Photography by Cory Monji
Katharina Mazepa has come a long way after being crowned Miss Vienna in 2014. While conquering the modeling industry for posing for big brands such as La Perla, Vera Wang, Dsquared2, Kérastase and gracing several notable fashion magazines, Katharina also recently fulfilled her dream of marrying the love of her life US Diplomat Shilo Mazepa.
With all of her new accomplishments and upcoming projects, Katharina looks like she has turned her back on what her followers have known her for. On the contrary, Katharina recognizes that she will always carry with her the advocacies she aggressively promoted during her stint as Miss Vienna.
“I went to the university to study environmental engineering because promoting our planet’s sustainability matters to me greatly. I am and will always be an environmentalist. Throughout the years I was involved in many charity projects, I have fought for animal rights aside from human rights. I volunteered for animal and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace when I was in school. Now, I use modeling and social media to bring awareness to these causes that are very close to my heart.”
For Katharina, pursuing her career in modeling and acting is rooted in a much more important purpose aside from making a name for herself. Her being a former beauty queen served as a great stepping stone for her to launch a successful career. However, being a beauty queen isn’t something she can easily step away from. Katharina knows that aside from enjoying the perks, her responsibilities as a beauty queen such as being the voice to several notable advocacies, are some things she has to carry on through her new role as a model, actress, and social influencer.
From her experience as a beauty queen, a model, and an aspiring actress, Katharina learned that beauty alone won’t just cut it anymore. She has seen how these different industries have shifted from being heavily visual to being heavily social.
Aside from the usual travels, shoots, guestings, it is necessary for Katharina to also keep up with social media trends. Katharina personally manages her own Instagram where she interacts with her fans and followers. “I’m managing my social media by myself and work hard every day to build a relationship with my followers and spread positive energy,” Katharina shares.
As to how she grows her following online, Katharina gives this piece of advice to aspiring models and online influencers: “When it comes to growing your account, I find it most helpful to be consistent with what you do. Always engage with your fans. It is also best to work and connect with other people online like photographers. Help promote each other’s works.”
Katharina has grown her Instagram following to more than 300K followers. She shares that what helped her grow her number of followers is definitely her authenticity. While she posts images from her shoots, what grows her number of followers are her posts about her life outside modeling. She posts about her advocacies, her hobbies, and the things she enjoys in her personal time.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing to stay successful in this industry is to stay true to yourself so you can also make true relationships. What you believe in and your values matter. Knowing that I can still use my platform to make a stand for the values and principles I believe in makes me happy,” Katharina intimates.
Katharina enjoys what she is doing and she doesn’t see herself stopping anytime soon.
At the young age of fourteen, she went to Malaysia as an exchange student and from then, her penchant to learn and understand different peoples and cultures only grew. She loves to be around people not for the attention and the fame, but because she loves the power to influence them into creating a more positive change in the world. Aside from being a model, she appreciates her being an online influencer
“I interact on social media to try to genuinely understand people. I try to establish a connection with them that is real and meaningful,” she shares.
You can still sense the beauty queen in Katharina, her movements show grace like they are choreographed and her words, though candidly expressed, sound carefully chosen. You would know that she’s not just a pretty face. Each of her words, movement, and choice are purposive. Just like any disciplined beauty queen, she knows she has to compete for every title and every crown. You can sense, Katharina competed to be where she is right now.
Exclusive Interview: Katharina Mazepa
Measurements: 36.5” – 23.5” – 36”
Number of followers on social media: >300k
Current Career Project: Just signed with Select Models
Upcoming Career Project: Establishing a second home base in Los Angeles
Next Media Appearance: Interview for FHM
Where are you right now?
I’m currently traveling back and forth between Miami and DC to the extent possible during the lockdown. While I miss Europe and all the people in quarantine, I have used this time to connect with agents and plan my next career moves in the US. During this lockdown I have been strategizing from home and now have modeling agencies in most major US markets. I couldn’t be more excited to travel again 🙂
Tell us a bit about yourself, dreams aspirations before you started on your journey to fame.
I started modeling when I was 16 as I have always had a passion for fashion, creating art and traveling.
About 2 years into modeling, I was crowned Miss Vienna. Ever since I’ve been fortunate enough to work with artists and brands all over the world with a focus on swimwear and lingerie. Brands I have worked for include La Perla, Vera Wang, Dsquared2, Kérastase and various Fashion Magazines.
I have since lived in Singapore, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Spain and now the United States, where I am splitting my time between Miami, Washington DC or wherever my work takes me. I have always dreamt about pursuing modeling and acting in the United States and couldn’t be more grateful to watch my dream unfold.
Before pursuing modeling full-time, I was an environmentalist and went to University to study environmental engineering as the sustainability of our planet is a topic that matters to me greatly. I’m living plant-based and have been a vegetarian/vegan since the age of 11.
