LXRY Q&A: Jessica Stepanova, Fashion Model

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Stepanova, a fashion model born in Prague who has traveled all over the world who now calls Canada home. We chatted about challenges within the fashion industry, how she prepares for a big shoot, her ideal weekend and hobbies and things she is interested outside of modeling. Enjoy!


LXRY: How has your life changed since you moved to Canada?

JS: I have definitely been made available to more opportunities. Toronto is super multicultural and becoming a young adult in a place with so many diversities opens you up to more experiences. I have friends that come from all over the world, I can eat whichever cuisine that comes to mind, and am surrounded by the festivities that so many cultures celebrate. Not to say that I don’t still love my home in Prague, it’s where I feel most comfortable and relaxed, but I am a city girl now for sure.

LXRY: What’s the best piece of advice that has helped you in your modeling career?

JS: Don’t compare yourself to others!

The absolutely most challenging aspect for myself in this industry is self-doubt. Appreciate others success but don’t strive for their version of it, you have your own and confidence looks better on everyone. I try to set my own goals and focus on myself rather than others. Of course, I admire many models and their style and beauty, but just because they are great doesn’t mean you are not. Believe in yourself!

LXRY: You seem passionate about the fashion industry. What excites you the most about the fashion?

JS: The most exciting thing about fashion for me is how it rediscovers itself and how every day you can paint your own canvas depending on your mood. (Or the weather of course) Most days I like to be comfortable and will dress casually, but some days I want to be a girly girl, some days I want to be a Tom-boy, and other days I’m a polished lady. I haven’t decided what my “style” is yet, I go through phases, but that’s what I love most about fashion. Putting together an outfit that represents your vibe at that moment and just feeling super confident in it! It’s how we represent who we are, that’s great.

LXRY: What have you learned most about your travels and living abroad?

JS: Living abroad has been the most eye-opening experience for myself. I have always believed that those who are well traveled are the wisest people. The reason I think so is because for me, the best way to learn and really understand cultures and people is by living in their world. Traveling has taught me to appreciate the things that others may not ever have, or be inspired by those things that I am unfamiliar with. On the other hand, it has also brought to my realization the things that may seem so important sometimes, are in fact not important at all. I am both humbled and lucky to be able to learn this directly from others around the world. Living alone abroad also inevitably forces one to become independent. The most growing I do is when I am alone in a foreign country and although this can be super challenging, in the end, it is always a positive improvement.

LXRY How do you prepare for a big shoot?

JS: Preparing for a big shoot usually begins the day before. I will typically wake up and run on my treadmill for about half an hour before breakfast. I find working out first thing in the morning sets me up for a full day of productivity. Then I’ll go on with my regular daily activities and eventually will end up at the gym, usually before dinner. At night I’ll shower and do my nails while I let a face mask set and watch a movie. I always make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep the night before a shoot so I look fresh and healthy the next day. The day of I will just moisturize and be ready to go!

LXRY: What is a hobby outside of posing that helps you focus when you model on set?

JS: Focusing on set, especially when a shoot is long and repetitive can be difficult and oddly tiring. (Yes, standing in one spot can get exhausting) My way of staying focused on set is quite honestly by letting myself enjoy the moment. Instead of focusing so much on the posing or the expression, I find my best work is done when I am relaxed and hanging out in front of the camera. I usually will dance around a lot between takes and keep my body moving so I don’t get stiff. This keeps my mood and energy up and inspires the best outcome.

LXRY: What’s an ideal weekend for you?

JS: An ideal weekend for me is taking a break from the busy city life and getting away to relax for a few days. I love spending my time with those closest to me. My absolute favorite weekends are the ones spent chatting with the family into the night and then all squishing onto a cough to watch a horror movie while having serious discussions about survival methods and obvious loopholes. When possible, I like to stay away from social media and disconnect from the world of perfection for a while and just enjoy the moment. Once I get back into it, I am refreshed and motivated once again.

LXRY: What comes to mind when you think of a ‘Canadian luxury experience’?

JS: When I think of a Canadian luxury experience the first thing that comes to mind is a beautiful wooden lodge somewhere near a mountain for the winter, or near a lake in the summer. I think of freedom and comfortability. I think of winter coats and the many Canadian luxury brands that produce them. When I think Canadian luxury in whichever industry it could apply, I think of impeccable design, the most polite service, environmental efficiency, and proud Canadian quality.

The Bottom Line:

Thank you to Jessica Stepanova for taking the time to answer these questions. For more information on Jessica Stepanova, be sure to visit her portfolio on Elite Model Management’s website in Toronto and follow her on Instagram (@jessicastep) today.

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