At the age of 17, she signed a contract with Giovanni modeling, hoping that her modeling on the side will help her pay her rent. From then on, Lazareanu did rounds of the runway occasionally in Barcelona, Madrid, Australia and mainly in London and Paris.
The dark beauty later got her long awaited break when Kate Moss chose her to model for Vogue Paris. Since then, the 5 ft. 9 brown eyed Romanian girl became quite popular in the fashion scene.
She walked for high fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Anna Sui, Versace, Lanvin, Alexander McQueen, Chanel and many others.
Irina Lazareanu dresses quite quirky and her vintage style paved the way for her rise in the ranks. In an interview, the beautiful Irina said “I am very influenced by the whole 1960s-1970s London era, not only in terms of my clothes but also in terms of the music I listen to, the movies I watch, the writers I read. Those influences probably translate into my personal style in an unconscious way.”
Surely, Irina’s rock ‘n roll vibe contributed not only to her distinctive look but to her career as well. Emmanuelle Alt from Vogue Paris says that “On the runway, no matter what, she cannot be transformed. She always has her unique look and style.” With this vibe, Lazareanu became a favorite of well-known designers Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquiere.
The Meteoric Rise of Irina
With her striking beauty, it is undeniably impossible for Lazareanu to not rise out of the modeling ranks. Her discipline however is what contributed to her success being a former student of The Royal Academy of London.
Irina Lazareanu co-wrote a song titled “La Belle et la Bete” with former fiancé Pete Doherty. It is worth noting that the beautiful Irina was also rumored as the band’s drummer at the time but she denied this little tidbit. The Romanian model toured with Babyshambles in 2004, accompanying Doherty. She and Pete whom she lovingly called Peter, met at a party when Lazareanu was still a ballet student. Bonding over shared interests in music and artists such as Oscar Wilde, the beautiful-soon-to-be model at the time and Pete Doherty’s love affair started. Lazareanu’s music career is not as colorful as her career in the world of fashion. She said in an interview “My music isn’t commercial…I just want to learn from people and do the best I can do.” Her influences are Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen.
By December of 2007, she had four songs which were used as a soundtrack of a Chanel show in London.
Getting Personal with Irina
The model was briefly engaged to Pete Doherty. They were actually engaged twice, first in year 2004 and then in October of 2007 after Doherty’s on and off relationship with Lazareanu’s pal Kate Moss –the supermodel who handpicked Lazareanu to be TopShop’s new face in that same year. This buzz kept the paparazzi a-buzz and they feasted on the so-called betrayal. This however, did not affect Lazareanu’s success in the runway.
Everything seemed to be fine with Lazareanu and Doherty until he suddenly broke off their engagement and claimed wanting Kate Moss back. This turnaround was a hard time for Lazareanu. Lazareanu later on channels her energy to charity work through Amnesty International. When she has finally healed her broken heart after her split with musician Doherty, she dates Sean Lennon son of the Beatle legend John Lennon.
After signing with Montreal’s Giovanni, Irina Lazareanu had to wait four years to finally walk the runway. She opened the fall show for Anne Valeria Hash in Paris July of 2004 and walked for Chanel afterwards. In December 2005, she was handpicked by supermodel Kate Moss in the editorial “Extravagence de plumes” for Vogue Paris.
A year later, she is photographed by David Sims for Balenciaga while Nicolas Ghesquiere said that Irina is his muse. 2006 was a good year for Irina, she was also featured in Vogue Italy and closed the fall collection for Marc Jacobs in New York and rocked the runway with Prada, Miu Miu, Christian Lacroix, and Yves Saint Laurent in Paris and Milan. By March of the same year she appears again on Italian Vogue with Du Juan, they were photographed by Paolo Roversi.
She also signed a contract with gap that year, adding to her portfolio of famous brands. By May she appeared in Numero’s editorial and she was photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
Mid-July of that same year, Lazareanu opens and closes the Chanel couture show. She then released one of her songs accompanied by guitarist Sean Lennon. By the next month, she is profiled in Fashion TV as the new “it” girl of the fashion industry. She also walks for the spring collections of Alexander McQueen, Marni, Burberry, Fendi, and Dries van Noten in Paris and Milan.
By 2007 Lazareanu is chosen as the new face for Chanel’s Paris-Monte Carlo collection. World-renowned designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld photographed Lazareanu and said that she is a “mix of Coco Chanel and Anna de Noailles.” Anna Noailles is a French-Romanian poet.
In the year 2008, she appeared alongside her very good friend Hye Park in a print ad for Saks Fifth Avenue. She appeared in many well-known magazines after that and by 2009, she graced the runway for Christian Dior’s spring collection in Paris, France. By March, she appeared in a Vogue editorial in Japan and was photographed by Tisch. She appears in another editorial for Vogue Italy and appeared other Vogue editorials after that.
Irina Lazareanu’s career both in the fashion and music industries are worth watching out for.