In an industry where youth has long been the gold standard, the winds of change are finally beginning to shift. “Now it’s different. It’s obviously still developing but it’s happening!” exclaims Apolonka, a model with AS Management, as she reflects on the evolving attitudes towards age diversity within the modeling world. This candid conversation unfolds in the visually captivating series photographed by Karo Ramos, at the space of Czarnobyl Warsaw and the style personally curated by Apolonka herself. Assisted by Arya Ramos, this collaboration highlights not just the aesthetic dimensions of fashion, but its capacity to convey deeper messages about inclusivity and change.
In our interview, we talk about the nuances of how the fashion and modeling industry is gradually welcoming age diversity, the impact of Polish heritage, and the importance of sustainability in fashion.
Karo Ramos has also contributed to our C-Heads Volume #38 Print Edition
Magdalena, you began posting on Instagram in May 2012, which played a significant role in your modeling career. How do you think social media platforms have changed the landscape of modeling, and how have they influenced your personal career?
They changed it so much. A lot is based on the number of followers which is unfortunate at times. Not always of course! And I guess that’s the way it is. It evolves. It applies to every single one of us. I gained a lot from it.
Coming from Poland and having worked internationally, how has your Polish heritage influenced your approach to modeling and fashion?
I learned that professionalism, hard work, patience, respect towards myself and others, and friendliness are valued. But I think a lot of people, not only with Polish heritage value that. I guess I would change this question to “How has your family influenced your approach to modeling and fashion”. (laughs)
Are there any aspects of Polish culture that you try to incorporate or represent in your work?
I’m proud of being Polish but I like to be versatile. I think it comes from traveling most of my life and living outside of Poland for 11 years.
I’m truly captivated by your photo series with Karo. Your natural beauty shines effortlessly in every shot. I’m curious, what are your personal self-care routines and practices to maintain such radiant well-being?
Oh thank you! I think respecting, accepting, and listening to myself and my body gives it all. I meditate, I love spending time in nature and I feed my body with a balanced diet. I just care for myself as I care for loved ones.
Your focus on vintage and ethically produced items is quite inspiring. What motivated you to make these choices, and how do you think the fashion industry can further embrace sustainable practices?
It’s good for everyone and everything. That’s what motivates me. Fashion should definitely find more ways to be nice to the planet and people. Less pollution, less cheap labor and so on. Actually none of it and I know it’s quite an idyllic world I described but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be real.
“I learned that professionalism, hard work, patience, respect towards myself and others, and friendliness are valued.”
How would you describe your personal style?
I think I would describe my style “NO PARTICULAR STYLE”. There are days I can’t imagine myself wearing jeans so only comfy clothes like leggings and hoodie and there are days I like to be elegant from the top of my head to the tip of my toes and it’s hells time baby. It really depends. I don’t like limits. Fashion is all about being limitless (smiles)
How do you perceive the role of age in the modeling industry, especially in the context of career longevity and opportunities?
The longer you work the more experience you gain. You know your stuff so you are more effective and efficient. Also you don’t take things as personally as you would before. And respect. You gain respect towards yourself and others. A lot of it. It’s not easy this thing.
Have you observed any changes in the industry’s approach to age diversity over the course of your career?
Yes and it makes me really happy. Before younger models were highly valued. If I collected a dollar for every time I heard “you won’t work as a model after you are thirty” I would be a millionaire over these 15 years of modeling. Now it’s different. It’s obviously still developing but it’s happening!
“The longer you work the more experience you gain… And respect. You gain respect towards yourself and others.”
City or countryside: which do you prefer?
I love both. Well maybe countryside a bit more (laughs)
Are you a morning person or an evening person?
Do you have a preference between movies and books?
Hmm, some. I love all movies except for horror. That’s a no for me. If it comes to books I don’t like reading all. I like something I can learn from. So books about health, energy, history are something I go for. I can’t get into other genres. It’s just not as interesting for me.
What would you say is the most important thing in life?
There are several important once but the most important one is health. Without it you can’t have the rest.