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Ira Chernova


Ira Chernova

Ira Chernova is a photographer, model, world traveler and New York transplant. On set of our latest lookbook shoot, she took a ride on the back of a motorcycle and told us why NYC is cooler than anywhere else.

Hi Ira! How long have you lived in New York?

Three years.

Where were you living previously?

I was born and raised in Moscow, but I traveled for three or four years before coming to New York, mostly in Europe. I didn’t really stay in one place for more than a month or two. Then I was in London for about half a year before moving to New York, and I’ve been here for the last three.

Why New York?

Every other place is so boring! [Laughs]

What neighborhood do you live in?

I live in Bushwick. I like it, it’s easy to get everywhere, but not too crowded.

What has been your favorite thing about living here so far?

Diversity, I think. There’s a little bit of everything, and everyone comes through here at some point! There are so many different things going on and new things to try. It’s good for your mind.

What are your favorite places to eat around the city?

There is a place I love, Mogador. Both locations are amazing. I have so many friends that visit New York and I always take them. There are a lot of great places in Bushwick, too. A friend of mine owns a place called Tutu’s, I love it.

Where were your friends visiting from?

In the past month, I’ve had a few friends come from Moscow.

What are the biggest differences between Moscow and New York?

I don’t actually think big cities are that different. Big cities all have the same kind of rules to live by. New York is different because people aren’t judgemental, they don’t judge you for the way you look.

What do you like to do here during the summer?

Sit in air conditioning! [Laughs] And then go out in the evening. It’s nice in the evenings, New York is so perfect to walk around then. People usually go to the beach on the weekends, but it’s too crowded for me. I like to go to Rockaway early in the mornings.

Have you been able to travel anywhere else in America?

Yeah, I toured with the band The Dillinger Escape Plan as their photographer a few times last year. I got to see so many different places.

"Big cities all have the same kind of rules to live by."
“I like photographing people mostly. The fashion work I do isn’t glamorous, it’s more artistic and moody.”

Any that particularly stuck out to you?

It’s difficult when you only see each city for a day. I loved New Orleans, I would love to visit for longer. California is so relaxed!

When did you start becoming interested in pursuing photography?

When I was in University, I was pursuing a degree in engineering. I decided I didn’t want to be an engineer, and wanted to find a hobby or something else. My parents had all these old film cameras, and I picked it up. I like photographing people mostly. The fashion work I do isn’t glamorous, it’s more artistic and moody.

Are there other photographers or artists that you look up to?

I’m trying right now to not call anyone a favorite, I think it puts borders on your vision. I do like Tumblr and to follow blogs that I find inspiring, but don’t follow anyone’s specific work too closely. When I first got into photography, I liked Peter Lindbergh and Tim Walker a lot, and moody, atmospheric work.

What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to a lot of very different music. Growing up I was mostly listening to a lot of hardcore and stuff like that. I love my friend’s band that I toured with (The Dillinger Escape Plan), I love early Metallica, anything Jack White does, and I love Tupac. Even instrumental jazz, it just depends what mood I’m in.

Will you be going back to visit Moscow soon?

I think I should! I want to visit maybe in August. The last few times I’ve been back have been during the winter. I’d like to also visit France. I’ll have to go before it’s winter again!

Ira's Photography