“I am very shy. I don’t like to talk about myself,” Julia Lescova tells us in a very polite and polished English/Latvian accent. As I began speaking with Julia on this early Friday afternoon, I felt right at ease. It was as if I had met her before. Then it hit me. In many ways, I have. We all have. Julia represents the girl next door who always dreamed of becoming a princess.
When Julia was a teenager, she pulled together one tattered box of confidence, a makeup bag of raw talent, and a tattered suitcase full of blessed genetics, and set off to become a fashion model. She was noticed by a prestigious modeling agency in Latvia, and within a couple of years, her assets had grown to include a resume of work that spanned the globe from Hong Kong to Milan. In 2006, she was bestowed the acclaimed title, the “Best Model in the World,” and would use this to leverage a television spot on a popular Turkish show, which would eventually land her a contract with Guess.
Today, she is accepting offers from international designers, film producers, and directors. However, her recent success only tells half her story. Let’s find out the rest:
Julia Lescova: I just finished my workout with my trainer. Then I am going to a fitting for my commercial shoot tomorrow, and I have a lot of auditions. I am quite busy today.
Urbasm: Do you always workout in the morning?
Julia: I do a 9AM workout two or three times a week. Sometimes I also do running, yoga, and weights.
Urbasm: How long have you been in America?
Julia: I came here 4 and a half years ago. I lived in Italy before. I have been in England, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Greece, Turkey, Athens, Spain, and New York… everywhere. I traveled all over the world. I started working when I was 15, and traveling when I was 16. I was a very independent young woman. I had to support myself and my mother. I started young and had to learn to be independent and strong. I took care of myself. I didn’t have anything, so it was hard for me. I have achieved everything I have today after a lot of hard work. I think I deserve it, but I am ready to work harder. One day I will stop when I feel like it is time to think about family and kids.
Julia: Whenever God sends me that feeling. You can’t plan it. It just happens.
Urbasm: We read that you were raised alone by your Mom?
Julia: Yes, only by my mom. I also have a brother. It was only me and my brother alone. It was really tough. I really respect my mother and admire her for what she has done for us. I am happy that I didn’t have many assets, because it has made me what I am now. I didn’t have anything to lose or be afraid of. Anywhere seemed better than where I was.
Urbasm: What was it like growing up in Latvia?
Julia: I never imagined what I could have when I didn’t have anything. I was born in post revolution times. It was really tough. America seems like a dream to me. I always wanted to come to America. I was born on July 4th, so I think that gave me some kind of meaning. Kids have so much more here. It is a God blessed place I think.
Urbasm: A lot of Latvian names have meaning behind them. Does Julia have any particular meaning?
Julia: My brother decided to call me this name. He was five years old. He said, why don’t they call her Julia because I was born in July. There is no other meaning.
Urbasm: We have heard that Latvian women are some of the most beautiful and intelligent in the world, because they have to over come such a large gap of available men in the country. Do you think this is true?
Julia: Yes there are more women than men I think, which makes the men in Eastern Europe very spoiled. I don’t appreciate the way they treat women. I have never dated someone from my part of the world. At least for a very long time.
Julia: It is good exposure. I am getting a lot of good feedback. Guess is very happy. It is leading to other work too. It’s all in Europe right now. I wish it were in America, so it would be more useful, because I am here.
Urbasm: What kinds of things do you think about during a photo shoot?
Julia: I always adjust myself to the needs of the character. I feel a mood from the clothes, make-up, hair, and I can go with it, and usually it works perfect. I take a roll of someone else when I take pictures.
Urbasm: So, you are always playing different characters, then?
Julia: Yes, but I really like it when the photographer allows me to be myself. Being yourself is better than being someone else.
Urbasm: What are your favorite types of photo shoots?
Julia: I like change. I like different things. I don’t really have a favorite. I like when they capture the best of me, when I have big hair, and beautiful eye make-up. I like to move my hair and face anyway I want. I don’t like when they want me to stay still and just look one way because of the lighting. I like to play. I like more outside shoots, and not the studio shoots so much.
Julia: Yeah, I don’t like that quote. I like to wake up early. You have to wake up every day early no matter what. Even if I don’t shoot or work, I have a lot of things to do. I workout, see my friends. I rate the offers they give me, of course, and pick the better ones, but I am not a bit** like that.
Urbasm: What time do you usually wake up?
Julia: My favorite is 7:30 or 8 AM, when it is not too late, and not too early.
Urbasm: What would like to accomplish within the next 10 years?
Julia: I want to become really successful. I want to buy a house for my mother, and one house for myself in America. I would also love to do humanitarian work. I am trying to get my name out so that I can use that. I love to help people, and kids especially. I want to do charity. It makes me feel good. I really like that. I hope that I can afford it.
Urbasm: What you would say are a couple of your favorite bad habits? In other words, things you know that you shouldn’t do, but you do them anyway because you like them too much.
Julia: I like sweets. I like chocolate and cookies. I eat them before going to sleep, which is the worst. Night time cookies with hot tea and honey. I am trying to escape this desire, but sometimes it is really intense.
Urbasm: Do you bake your own sweets?
Julia: I don’t make sweets, but I do cook. I am not like super crazy about it, but I am learning how to cook. It is so interesting. I started about three months ago. I had never done it before, but I like it.
Urbasm: What is your favorite thing that you have made?
Julia: For now I am doing the simple things, like pancakes and rice dishes. I’m starting with simple, and will be moving to more difficult. I enjoy it.
Urbasm: Have you ever burnt anything?
Julia: Not so much. But maybe I haven’t tried long enough.
Julia: Always give attention to your women. The more attention you give, no matter what you do, or how you look, it is better. Give her a lot of attention and love, and caring. Send her a little message every once in awhile. Never ignore her messages. It is very important how you deal with text messages. I can’t stand when the guy doesn’t respond to me. You can be busy, but you always find the time to answer your lady if you really want to. Even if the guy works a lot, he should always give attention to his woman. Send her little messages. It doesn’t cost anything. How a man treats a woman is his best feature.
Urbasm: What sorts of things would you suggest?
Julia: Out of nowhere, say that she is beautiful, that he misses her. A very good question to ask, is how can I make your day better? What can I do for you today? Is there anything that I can do to make you smile? It is the little things. Show interest in her life. I love romantic words. There should be more positive things in relationships, and less control and jealousy. Make each other happy. Please each other. Give and take. Do this and most women will be happy.
And here’s a few videos to make us guys happy: