During one of the initial days of the scorching mediterranean summer I sat down with Alona Mandel-Suslova at Tel-Aviv’s newest pseudo marketplace Sarona. Suslova and I discussed the trials and tribulations of being a cross-cultured model between Russia and Israel and hard work ethic. Suslova is a popular figure within Israel’s mainstream contemporary fashion industry and has won various awards and landed internationally reclaimed advertisements.
exclaims Suslova after a seamless drag from her, you could have guessed it, Vogue cigarette. Suslova started modelling in Moscow which is a hard turf to begin with since as statistics show (based off the recent study from PBS) seventy three percent of models are from a soviet country thus making the work environment a near competitive one to New York City’s modeling ecosystem. Moscow was where it kicked off for Suslova sending her off with unique brunette look to the likes of Japan and Ukraine, where she had her modeling residency there for a year.
Avoiding Tabloids and Reverse Tokenization
While a lot of models and media figures play the Taylor Swift game of “I will date celebrity X for media coverage," Suslova avoided that and lives a very by-the-book kind of lifestyle -contrary to this tabloid on Israel's popular clickbait website, mako- that could be categorized as a suburban dream or westernized nightmare, currently revolving around her two young children and husband.
Suslova modelled for technology companies like Samsung, Coca Cola and Vitek during the late 00s in Russia. What’s strikingly interesting about Suslova, not including her aesthetic, is her perspective on being a commercial model. To reiterate in a text-byte it would be that companies like Coca Cola, pay damn good and don’t play around with monkey business. A comparison of this scenario could be correlated to any arts field where an artists is truly expressing his creative tendencies or getting payed by Apple for a forty second melody. Alona’s moral manifesto is loud and clear, she does her job as a model and does it well, her ethical assessment is of her work as a model and not of the companies’ values she represents in various campaign, while also believing in their state mission. Currently Alona is the Israeli Aerospace Industries’ presenter at international conferences for military technology.
On Gosha Rubchinskiy
Streetwear has always had a soft spot for my aesthetic muses recently while discovering brands hung at the ends of COMME des GARÇONS and Dover Street Market place. Being simple, ready-to-wear and relatively cheap in comparison to high fashion pricing. Gosha Rubchinskiy has been exalted by the likes of prestigious publications like 032 and Dazed and Confused while having a huge online follow. Suslova explained to me that her assessment of his fashion is “that there’s nothing innovative here and he’s selling an old idea [communism] to a western crowd.”