Irina Shayk Hot MAXIM Photoshoot
Shayk was born in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia, to Volga Tatar coal miner Valery and ethnic Russian kindergarten music teacher Olga. She says she inherited her looks from her father and she has said that people often think she is South American. “My father was dark skinned, because he was Tatar, sometimes Tatars can look Brazilian,” she says. “I get my light eyes from my mother.” She has one sibling, a sister named Tatiana.
Shayk started playing piano at age six. At age nine she enrolled in a music school and studied there for seven years, both playing the piano and singing in the choir, since her mother wanted her to study music. Her father died of complications of pneumonia when she was 14, leaving her family with little money and forcing her mother to work two jobs to provide for the family.
After high school, Shayk studied marketing but was bored by it and entered a beauty school with her older sister. While there, she was noticed by a person from a local modeling agency who was struck by her beauty. She was urged to participate in the “Miss Chelyabinsk 2004” beauty contest and she won.