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TOP MODEL Ana Beatriz Barros

People started to be more creative. By figuring out what would be best in the current situation, companies manage to keep going and fashion — to exist.

— Has your life changed after the lockdown?

— Not just my life but everybody else’s lives changed completely. I used to travel once a week for work or for pleasure, but not anymore. I’m also working less because of that. In a way, it’s positive because I’m spending time with my family — my husband and my kids. For instance, before quarantine I was in Brazil giving birth to my second child. I ended up spending 6 months there which never happened in the history of my life before and I have been modelling for 23 years!

— What is the lockdown scene in Athens now?

— They closed all the bars, restaurants, playgrounds at the moment. Greece was one of the best countries for a while during the first quarantine but now the numbers are rising. So, they decided to close the parks, but the schools and shops are still working.

— How do you think coronavirus has affected the fashion industry?

— Tremendously! It was a disaster at the beginning. Online-shopping relieved. To my mind, it is the only one thing that saved the fashion business. However, the people, the creative side of magazines, campaigns — they couldn’t do fashion shoots, campaigns and shows. Financially, it was a disaster as well. Of course, there was a bright side too — people became more creative like making online fashion shows, figuring out what to do in this situation and what is the best. People are managing to keep their companies going and fashion to exist.

— The emergence of the virus and the long self-isolation have generated great interest in virtual reality. What do you think about the emergence of virtual models and shows?

— I think it’s good. People have generated a great idea allowing to translate broadcast in the current situation. There is no better solution. From my perspective it’s a very good thing that they are still managing to show fashion and continue to create. I think it’s great. As long as people can continue to work, produce and be involved — fashion keeps going and everything is valid.

— If you were offered to be a prototype for a virtual model, how would you react?

— That’s a funny question. I mean, I never thought about it, but I think it would be fun.

— Will virtual models ever replace real ones?

— The world is changing, and so is everything. With all social media and the internet, I don’t think

robots, or virtual models will replace real models and people. Not in every sphere, for sure. About what I dare swear is that it will be a mix of real and virtual models.

— What does it take to become a top-model? Do you have your own secret insights?

— It’s a very hard job. First of all, the most important thing for me is — you’ve got to be mentally strong. Because not only is it a hard job physically, but also psychologically. People are not judging you by your personality, they’re judging you by your looks. It is changing a little bit right now. Back when I started modeling — it was all about your looks, really. That can be hard to understand. Like, “why does this person not want me for this job?” So, you’ve got to be very strong mentally and also very professional. You have to be prepared to be away from all your

beloved, friends, family, miss your birthdays and special occasions because that’s what is going to happen. You need to know about fashion — who are the important photographers, editors, magazines. And like in every other profession — you have got to have luck.

— Is it difficult for you to always keep yourself in good shape?

— Yes, for everyone, not just for me. Sometimes even if you are very skinny, people still think that’s not enough. You have to constantly watch what you eat and take care of yourself. Imagine this, your job is you. My job is myself. I always have to look good, be in shape, always ready. It is hard but it’s just how life is. Sometimes it’s easier, sometimes it’s harder. Sometimes you wake up in the morning and you see that you don’t look your best, but you still need to go and show everything you’ve got.

— At which age did you start you modeling career? Did you have time to be a child?

— I started very young, when I was 13 years old. So, I didn’t really have a normal childhood, because I was learning and working at the same time. I was studying long-distance, so, every moment that I wasn’t working — I was studying. At the time you could start at such young age, but now you can’t. I think the minimum now is 16 years old. So, it was very hard, but it was all worth it. I only have good things to say and thanks to give to all my clients, to people who believed in me and to all the people that I worked with, because I had an amazing career. I have an amazing career. At first my father was against it. My mother was very upfront, as a fashion-lover she always read about it and understood more about this business. She slowly explained everything to my father and until I was 16, she went everywhere with me, for which I am grateful, because it really helped.

— Have you ever thought about who you could become if you did not start modeling? Maybe you had a childhood dream related to your profession?

— When I was a child, I dreamt of being a doctor but there was no way I could pursue that. I don’t like blood. Today, I think I could be an architect, I love architecture. Or a designer. I could do something like that, I think.

— You have a popular Instagram — 550,000 followers. Why do you think followers value your profile? Tell us, what do you most often broadcast on your page?

— First of all, I have a long career. I have been modelling for 23 years, so I think people recognize

me from my work. I really like posting mostly about my projects, trips, food, museums, architecture and art. I don’t really post my private life. I’m a very private person in this sense.

— Can a popular Instagram account now help a girl achieve success in her modeling career?

— Oh, 100%! Today if you don’t have an Instagram account you cannot be a model. Most of the clients check how many followers you have, the content you post and your message. I think social media really changed the world. For example, when Cindy Crawford was a model — she was there, doing her job, but people couldn’t communicate with her. She wasn’t easily approachable unlike models today, who communicate with the public through their social media. And it’s really important today to be active for models, especially new faces. You cannot

start a career without social media today. Instagram is like a book with shots and snaps that your client can see. Before we had to carry it around to all castings. That doesn’t exist anymore — now you have an iPad with your pictures.

— What are you doing now besides modeling? Are there any projects you are passionate about?

— I’m a mother. My best project are my kids, but I also have this idea of a swimwear brand. I want to make a line with my sister. It still seems like a big dream, but I really want to do it. Obviously, right now it is not the right moment with corona, but I will work on this definitely. I also do a lot of charity work.

— What inspires you?

— My kids. Being a mother changed my whole perspective on life. Before I had my kids, I was very successful, self-paid, independent. But afterwards my life changed. I never thought that I would be able to have so much love for another person. My life is based around them, I work for them. There is a reason now for me to wake up every morning and go to work. Everything — for my kids.

— How do you see yourself in 10 years?

— I hope, I will have realized my swimwear brand. I love fashion and want it to continue thriving. I also hope, I will still be working as a model because with such diversity in the fashion world nowadays we could be able to work in modelling at the age of 50. I see myself as a mother, which I love. Being with my family, my kids and my husband is my number one job and priority in life. And, of course, I hope to stay happy.

— Tell us about the project for Numero Russia? What was the main idea of the shooting?

— In my opinion, it is going to look amazing. The photographer was inspired by Paris and French

women. Everybody knows that French women are always well-dressed, they are powerful, very

elegant, so chic! So, the inspiration of the editorial story was the French woman and how a Parisian woman behaves.