With her body of work MAJA SALAMON truly defines the modern era’s top model term shaped on a list under her belt featuring top runways, covers and campaigns to even multiple photo shoots with iconic fashion photographers. After working with Maja almost five years ago on a cover shoot of our DSCENE Magazine we are excited to catch up with her once again and share her latest endeavours.
Maja sits down with our Editor ANA MARKOVIC to talk about her beginnings, her love of food and everything Warsaw Foods as well as staying in shape.
How were you discovered? And when did you know you wanted to pursue a modeling career?
When I was 16 one of my friends at school got a camera and persuaded me to do a photo shoot together. Afterwards she sent some of the pictures to modelling agencies in Warsaw, Poland and they invited me to come over. Me and my mom thought it could be fun so we met them and decided to sign with one of them, my mother agency D’vision. At first it was more like an adventure, on and off with regular school, but after I finished high school and passed all my exams I decided I want to give modelling full-time a shot.
How different was the modeling world from the one you imagined before you started working in the industry?
I had ever really dreamt or imagined the fashion world before I actually started working in it. However, I may have had a stereotypical idea or image of a super luxurious and glamorous environment full of avantgarde people and places. And that is partially true, but the fashion industry is also a normal work environment where people have their problems or become friends.
You worked with so many great photographers and designers, what are the projects you are most proud of?
For me the most memorable projects usually involve great people or spectacular locations.
I would definitely say my first experiences like first British Vogue shoot with Paolo Roversi or my first exclusive Balenciaga show back when Nicolas Ghesquière was the creative director. As for the shows I would say – Prada SS14 when they bleached my hair, the Chanel supermarket in Grand Palais or Dior in the sumo stadium in Tokyo. Some memorable shoots would definitely be Vogue Italia Beauty cover, American Vogue with Tim Walker, Prada Campaign with Steven Meisel or British Vogue with Craig McDean. If it’s about the locations I would say Hugo Boss Campaign in Vasquez Rocks Natural Park in California, Louis Vuitton Resort Shows in Monaco or Palm Springs and Vogue Russia shoot in an off-season empty Crete island.
“I may have had a stereotypical idea or image of a super luxurious and glamorous environment full of avantgarde people and places. And that is partially true, but the fashion industry is also a normal work environment where people have their problems or become friends.”
What are the projects you enjoyed working on the most, and the ones that were the most challenging?
I think I always enjoyed working with Paolo Roversi. He is not only a photographic genius, but also such a lovely and caring person. We shoot many times over the years i.e. for British Vogue, Vogue Italia, Vogue Japan and many more.
As for the most challenging projects it would have to do with weather conditions i.e. Numero October 2015 Issue that I shoot outside in July in Paris (dressed in coats, furs etc.) and it was around 40°C outside or shooting a swimsuit story for Interview Magazine in New York in February (with temperatures below 0°C outside).
Do you have any unfulfilled dreams when it comes to modeling?
As I mentioned before I had never really dreamt about working as a model. I’ve never pushed for anything or had any goals, so everything that happened I just took as a nice surprise and a great adventure.
What have you learned from modeling that you couldn’t learn in school?
That travelling, meeting new people and cultures opens your mind and shows you a much bigger perspective.
How did you get into food styling? Tell us about ‘Warsaw Foods” ?
‘Warsaw Foods’ is actually me and my fiancé Greg Klukowski and we are a food photography & styling duo in Warsaw, Poland.
It all started around 2 years ago, when Greg, who has been a commercial and fashion photographer in Warsaw for over 10 years, got into big food photography project thanks to his colleague. I decided to help him as much as I could between my modelling jobs, because I had always been really interested in food and cooking. At that time I also started professional cooking training in a fine-dining restaurant and after almost a year of doing some personal projects and after seeing that people love what we do and it has a potential we decided to go for it and we created a company called “Warsaw Foods”. Now we are working with many popular kitchenware and cooking brands, magazines, chefs and restaurants. This year we’re also planing to open our own studio.
What are some food styling secrets you can share with us? Any tips for making food look better
Sometimes I would use a shaving foam instead of a milk foam on a coffee so it doesn’t collapse with time. To make water drops on fruits and veggies I use glycerin, as it doesn’t dry. To make this nice, little bubbles on a black coffee or espresso I put some washing liquid inside. I could go on forever with this kind of tips! [laughs]
But if you want to make your food look better when you actually want to eat it – just have fun with it. For example when making a tomato salad use different colours, shapes and sizes, sprinkle with some sea salt flakes, black pepper and fresh herbs. Add some beautiful burrata, toasted pine nuts or almonds and right before you serve it drizzle with some olive oil. One last tip – never make it too perfect!
“I think I always enjoyed working with Paolo Roversi. He is not only a photographic genius, but also such a lovely and caring person.”
What’s your favourite food to cook, style, eat?
I love baking and pastry in general, so definitely all kinds of cakes, desserts and sweets. It’s a lot of fun, but it also takes precision and skills, so it’s a great mindfulness activity too.
As for eating I’ve been a vegetarian for a few years now and I love eating fresh, seasonal and nutritious food.
How do you stay in shape?
I’m eating really well of course, but the most important factor is that I love sport and work out a lot, almost every day. I do bikram yoga, swim, work out in a gym, play tennis and squash. But I mostly run and that’s my biggest hobby – last year I finished my 3rd Marathon in Budapest and I’m planning to run a next one in October/November 2020.
What is your beauty secret? What are your go-to beauty essentials?
I guess basics like eating well, staying active, drinking lots of water. I’m a minimalist when it comes to cosmetics and beauty products and my essentials would be a rich face moisturizer, miccelar water, face gel and peeling, body lotion and a good shampoo, conditioner and mask.
If you could only wear one brand for the rest of your life, what would it be?
No brand, I guess I would go to my own tailor to get some great quality basics.
If a movie was made about your life, what genre would it be, and who would play you?
Oh it definitely would be a comedy and a drama at the same time. I would be honoured if it could be either Tilda Swinton or Saoirse Ronan.
Your tip for taking the best photo?
Good light is a must.
Finally, what makes you happy?
Having my friends and family around me, making a perfect cake and crossing a Marathon line.
Keep up with Maja on Instagram @maja_salamon
Photographer PIOTR KRAWCZYK – piotrkrawczyk.com
Stylist JAN GIOVANNI CATAPANO – @jancatapano
Hair and Makeup Artist PATRYK NADOLNY
Light assistant TOMASZ WYSOCKI
Retouch MACIEJ BYCZKOWSKI at Mesh Studio
Model MAJA SALAMON at D’VISION