another show I did this guy in front of me was walking like a penguin. I had a hard time not laughing and holding a straight face. I kept thinking walk faster penguin because I can’t hold the laughter anymore. Seriously, this model had a backpack on the runway and he walked like a penguin all the time I just kept thinking there’s a penguin on the runway!

(at this moment we both started to laugh so hard at this story… it took us a few moments to get back to the interview)

ModelSoup: Let me get my composure back and wipe away the laughter tears. Now tell me do you have a good luck charm or something you take with you all the time?

Matvey: Yes. I do! But I left him at my apt, cause I rushed to get here.

ModelSoup: What is it?

Matvey: it’s a gingerbread man toy. I got him with 5 other gingerbread men. I got them from my friends before I left Russia. He goes with me everywhere. He is very well traveled. He is this small (3 inches tall). He can speak he has movable limbs and he is 3-dimensional.

ModelSoup: Wait… Is the toy from Shrek the Disney Movie?

Matvey: Yes, he came from a McDonalds Happy Meal. I’m not in any way advertising McDonalds, but I love my gingerbread man toy. He is awesome! He can speak. He gets happy and sad. He’s amazing. I take him with me all over. I take random pictures with him all the time. If you Google me you probably can find me with him on the beach in The Dominican Republic.

Modelsoup: (laughing) that is I think the most cutest thing I have ever heard.

Matvey: I remember now… I just did the H&M campaign. I’m so afraid right now to go into the stores. I don’t want to be mobbed by people and get chase, cause I’m the face of H&M. So I might not be visiting H&M for a long time when my campaign is up.

ModelSoup: Trust me you will be fine. They won’t recognize you. You should go and see your work. Take your friends with you. You won’t get chased. I’ve done it many times before with other models to see their ad campaigns at the stores, and people really don’t pay attention. Unless you have insane fans who know you are going to that particular store on that certain time. You will be ok.

Matvey: I really don’t go into the stores. I don’t see myself.

ModelSoup: What do you mean you don’t see yourself? When you walk on the streets and see billboards or storefronts, you don’t notice that you are on the displays?

Matvey: This is what strange about me. I just walk and don’t pay attention to my surroundings. If I have to be somewhere, I just go and I’m not aware of anything around me.

Modelsoup: You have a one tracked mind. You are very focused.

Matvey: Yes. When I’m focused, I’m not focused in something else. If music is being played in my car to loud I go blind. I can’t concentrate. I don’t like things that are loud. I like soft soothing sounds. Maybe that is why I am as you say focus.

ModelSoup: You seem to be a happy person.

Matvey: I am a happy person. I get this reputation that I’m a bitch. That I’m difficult to work with. Really I’m not. There’s a good reason for this. I get angry when I don’t eat. Eating is very important. When I go to a job and there is no catering or no food and I’m working all day with nothing in me. I remain quiet. Cause if I don’t, I will say something bad. I just stay quiet and just think if I don’t eat something soon I’m going to faint. So everyone thinks that I’m bitchy and have a bad attitude, when actuality, I’m just hungry and waiting when I can go and get to eat. This is important. You must feed your body to be happy. Your body needs energy. So you take time to eat. Little here, little there. In this industry we are always on the go, always moving. We need to not starve ourselves and sit down take a moment and put some nourishment in our body. This way we would be much happier. This is the most important part of the job… catering… food.

(again we are both laughing)

ModelSoup: Mental note I have to feed the models. Hahahaha.

Matvey: In this case, the show I like the most would be Raf Simons, because of the clothes and the food. They have the best catering. Everyone wants to be in the Raf Simons show, not just for the clothes. The clothes are beautiful. But when you get booked for his show, you know the food is going to be good. You are just waiting for what delicious catering they have every year.

ModelSoup: We have exhausted this conversation on food. You seem to love to eat. How do you stay in shape, since you seem to eat a lot?

Matvey: I swim, but if I don’t swim I still don’t gain weight. I can eat a lot and not gain weight. I guess I’m lucky that way.

ModelSoup: Amazing. Lucky you. (laughing) What do you do for fun?

Matvey: I stay home. I like to stay in and read and cook. Now I have a home, I can relax. I don’t go out often.

ModelSoup: Do you like a favorite smell?

Matvey: I like the smell of fall when it rains. That reminds me of home. It reminds me of my childhood in Russia.

ModelSoup: This is our last question. If you weren’t modeling what would you be doing?

Matvey: I like managing and producing. The process excites me. Possibly something to do in the film industry. I like cinema.

ModelSoup: Cinema. So what would you say is your favorite film at this moment?

Matvey: I love the film called Mister Lonely. It stimulates you thought process in every scene. The feelings and thoughts are well made. It’s about relationships and all in metaphors.

ModelSoup: Thank you Matvey. I think we are done.

Matvey: That’s all. I talk too much. It was a pleasure to meet you. (Matvey kisses me goodbye on both cheeks) Ah…we must say goodbye the french way.

-By Geraldine Laiz

the archives