Get to know the Finnish Girl: Ilana Elfving


Blue dress, Ivana Helsinki (WST). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


The Basics:

Name: Ilana Elfving

Age: 22

Agency: Fondi-Models



Beige coat, R/H. White T-shirt, Samuji (WST). Grey clutch, Globe Hope (WST). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



White shirt, Samuji (WST). Printed skirt, Printex (WST), Brown sandals (Stylist’s own). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Beige jacket, Jere Vilo. Beige dress, Jere Vilo. Clutch, Jere Vilo. Black heels (Stylist’s own). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Black printed dress, Marimekko (WST). Black heels (Stylist’s own). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Green top, Jere Vilo. Jeans skirt, Jere Vilo. Brown sandals (Stylist’s own). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Coral cardigan, Samuji (WST). Black tulip skirt, R/H. Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Blue printed dress, Marimekko (WST). Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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.



Dress, R/H. Image by Ali Aljanabi for HÄN


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)

Jere Vilo