Name: Ilana Elfving
HÄN: Hey, Ilana! How are you today?
Ilana: Great, thank you!
HÄN: Where are you from?
Ilana: I am from Turku in Finland. I am originally from Lahti and I am studying right now in Turku school of Economics in Turku.
HÄN: What do you study?
Ilana: It’s my first year there but I’m now choosing what I am majoring in. So I am majoring in I think it’s like Commercial Law there.
HÄN: How long have you been doing modelling?
Ilana: I’ve been doing it… I did it for a while without the agency, I did just modelling like maybe from 15 years old? And then I’ve been with an agency for a bit like over the year.
HÄN: What was your first job as a model?
Ilana: Hmm I think it was a beauty shoot… No, no, actually, it wasn’t. It was for a brand in Lahti, where I am from. They have like fur stuff, so it was for them.
HÄN: Oh, that’s cool! So are you planning to do modelling full time or are you planning to do some other things?
Ilana: Modelling is something, I really like and I would really love to do it more. But I’ve been concentrating more on studying because the first year has been very intense. It’s been a lot of school work and stuff but I would love to do a lot of modelling for sure.
HÄN: How would you describe your style?
Ilana: My style changes a lot depending on my mood. Sometimes I like to wear really feminine clothes like dresses and high heels. But sometimes I also feel like wearing casual clothes.
HÄN: And what do you do in your free time?
Ilana: I like to hang out with my friends and just… I just like to be with people, go to the gym and like listen to music or read books.
HÄN: What was the last book you read?
Ilana: The last book I read was A Thousand Splendid Suns.
HÄN: So where would you go with your friends? Do you have a favourite restaurant or a cafe in Helsinki?
Ilana: In Helsinki my favourite restaurant is Santa, I really like it, I don’t know if you’ve been there. It’s really good, it’s like Moroccan food. It’s actually really close to here. I like to go there… I like to also go for drinks in Pastor, here in Helsinki. But I mostly go out in Turku.
HÄN: Where would you go out there?
Ilana: There is my favourite restaurant, it’s called Testito, they have really good pizzas there. I really like to go there.
HÄN: Do you ever go to clubs?
Ilana: Yeah, I don’t go super often but I go sometimes. I haven’t really gone in Helsinki a lot, it’s mostly been in Turku but there is Perse, I like to go there.
HÄN: What is it like? Is it like fancy, or it’s more relaxed?
Ilana: It’s like… I don’t think Turku clubs are the best ones, I think they are better here in Helsinki, but it’s fine, they play good music there and like it’s fun to just dance with your friends.
HÄN: What kind of music do you like?
Ilana: I actually like all kinds of music. Depends on my mood. The top musicians on my phone are a Finnish rapper Ruudolf and then Birdy and Sia.
HÄN: And how do you stay fit, do you do any sports?
Ilana: Yeah, I go to the gym and I like running.
HÄN: How often would you say you exercise?
Ilana: Well, I had so much school so I haven’t had so much time, but like maybe 3 or 4 times a week, or something like that.
HÄN: That’s good. And do you have a proper diet?
Ilana: Not really. No. I like to eat healthy, I like healthy foods. But I also sometimes eat some sweets and like…
HÄN: But in moderation.
Ilana: Yes, all in moderation. That’s how I think people should eat.
HÄN: Do you have any hobbies outside modelling?
Ilana: Not really… Just going to the gym, those kinds of things.
HÄN: Would you say your friends are very sporty as well?
Ilana: Yeah, I go to the gym actually with them or running with them.
HÄN: And the last one: what is the thing you like the most about living in Finland?
Ilana: I like how things in Finland work so well, like health care and education. I also like that you are always close to nature here even though you live in a city.
Questions by Kira Kolosova.
Photography by Ali Aljanabi.
Styling and make up by Salla Ceder.
We Started This (WST)