Oksana Jager is a model for more than a decade and becomes the muse for brands like Burberry, Calvin Klein, and Michael Kors. She knows the industry like no other and is sharing her story here today. Let's get started!
When did you start modeling?
I started modeling when I was 19. After I finished high school I went to university in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. I was discovered by Massimo Parisi In 2008. Every year he organizes the big casting, where agencies from around the world come and scout girls for future travels. I think I met around 12 agencies and some of them were ready to sign me, but we waited for two more weeks where I got the news that IMG worldwide was ready to sign me. Two months later I moved to Milan and did my first fashion week, walking exclusively for Burberry Prorsum.
Do you remember your first show/shoot?
I remember like it was yesterday. It’s hard to forget when you do not have any modeling experience, and you are working with one of the greatest designers, Christopher Bailey, and walking exclusively for Burberry. I will be forever grateful for teaching me my signature walk.
What was your favorite job so far?
I’ve been really lucky To travel to so many beautiful places and to work with the most talented people. In 2018 I had a chance to go on an extra special trip to the Arctic with Gala magazine. It was an 8-day cruise, 70 pages spread and I was the only model. It’s hard to put in words the footprint this trip left in my heart. We shot in places where no human set afoot, newly formed island, seeing up close arctic fox, walrus, a polar bear was quite incredible.
What do you know now and wished you knew when you started modeling?
Starting as the new face you face a lot of challenges, everything is unknown. It's a whole new world if you don’t have any friends or relatives in the fashion industry. Many girls don’t know the difference between casting and go see, how to take proper digitals, what to bring to a test shoot, or casting. Right now it’s so much easier for the girls because they can find information on YouTube or Google. You can check photographers, stylists, makeup artist's Instagram profiles to get familiar with their work. One of the reasons why I love coaching aspiring models, everything that I’ve learned and the struggles I had during my career, I can share with them and help them avoid the mistakes I made.
The difference between what I knew then and now is that lack of confidence can set your career back. Confidence helps you to pose freely, be able to express different emotions, create extraordinary images.
Who would you love to walk a runway show for?
Chanel is definitely on top of the list.
Do you prefer a runway job or photoshoot?
I did a couple of seasons of fashion week, it’s too stressful and exhausting for me. It’s quite a marathon especially if you do New York, London, Milan, and Paris.
My dream was to do beauty campaigns and I’m very lucky to have been the face of Shu Uemura, Shiseido, Creme de la Mer, Origins, etc.
What is/describe your personal style?
Neutral colors, calm vibe, and minimalistic aesthetic. I do apply a “less is more” attitude to all areas of my life not only personal style.
Who is your inspiration?
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Coco Rocha, Karlie Kloss.
What motivates you every day?
Being able to give back, inspire, motivate, and spread love. Be there for someone, support and make a difference.
What do you think about the state of fashion today?
With social media coming along our fashion industry has changed quite a lot. Some magazines started to get published online instead of print, clients want to have models presence on social media, and 2020 has been quite a year as in-person castings were replaced by virtual. Models now not only need to know how to pose but art direct too. You need to bring all you’ve got and more to get a job.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in the modeling industry today?
Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know. How else would you learn? Do your research about the agency before applying, take proper digitals, and NEVER send images with a filter on it. Be confident and work on your personal growth. Remember to always be kind and LOVE yourself.