Svetlana Siforova: Part Time Model, Full Time Student


Svetlana Siforova is a part-time model and full time student at FCLC. (Jessica Hanley/The Observer)
Svetlana Siforova is a part-time model and full time student at FCLC. (Jessica Hanley/The Observer)

A model scout came across 16-year-old Svetlana Siforova, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’15, while she was shopping at Sephora with her mom. After researching the offer to ensure that it wasn’t a scam, Siforova signed her first contract with VNY modeling agency.  “I fell into modeling,” Siforova said. Today, not only is she a fashion model for Major Model Management, but she is also a full-time student at FCLC. 

When Siforova moved to the United States from Russia, she was only 7 years old. “I adapted really well when I moved here. I was thrown into speaking English, but it was a quick transition. Now, I could never imagine living anywhere but here,” Siforova said. Despite her love for New York, Siforova also adores traveling. “I’m probably going to take next semester off to travel and model full-time.” Siforova also models full-time during the summer and makes enough money to last her most of the school year.  “I want to experience different things and I want to make money. I don’t think I’m going to change the world by modeling. I’m just enjoying it.” Siforova said. “Unless some amazing opportunity comes my way, honestly, I probably will not continue to model after I graduate.” 

As an English major and psychology minor, Siforova acknowledges that her career plans after Fordham are not related to modeling at all. In fact, she may choose to pursue law school. “If you really want to try modeling, you need to focus on either school or modeling. Balancing the two is extremely difficult,” Siforova said. She emphasized the importance of prioritizing. How does she do it? Siforova explained that modeling full-time during the school year is impossible.

There is immense stress that comes with this type of career – whether it’s stress from school, stress from your job or stress from your personal life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. “I’m always stressed. I drink like eight cups of coffee a day. Modeling is extremely stressful because it’s a business where they essentially own you. You become marketable. You’re an item and you think of yourself as an item, but it helps you develop a hard exterior,” Svetlana said.

Even when she’s stressed, Svetlana is still able to live a balanced life at Fordham, on the runway and at home. “I live in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. When I’m stressed, I like going for walks and runs on the beach. My mom also helps me deal with stress very often. She’s my best friend, my rock, and she’s always helping me through the thick and thin,” Siforova said.

When she’s not busy studying or posing for the camera, Siforova enjoys playing tennis, shopping at stores like Intermix, Scoop and Bergdorf’s, and loves to read books by Agatha Christie. She also exercises the lessons she has learned from being in the modeling industry in every day life. For example, she knows the importance of knowing the right people and applies that to another hobby of hers – acting. “I take acting classes and sometimes I work backstage. I’ll go to castings here and there. I do it to make connections,” Siforova said.

If she had to describe herself in one word, she would say passionate. “I put a lot of effort into everything I do, whether I’m successful or not,” Siforova said, “I’m also an optimist when it comes to everything. I like hoping for the best.”

The experiences that Siforova has had through modeling are still fresh in her memory. “The first runway show I ever walked in was really cool. It was Boy Meets Girl, that random obnoxious brand with the boy and girl kissing. I thought it was the cutest thing in the world, but I also remember how scared I was,” Siforova recalled. One piece of advice Siforova has for aspiring models at Fordham is, “If you’re in New York, take advantage of it.” New York has given Siforova experiences she couldn’t have had anywhere else. “I did a campaign in Times Square, I’ve been in Teen Vogue a few times, I’ve been in Seventeen Magazine and I did a campaign for Century 21 that was really cool,” Siforova said. She also did an entire DKNY spread for Milk Magazine in Japan, where she is very popular because of her big blue eyes and blonde hair. “The best thing about modeling is traveling and the people you meet. Half of them are great and half are awful, but everyone you meet is interesting and you get invited to really interesting events that you wouldn’t be able to go to otherwise,” Siforova said.

Siforova’s outlook on life glows with positive energy. While acknowledging the stress that comes along with the job, she encourages those who are interested in modeling to pursue it with the same passion she exerts every day. “If a person really wants to model,