Dmitry Dionesov, or Dima, (Marilyn Agency, MGM, Bravo) started modeling in 2008 and has since worked quite a bit. He has hit many of the major catwalks, including Ann Demeulemeester, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Boris Bidjan Saberi, Comme des Garçons Homme, and Thom Browne, among others. He has also graced the pages of The Ones to Watch, Numéro Homme China, SENSE, BITE magazine, and Fashionisto, among others, and starred in the lookbooks of TaaKK, SixLee, and Uniqlo. We chatted with the model, who is currently working in Tokyo, about how he got started, his tattoos, what's he's obsessed with right now, and more ...
The Fashion Law - When were you discovered? Did you ever think you were “model material”?
Dima Dionesov - I couldn’t say I was discovered by someone. At the beginning of my career, no one believed that I would carry on until the end of my first trip to Hong Kong, but as you can see I'm still standing and eager to move forward and keep improving myself. It all started in St. Petersburg during my studies in university. It was my decision to go to the agency, and I still don't know why I went there, what pushed me to go. The people in the agency looked at me with full of doubt, but they took me on board. It was about 5 years ago.
Since then, I started to work as a model, but I didn’t feel like there is a growth and development in my career for awhile, in St. Petersburg it was almost impossible to be a full-time model in Russia (in my case). Sometimes I worked for Fashion Week in Russia or was shot by young or experimental photographers, without any payment. When I started to travel for work, my first travel to Asia, I felt like I didn't experience what I was expecting in the fashion industry because it is just all about the market and commercial business. However, when I arrived to Europe, I felt like that is the place where I belong.
I always fight for myself and my rights when I work. Modeling is a very hard job if you take it seriously, if not-then you're not a “MODEL”.
The Fashion Law - How do you think you’re different from other models (aside from your looks/tattoos/nose ring, etc.)?
Dima Dionesov - I have no difference than any other human beings, but I'm not like everyone, that's for sure! :) I can't really explain it. The most distinctive feature is that I am not being someone else, and always being yourself, not only in terms of physical appearance, but mostly in terms of character. And I have a very unique character :). This is who I am and there is nothing that can change me as a person or how I act.
The Fashion Law - You said modeling is just the first step in your career and you hinted that you’re interested in writing but aren’t giving away too much just yet. What are some of your favorite things you’ve read?
Dima Dionesov - I prefer Russian writers like Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and from overseas I really love Victor Hugo, and the mood and feelings in his work. But at the same time, I read the news online about politics, about what is happening in the world. I really want to write, but don't know yet what it will be. I have many ideas in mind, and they are constantly changing. Maybe in the end, all my crazy thoughts will come together in a single piece of work, maybe not :)
The Fashion Law - You have a tattoo that says “I am Russian. I never give up.” What’s the story behind it?
Dima Dionesov - In the blood of the Russian people has always been that they are persistent, invincible, strong and fearless. After so many wars we have stayed strong in our spirits, and nothing can break us. Russians always say we never give up no matter what. And after many fights with myself, I realized that I really am a person who will never give up, even though the world is very tough. In my head, “RUSSIANS NEVER GIVE UP” always makes me think of myself. So, I have this tattoo on my arm. It's easy :)
The Fashion Law - You’ve worked with a variety of really talented designers/brands – Ann Demeulemeester, Lanvin, Dries, Rick Owens, Boris Bidjan, etc. Is there a brand or designer that you especially like?
Dima Dionesov - I'm very lucky and I hope I will be working for those brands again. I don't want to pick anyone special that I really like but I will say: it was such a pleasure to work for those brands and those people. I love Ann for her talent, style, and because I truly love the smell of her perfume Chanel No. 5. Lanvin is one of my favorite brands, whose collections are always chic, trendy and elegant with great style and bring out great personality of people. I cannot take my eyes away of it and would love to have every thing from their collections in my wardrobe. I could talk endlessly about all of them. I’m still dreaming to work for couple of other designers, but I will not say who they are :)
The Fashion Law - What are you obsessed with right now?
Dima Dionesov - I am always obsessed only with my work.While I am working as a model, I feel like it’s where I belong. And I'm more than sure that the next level of my career after modeling will be also my obsession. My work is my life, my happiness, the ability to not just exist in this world, but to live happily!