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Irina Shayk aka Sheik (Shaykhlislamova), first Russian Sports Illustrated cover girl. Irina Shayk, one of the world's most famous models

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Irina Shayk

Irina Shayk (Irina Sheik) born Irina Shaykhlislamova is world famous Russian model, known for her 2007 through 2011 appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She is the first Russian Sports Illustrated cover girl, who graced the cover of 2011 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

Irina Shaykhlislamova was born on January 6, 1986 in Yemanzhelinsk, Russia in the family of a Russian mother and a Tatar father who she originated her unusual looks from. Shayk's mother was a pianist who was the music teacher in a kindergarten, and her father, wh0 died when she eas 14 was a coal miner. She has one sibling, an older sister named Tatiana.

Irina Shayk got into the beauty business after her mother saw an ad on a bus stop and took her to a local beauty school. After winning "Miss Chelyabinsk 2004," she was discovered by model scouts. She moved to Paris in 2005, quickly began modeling around the world. In 2007 she replaced Ana Beatriz Barros as the face of Intimissimi and in the same year debuted in the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Since that time, she has appeared in every annual edition, attending photoshoots in such places as St Petersburg, Naples, Grenada and Chile. After being the image of Intimissimi for three years (six seasons), Shayk was made the official ambassador for the brand in 2010. Her other modeling contracts include Beach Bunny (2009), and Guess spring/summer 2009. Her magazine covers include Annabelle, Bolero, Woman, Jalouse, and Paris Capital. She signed with modeling agency IMG on May 2009.

Shayk modeled the Armani Exchange spring/summer 2010 campaign. She was on the cover of Ocean Drive and GQ South Africa for the August issue. She ranked first in the "50 Hottest Russian Women" list by Complex magazine She made a change from swimwear to high fashion with a spread in Spain's Harper's Bazaar and landed the cover of Elle Spain for their November 2010 issue. Glamour Spain awarded her "Best International Model of 2010". She is the first Russian to appear on the cover. Shayk became the face of swim label Luli Fama's 2011 advertising campaign and look book. Appears in the John John Denim ad campaign. She currently ranks 10th in the "Top 20 Sexiest Models" list on Models.com. In 2011 she was voted "Sexiest Woman In The World" in the Hungarian magazine Periodika.

In 2011 she was chosen to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, wearing a maroon-and-yellow string bikini on the sand in Hawaii. This is the fifth time she has been featured in the magazine, but the first time she has been on the cover. Irina Shayk has also appeared in the Victoria's Secret catalog and in ad campaigns for Lacoste, Guess, Beach Bunny swimwear, and Intimissimi lingerie.

Shayk is helping a maternity hospital in her hometown of Yemanzhelinsk. She and her sister helped rebuild the children's ward of the local hospital, and now Shayk raises money on behalf of a Russian charity. Since May/Spring of 2010, she has been dating footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Shayk and Ronaldo allegedly met through their Armani Exchange campaigns.


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