The Polish Elle Magazine noticed she is being repeatedly compared to Cindy Crawford due to her beauty spots and classic face features. Her career skyrocketed in New York, where she created a furor and walked in an Alexander Wang’s show as a semi-exclusive. Then, she achieved what every aspiring model dreams of – she took part in Calvin Klein and Marc Jacob’s fashion shows. ~ ~ ~
After meeting Asia, the disarmingly friendly, charming emerald-eyed girl from a small town Kolonia in the Polish region of Kaszuby, I can say without no hesitation that she is the walking definition of anti-pretentiousness, which is, allow me to say, quite rare in the fashion industry. I saw Asia first – she appeared relaxed, smoking a Camel cigarette and sitting cross-legged on a bench in front of Warsaw’s Hotel Marriott. After exchanging initial pleasantries, we walked inside and sat down for a cold drink in the furthest corner of the marble-tiled foyer.
We talked about everything from our bad experiences with mean girls in school to dating older men. Whatever subject we touched upon, it was always easy. In person, Asia was as affable and open as in our online conversations. She never ceased to make eye contact and kept everything light. Asia seems to possess contradictory characteristics that create a mind-blowing juxtaposition. For instance, Asia appears to have a subtle rebellious and frisky twist to herself, yet still remains immaculately innocent. How is that possible? I don’t know, but “how” is not important. It is the “is” that matters.
B.O.B.: How did it happen that you got into modeling?
A.: It all started with my dad’s girlfriend taking pictures of me. We had fun with doing makeup and then doing some photo sessions. Then, I’ve decided to send them to the New Age agency, after which they’ve sent me to Paris for two weeks. I was 15 then and went there with my mum.
B.O.B.: You took part in the NY Fashion Week. How was that like?
A.: In NY, Alexander Wang booked me as an semi-exclusive model. I think this was a breakthrough. Then I did runways for Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, Rodarte and Donna Karan. I’ve also been invited to do a campaign for Missoni and I was featured in various lookbooks, like Prabal Gurung’s Asia in Prabal Gurung’s lookbook, 2013.
B.O.B.: How did you manage to both study and model?
A.: For a good year I was shifting between school and NY. It was not rare for me to come to Poland for two weeks and take 20 tests in this limited timeframe!… I was in a sports class and was lucky enough to be liked by our P.E. teacher. He always excused me for my absence and took my side. Apart from that, I was quite active and managed to make up points through participating in competitions. Being “normal” and fair to the teachers also played a huge role, because they would treat me similarly. It goes both ways.
B.O.B. Did the girls at school envy you?
A.: Yes. For instance, as soon as I became involved in the big modeling world, my three-year-long friend turned on me. She refused when I asked her for help (because I came to school in November instead of September). She said “Forget it. I don’t know you”. Then she would turn people at school against me and emphasize that I could “do what they couldn’t”. It was all visible, she had no boundaries with making a show out of how much she disliked me. When I have a problem with someone, I take them aside and talk like an adult to an adult. After this whole drama I’ve started spending more time with boys and discovered I was a tomboy at heart.
B.O.B.: How did you learn how to pose?
A.: I think it came naturally. My mum told me that when I was five years old I would sit in front of a mirror for hours and make a gazillion faces while looking at myself from different angles (smile). I also started applying and playing with makeup quite early, even though I was a tomboy. I mean, after all, I’m still a girl! (laugh)
B.O.B.: How often do you travel?
A.: Not so much nowadays… I need to get back in shape. Unfortunately, I was recently diagnosed with h… It’s really hard for me to lose weight and look how I am expected to look. This is not a problem in Spain, but I want to go further than that. My main goal at the moment is to go to NY and be on the catwalk again. Right now I have a very balanced diet and I work out with my PT. I do have some cheat days though… And I make my own cauliflower ice cream! It has a frothy texture, which tastes just like cream with Milka. I typically add into it some coconut milk, low-fat cocoa, stevia and flavoured protein. I plan to get back on track before the end of the year and I hope my body and hormones will allow for this. Also, I’m thinking to visit Australia with my boyfriend this year!
B.O.B.: What are your hobbies?
A.: My biggest hobby would be retouching photos. Also, in my free time I like to discover new artists. Looking for people I’ve never heard of, like painters, places or objects from the 20th Century is something I find fascinating too. Later I can use the things I’ve found to show them to other people and hope it will serve as inspiration for them.
B.O.B.: What’s your favourite drink?
A.: I don’t drink alcohol. I’m just not a big fan of it. But if I do drink, I would have a glass or two of red wine.
B.O.B.: What kind of work were you involved with recently?
A.: Lately I’ve collaborated with the clothing brands Simple and Solar.
B.O.B.: What do you think about the current state of fashion in Poland?
A.: I think it’s developing a lot! Sadly, there are many local designers with heaps of potential that are not appreciated or recognized enough.
B.O.B.: What are your plans for the future?
A.: Like I’ve mentioned before, I really want to return to NY, start doing what I used to do and earn as much as I used to. I had almost a year and a half of a break, during which I was doing small jobs.
B.O.B.: What do you like to wear on a daily basis?
A.: I like to dress in comfortable clothes. Sometimes I add a rock twist to it by putting on something black and made out of leather. However, usually, you would see me wearing a loose jacket and very comfortable shoes. I really love shoes, but I don’t run around in high heels because I try to avoid bunions, which run in my family.
B.O.B.: If the world was to end tomorrow because of an impending apocalypse and money was not a factor, where would you go and what would you do in the remaining 24 hours?
A.: I think I would go skydiving and then get some ice cream. Salted caramel ice cream!
Follow Asia On INSTAGRAM: @asiapiwka