Meet the Russian model scouted by Gucci after battling brain surgery

Meet the Russian model scouted by Gucci after battling brain surgery

22 February 2018

Gucci’s latest show at Milan Fashion Week is already one of the season’s most-talked about events — not least because designers sent models down the catwalk holding copies of their own decapitated heads.


If you weren’t too distracted by the Italian fashion brand’s macarbe edge, you might have spotted Russian model Olga Zapivokhina closing the show in a satin all-in-one and an oversized fur coat. It was a catwalk debut for the 22-year-old, who was scouted just months earlier after bouncing back from major brain surgery.

Zapivokhina, who hails from the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, had been forced to shave her head before undergoing the proceedure at the age of just 21. Her transformation spurred one friend to take a few snaps of Zapivokhina in recovery and send them to Gucci’s casting directors.

As well as closing the fashion week showcase, there are even rumours that Zapivokhina could soon star in Gucci’s upcoming 2018 campaign. In the meantime, she’s won a full development contract with Moscow’s Number model agency. “[Walking for Gucci—] I was ready to burst into tears,” Zapivokhina wrote on Instagram.