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Gorgeous And Gifted

by Michelle Alles

Justina Zauraite is from Lithuania, but now lives in Colombo and has established a successful career as a model. Her sassy sense of humour makes for a great conversation as we found out when she joined us for a chat. Read on…

Q: What was your relationship like with fashion when you were a kid? Were you into it?
A: I wasn’t an ordinary kid…I didn’t wear the clothes my mother wanted me to wear. Sometimes I think I should have been born a boy! Pink and girly clothes weren’t exactly my cup of coffee – my favourites were jeans and loose t-shirts. I could say my own ‘style’ developed at school when I finally found out how to rip holes and put different applications on clothes to look unique but still fashionable.

Q: How did you start out in the industry?
A: I was always interested in how the fabric becomes the garment, that’s why after school I entered university in France and got my international Master’s Degree in Textile Engineering. I also did some shows aside from studying, and I guess that was the beginning of where I am now…

Q: What was it like establishing a modelling career in another country?
A: Well, I have always had a passion of travelling around the world. I lived in Europe, Africa and now Asia. I never had any plans to ‘renew’ my modelling here in Sri Lanka, but I guess you can’t run away from destiny…I was literally ‘picked up’ from the street for one of my first photoshoots here. I dare to say it is not easy to be a model in foreign country…competition is enormous!

Q: You’ve always seemed so confident. Is that an innate quality or something you had to assume to do your job?
A: Yes I always was strong, self-confident and a bit crazy…you would not survive being a weak woman in this world far away from your native country! So to have confidence in life and do modelling is a must, because how you feel reflects in photos and on the ramp.

Q: What’s one of the most interesting shoots that you’ve done?
A: All of my shoots have been interesting in their own distinctive way. My most recent one was with Hasna Saleem…her concept titled ‘Overworked’, which was very unusual and creative; it involved doing work in incompatible outfits such as lifting dumbbells in a white cocktail dress or cooking in an evening gown (every housewife’s dream haha!) it was amazing and I loved it! Also, I must mention the ‘Lovi’ sarong shoot; it was a unique experience to wear something traditional (as I never have before) and at the same time have fun doing my job!

Q: What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
A: From my mother who always said “Just don’t forget to be yourself, do what you like the most and makes you happy; the other things will come along by themselves!”

Q: Who is your style icon?
A: Marilyn Monroe… “Being normal is boring.” Nobody could have said it better!

Q: How do you stay in shape?
A: Round is also a shape haha! Ok on a serious note…I just love walking, so I try to walk everywhere if my final destination is not another city. Also I am not a food person; I eat when I want, but not junk food! It’s usually fruits, vegetables, fish, meat…I could lie saying I hate sweets, but I’m a ‘doughnut-holic’ and once a week, I have a ‘sweet’ day!

Q: What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in modelling today?
A: My advice would be…just be yourself, stand up for who you are and don’t forget your roots. Don’t become somebody else’s copy….keep your own originality!

Q: Justina, what do you want to be doing in five years?
A: In 5 years I still want to be alive!

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