More than a supermodel. Anja Rubik is a creative institution in her own right

More then a supermodel

 Anja Rubik and Kanye West. Kanye West a/w 12 Aferparty at La Halle Freyssinet, Paris, June 2012. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/bfanyc/Sipa USA ©East News

Anja Rubik and Kanye West. Kanye West a/w 12 Aferparty at La Halle Freyssinet, Paris, June 2012. Photo: Joe Schildhorn/bfanyc/Sipa USA ©East News

Modelling, it seems, has become a typically Polish profession. Małgosia Bela, Anja Rubik, Małgorzata Frąckowiak, Anna Jagodzińska and Kasia Struss have been some of the biggest names in the modelling world for over a decade and more recently Monika “Jac” Jagaciak and Zuzanna Bijoch—both Vogue cover girls—have joined the scene. Marcelina Sowa, Maja Salomon, Magdalena Jasek are just some of the new generation of models while the list of male Polish models is equally impressive, including Tomasz Szczukiecki and Greg Nawrat. But of all those celebrated models in Poland, perhaps most prominent and versatile is Anja Rubik, whose face has graced the cover of Vogue almost thirty times.

Anja Rubik in Mary Komasa - Lost Me Music Video

Rubik has featured in advertising campaigns for Balmain, Chloe, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Karl Lagerfeld, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent. Meanwhile Forbes Magazine has listed her among the highest-paid models in the world.
But her talents do not end with supermodelling. She is also a television personality, co-hosting the Polish edition of Project Runway. She is also founder and editor-in-chief of avant-garde 25 Magazine, film director, an curator of the Art & Fashion Forum in Poznań. As if that wasn’t enough, she has designed her own line of clothing and created her own perfume.
Rubik is a strong believer in the celebration of female sexuality and has been in engaged in the fight against the prudishness which exists in both the fashion industry and in mass culture. However Rubik wants to change attitudes which seek to cover up the female body, particularly the breasts. On the pages of 25 Magazine she attempts to show that act of exposing one’s flesh does not have to be about sexual arousal, unlike in the porn industry, nor is it about the objectification of the female body:
“The content is intentionally provocative to start conversations like this, but it is definitely not objectifying. The artists, designers, and models I work with understand that females are capable of great pleasure and power. All women should know that. It would be great if women would stop competing with one another and be supportive instead. It’s something I’m trying to fight for, one topless photo at a time,” says Rubik in an interview with Vogue.
Art fills the pages of 25 Magazine, and a whole host of prominent names are listed as contributors, including: Carsten Holler, Carsten Nicolai, Woodkid, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloë Sevigny, Inez & Vinoodh, Araki, Paola Kudacki, Angel Haze, Chromeo, Say Lou Lou, Mykki Blanco and Daniel Arsham. 

Anja Rubik in Mister D music video

Anja Rubik’s involvement with art is especially interesting. The model also made a foray into the world of Polish music and literature when she appeared in a music video for Mister D (a project by the popular Polish avant-garde writer Dorota Masłowska).
What is most impressive about Anja Rubik is her wide ranging career and her courage to pursue her interests. More than a supermodel — Anja Rubik is a creative institution in her own right.  

Paulina Latham