Spur Magazine July 2012 interview
Model: Ginta Lapina
Photography: Kikuko Usuyama, Jonas Gustavsson (runway)
Hair & Make-up: Kouta
Interview & text: Wayne Sterling
WS: Did you feel like you were always destined to model Ginta?
GL: When I was 15 I was one of the shortest girls and then I started to play sports and became one of the tallest, all in one summer . I was scouted a little bit before my 16th birthday . It was at first a little bit of an issue because the scout thought I was too short. But one day...whoosh.
WS: What was your sport?
GL: Volleyball . I played it in school in Latvia. Nothing international.
WS: As a schoolgirl when everyone was encouraging you to model did you have any ideas about the fashion world?
GL: No. Because I'm from a small town so people wouldn't even think it's real. They think of fashion as something that is untouchable.
WS: Is there much of a fashion industry in Latvia?
GL: For sure we have more and more modeling agencies ...but fashion as an industry...not really. There are some people who are aware ... there are those who aware of my work but not so many people.
WS: Are you a celebrity in Latvia?
GL: Not really. maybe once or twice a little girl on the street will point and say my name but that's it.
WS: So you still have a little bit of a private life.
GL: Yes. I do. Which I like. For models it's different. Once you are a known model it's not the same as an actor. Once you are in the movies, millions know you. Models still get to keep their private life.
WS: What's the main city that you live in now?
GL: New York. I love the people in New York. I like the mix. It is a lot of energy but I have to say, time to time I have to get out of the city, just to stay sane (laughs) I live in Chelsea and there are construction workers every morning at 7am outside my bedroom for a year now starting with jackhammers.
WS: Are you ready to slow down the fast pace of your life?
GL: I have to say I enjoy a lot, traveling and I like being with people but I like exploring by myself. I like those moments when I'm by myself. Let's say ...I'm going to go, for instance tonight to Milan for a job, I'm kind of looking forward to it because that's your time . You go to the hotel, spend a little time in the spa. The 8 or 9 hrs on the plane means I can read my book. I'm reading right now, "The Hunger Games" which just came out as a movie. I'm reading already, the third book. I'm a little bit obsessed . That's the moment . I can read my book .
WS: What did you think of the movie?
GL: I liked it . But they were missing things. In the books of course you have more details. It explains more whats happening, why some people die and what happens to the kids in The Hunger Games after they die. They turn into ghosts but they didn't explain that in the movies. The whole forest thing was just as I imagined it. But I didn't like the train. I thought it looked too robotic and futuristic.
WS: Speaking of futuristic, I love your nails by the way.
GL: I just did a video with the directors Santiago & Maurcio yesterday for models.com with the theme about Japanese cartoon characters . I liked it so much I kept them.
WS: Have you been to Japan?
GL: I've been to Japan like 5 times . I love the culture. In Tokyo I love to go shopping but the clothes are always smaller than my size . I like to buy lots of little souvenirs like chopsticks . My grandmother is so cute she doesn't even use them. She just keeps them on display. I don't have many siblings . I have one brother but I have lots of uncles and aunts and cousins .
WS: You've pretty much grown up from a young girl to a young woman in this business!
GL: Yes. The journey I've been through is something I'll never forget. Being here on my own. ...it was definitely a growing experience and I believe I had to go through all these things to be where I am now. I understand myself better. Because I now know how easy it is to fall down. I've been through the stages where everything was a challenge which is why I am so happy with where I am now. What I like about my job now is that you go to your bookings and people have now become your friend . It's more like a family feeling which is interesting. I can get nervous sometimes before a shoot but it depends on the story . Sometimes you just go to the shoot and they give you the inspiration . Other days sometimes I wish I had more homework to do (laughs) . It's nice if they send the inspiration or reference beforehand because sometimes I go to the shoot and there are crazy ideas and I want to do my best. It's where I get nervous.
WS: Do you think there should be an age limit for models.
GL: I think there should be verages I imagine if I had a daughter I wouldn't her to be modeling full time since he's 15. I think it's a little bit too young because you not know yet why you are in this world. Occasionally it's great to start young but you do it full time maybe it's best when you are 17 or 18.
WS: If you had stayed in school and not modeled what would you be doing now?
GL: I would be an interior designer. Yup. I was in an artistic school in Latvia and if you had asked me 5 years ago I would have said "oh I want to be a painter or working with stained glass" but now I think I would have loved to be an interior designer .
WS: Do you experiment with your decorating skills at home?
GL: Yes I just got a place in Riga. It's a raw space so it's like my little baby. I'm slowly working out exactly how I want everything to be. The walls...the floors...the apartment I have is in the old part of the city. So I'm going to make my kitchen look like we are on the street . It depends on the mood of the room but I like a lot of gray, black and white. It might feel more modern but I also have a liking or classical. I keep a more classical apartment in New York.
WS: Tell me about your favorite music right now.
GL: With music it's a little funny. It can be pretty much anything. I like rock n roll. Hip hop especially when I'm at work. At home I like 80s . Because I love to dance.
WS: Speaking of dancing, I love that Madonna gave you dance lessons on that Miu Miu set with Mert & Marcus.
GL: Yes. I mean Madonna is Madonna . When she walked into the studio that day, me and the girls didn't know she was coming . So we are in the dressing area and I'm looking and going...no it can't be Madonna. Is she really here? I was so surprised but she was the sweetest. She remembered all the girls names. We didn't have to say it twice. We learnt the moves. She has such a good memory. Madonna's focus is incredible. She knows exactly what she's doing.
WS: What's your big remaining dream?
GL: My biggest dream in the future...the one thing I really want is to be happy . Always happy. I never want to lose the little Ginta inside of me. I still want to be who I am and remember the place where I am coming from . Because that will lead you into your future.
WS: Beautifully said Ginta. Thanks a billion for making time for Spur this morning.