Throughout the years I was involved in many charity projects with a focus on human rights as well as animal rights. I volunteered for animal and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace when I was in school. Now I mainly use modeling and social media to bring awareness to these causes that lie very close to my heart.
You’ve got over 300.000 followers on Instagram. Do you remember when you had just 1 follower? How did you get from here to there? What were some of the daily secrets that helped you grow such a following?
One of the perks of working in the modeling industry is that you constantly get new beautiful pictures which are great content for Social Media. I just started sharing my work and what is happening behind the scenes on my Instagram and my following started growing. I give my best to post every day at the times my followers are most active and provide the content they are most interested in and giving them some insights in my life besides modeling.
How do you manage your feed? Do you have people who help you keep it fresh and updated?
I’m managing my social media by myself and work hard every day to build a relationship with my followers and spread positive energy.
When it comes to growing your account, I find it most helpful being consistent in what you do and engage your audience. It is also helpful to work with photographers who have a decent following on Instagram as your accounts then promote each other; but in the end of the day the most important element to sustainable success in this industry is showing the world who you are while staying true to yourself and your values at the same time.
What do you charge now for a sponsor to get you to post something for them? What’s the best way to get in touch with you for something like that?
A few thousand, depending on how much effort it takes to create the content and the level of exposure. Best contact info for social media services is firstname.lastname@example.org
We get submissions for models daily wanting to be in a magazine or just find work. Do you have any tips they likely wouldn’t find anywhere else?
Apply to modeling agencies, check in with your agents frequently and make sure they understand what exactly your aspirations are and that they help you get closer to fulfilling them. Keep trying and don’t get discouraged by rejection.
Are you currently single? And looking?
Last summer I married the love of my life and moved to the United States (:
What are some things a guy can do to get someone of your calibre? Especially when there are so many men competing for your attention.
The best way would be to try to genuinely understand who that person is other than their social media and their job and try to establish a connection with them that is real and meaningful.
In the end of the day nobody falls deeply in love with someone based on just their looks, so this should not be the only focus of giving compliments and establishing a connection. We fall in love because of the way someone makes us feel – so the only advice I can give is to be yourself.
Oh – and you can never go wrong with flowers 😉
What are some of your hobbies?
When I was 14 years old I did an exchange year in Malaysia which ignited my passion for learning about new cultures and exploring the world. I currently speak 4 languages – German, English, Malay and Spanish – and am eager to learn more.
What makes you feel sexy?
I always feel especially good in my skin after a nice yoga session. Self-care is very important – and sexy! – and includes everything from caring for your body and eating healthy and taking care of your energy to wearing something special, regardless of who sees it. Personally I feel sexiest when wearing a nice set of lingerie 😉
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
I love all the desserts! I live plant-based so my go to are dark chocolate, dairy-free ice cream or indulging in some delicious vegan cupcakes I just made.
What was the most romantic gift you have ever gotten?
My engagement ring. I had absolutely no idea my now-husband was going to propose. He took me on this incredible trip to Luxor, Egypt where we learned so much about the place’s history and culture. Every day was filled with adventure and wonderful surprise dates; on the last night he rented a boat for us to have a private dinner; we drank champagne and danced all evening. And then, just as the sun set, he gave me the greatest gift of all: a lifetime by his side.
What is something you’ve learned since becoming famous that you wish someone had told you?
In modeling, there will always be agencies that want you to lose more weight, no matter what your measurements are. Find a balance for yourself; what matters most is that YOU feel beautiful and that you are healthy. There is not enough fame or money in the world that could compensate for your well-being. Stand up for yourself.
Do you read the comments?
I always give my best to read all the comments, what my followers have to say is of great importance to me (:
Where haven’t you been that you would like to go?
I would really love to explore Latin America more. So far I’ve only made it to Colombia and Mexico, but I feel like each country of that area in the world has something very special to offer. For instance, I’ve always dreamt about visiting the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru.
What’s the most insane thing you’ve done on a shoot?
I had to learn how to scuba dive for an underwater photo shoot. It was insanely fun and the pictures looked great, but keeping your eyes open underwater with a beautiful pose and facial expression definitely requires some practice.
First thing you see when you look at a guy?
Their energy and smile.
How does it feel to be influential to other people?
I think everyone with influence should use their notability to make the world a better place, in whatever way they can. I have always cared greatly for animal rights and our environment and volunteered for various organizations. The prospect that I am now able to bring more awareness to these topics through my following on social media makes my heart happy!
If Steven Spielberg were to film a biography film on your life, who would you want to play you in the movie?
Nina Dobrev. I’ve always had a girl crush on her!
Where can fans/followers expect to see you next?
As soon as we are allowed to travel again … EVERYWHERE 🙂