Creative duo and F Word Magazine's contributors Xiaobo Fu and Maria Tzili at maps studios introduce us to the gorgeous Silke Hajunga at The Hive. In a conversation between the Silke and the two creatives, she shares her story in how she got into modelling, her first major runway show, and tips to younger models who have just started in the industry. Maria and Xiaobo also take this chance as an opportunity to photograph Hajunga in a clean, beautiful, and unique editorial with a dreamy feel to it. The duo also present a short film featuring Silke which will take you all the way into the mood they wanted us all to feel. Styling by Anastasia Demchenko and Hair & MUA by Ksenia Galina.
Maria: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from? Silke: I’m Silke Hajunga, born and raised in The Netherlands. I studied Applied Sciences and planned to work in a laboratory. But now I'm working as a fulltime international model, and travel around the world.
Xiaobo: How did you start modeling? Silke: I was approached by a photographer, Cristian Davila Hernandez, on Social Media. We arranged a shoot together and he was surprised when he found out I didn't have an agency yet. So he introduced me to Future Faces in Amsterdam. They were interested in me right away. So after half a year of working out and eating healthy, I started as a model at Future Faces whose still my mother agency.
Maria: Did a lot change since you spoke to the agency to the day you were signed? Silke: After I got in touch with my agency and having their immediate interest I had to get in shape. So I trained for half a year, kept eating very healthy and lost 15 kilos. My father helped a lot, he was a professional kick boxer, so I started training with him. He also cooked healthy food for me and through him I learned how to take better care of my body.
Xiaobo: Do you still feel pressure about your body? Silke: I don't feel pressure, I enjoy eating healthy! It makes me feel very good, I take good care of my body and it became a lifestyle which means I can still cheat a little bit with an ice-cream, which is my favorite treat!
Maria: What was the next stop after the Netherlands? Silke: My agency got me immediately to Milan, and there I walked my first shows, which were Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani.
Xiaobo: How was the experience of the casting for Armani's shows? Silke: There were loads of girls; it was the longest queue I've ever seen. The casting lasted the whole day, and at some point, Armani couldn't see any more models. So he grabbed my arm, asked me to stay and all the other models had to go. I couldn't believe what was happening, and before I knew it, I did my fitting and after that, the show.
Maria: How did it feel doing such a big show as your first ever modeling job? Silke: I was really excited, I called my dad to share the news and he couldn't believe it. The experience of the show was amazing. Armani came to encourage me, while I was waiting for the show to start backstage because he knew it was my first job. He told the models to just walk feminine and natural, and his words were “just enjoy”. The moment I went on the runway, my favorite song was played (We were young - SRTW) and I thought this is it. This is perfect.
Xiaobo: Where was your next trip after that? Silke: The next stop was London. I moved here, joined The Hive and started working immediately. I did the Ralph Lauren resort VIP show. That was a new adventure that took place at Althorp house, where princes Diana is buried, owned by the noble Spencer family. It was very exclusive, and unfortunately, we weren't allowed to upload any pictures of the show online on our social media.
Maria: Have you ever worked outside Europe? Silke: Yes. I traveled to New York last month, which was one of my goals. I stayed there nearly two months, to work and introduce myself to the clients. Also, I visited my family in New Jersey, where I spent a lot of time and discovered a lot about our family tree.
Xiaobo: How do you cope with traveling? Do you enjoy it? Silke: I love traveling! It's amazing that my job gives me the opportunity to travel so much. It is one of my passions and I really enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people. At the beginning, I felt a bit lonely, which made me grow up faster in a very short time, but now I found my way and I'm enjoying every second.
Maria: I noticed you mention your father a lot, what is your relationship with him? Silke: My father is my best friend, he always supports me and he is always there for me. He'll do everything for me, and I'll do everything for him. One of my next goals is to take him with me, while I'm traveling for modeling.
Xiaobo: What differences do you see between these three fashion capitals you've visited, London, Milan, and New York? Which of them is your favorite? Silke: The fashion is very different between these cities and difficult to define. I love working in London because the people here are so polite. But I can't say that one specific city is my favorite, every city has his own style, and I'm glad to work in them all.
Maria: How do you find the casting process? Silke: Castings are the way we meet new clients and they can happen every day. The casting directors are searching for a specific style or personality that fits their project. Personally, I don't find castings to be stressful at all and I enjoy meeting new people.
Xiaobo: How do you feel about social media and its influence on modeling? Silke: I use Instagram and Facebook, and I think it's a really good way to communicate, build up your network and show your work to the clients.
Maria: What would you say is your ultimate goal as a model? Silke: I always set a goal for a different time of my life, my first goal was becoming an international model. My latest one was making it to New York which I achieved. I have achieved all of my goals so far, and now my next goal is to rock all the fashion weeks in February 2017!
Xiaobo: How is the relationship between Silke the model and her agencies? Silke: The agencies are all about networking and presenting you to the industry. They keep in contact with the clients and secure that everything is managed right like traveling for a job. Without an agency, I couldn't model because I don't have Vogue's phone number. (laughs) They also deal with any problems that may arise on the set or castings and they take care of you and nurture your career.
Maria: What advise would you give to a girl who wants to start a career in modeling? Silke: To be confident and feel well within her style and body. A model has to change characters and styles all the time when doing the jobs, you need to be a chameleon. The first advice that I got from a photographer was that you need to feel the light, extend our neck and body. You need to learn how to be aware of your whole body and face.
Xiaobo: Last but not least, what is your F-word? Silke: Hmm, that's a tricky one, I would say Fulfilled.