An Interview with Stefanie Gurzanski – BASIC Magazine (2024)

PRESENTED BY LULU KNOWS

PHOTOGRAPHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VIKTORIJA PASHUTA @viktorija_pashuta
PRODUCER JACKSON CHONG @jacksonchong_
STYLIST KIM-SHEREE
HAIR & MAKEUP KSENIYA BERNKHARDT @k.hart.muah
VIDEO @shootwithx
ASSISTANT TO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ALICE LECHTCHINSKAYA @alicelechi

WORDS BY Kimberly Haddad

You are a Canadian model and social media influencer with 1.8 million followers. Who is Stefanie Gurzanski in the public eye and who is Stefanie Gurzanski behind closed doors?
To my fans and the media, I’m driven, confident, and full of positive loving energy. I’d say that’s true about me behind closed doors too, but I definitely have many moments to myself of introspection and deep meditation. I’m human and have bad days just like anyone else where I’m not feeling as good as I portray in public. I think what helps me is that I genuinely love what I do and connecting with the amazing fans that have supported my career so far.

You are best known for your work with Guess, as well as your previous covers of Vogue Ukraine, Elle and Cosmopolitan Mexico. Tell me about your early life and how you set your modeling career into motion.
I started modeling while I was in high school through social media and traveling for photo shoots. I received a lot of criticism from my peers about starting a career that was from the unknown and out of the box from anyone around me, but I pushed through that criticism because I knew what I wanted to achieve and my dreams were so strong. I then won major titles with modeling and knew that I could continue with my passion and create content. Modeling has always been a calling for me, even before I knew it. Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved fashion and I’ve never shied away from the spotlight.

Being a model—especially at your caliber—takes an incredible amount of effort and discipline that spans much further than physical appearance. Talk to me about your lifestyle and how you maintain your authenticity as an influencer in the community. Maintaining a healthy spiritual, mental, and of course, physical state of being is so crucial. I’m a vegan and I’m very disciplined about everything I consume. When my body and mind are feeling right, I’ve got the strength to pursue my dreams and fight through any obstacles that come my way. Meditation is also very important to me. It helps me connect with my truth and get clarity about the thousands of things going on in my life. By doing all of this, I’m able to be myself on camera with complete ease. I’m present, comfortable in my own skin, and genuinely happy about the way I feel.

As someone who also enjoys writing, you mentioned that erotica is a genre that really fascinates you and that you believe written words are sexier than actions. Tell me more about this idea. Do you have plans to publish anything in the future?
Absolutely. This would be so much fun and empowering to the women who read it. I think words can be very powerful and sexy, especially in this kind of format. It would be a chance to freely explore those thoughts you keep in the deepest parts of your mind and I know my readers would melt. Being sexy is an art. You have to know how to be able to connect with your partner in such an honest, passionate way and be completely fearless and free in the moment. Every time I make content, I’ve learned how to do this, even when I’m connecting with millions of users online that I may never meet.

You are very passionate about conversations around women and freedom. When it comes to these themes, what issue brings you the most inner fire and why?
Female empowerment and independence are so important to me. Women all around the world deserve to feel strong enough every day to make their dreams come true and be their authentic selves. But that’s not the case. Women are treated poorly all over the world. We need more action and we need it now. We need powerful women to be celebrated more and their voices need to be heard when they are hurt. I try my best to use my platforms to amplify these messages and collaborate with organizations who share the same beliefs.

How are you harnessing your massive social platforms for women’s rights?
My content is definitely targeted towards women who have dreams and want to live life on their own terms. I try to lead by example with my own business ventures and through the content that I create. I love connecting with my female fans who are inspired by my career. There are so many intelligent, strong, and talented women out there and I love it. These women remind me that I’ve got a high bar to meet with my own life and career.

Word on the street is that you have plans to announce a global campaign to raise funds for MADRE, one of the world’s largest women’s rights organizations. Can you speak more on this?
Yes! In 2022, I will be launching global campaigns aimed at raising awareness and funds for some of the best women’s rights organizations in the world, including MADRE. Their work on ending gender violence is really inspirational. These campaigns will include live events and me selling a lot of content to millions of fans that will also support the organizations we partner with.

Why do you think there is an under-representation of women in positions of power andinfluence in America? Does this have a personal impact on you?
It’s interesting and there are a lot of factors here. We are still in a patriarchy and women have been seen as less than men in film and television for so long. Nowadays, with social media however, influencers and models like me are trying to change the narrative. It’s great to see studios putting women in lead roles too. This helps embed a message of equality to kids when they’re young and these biases form. But I think we need to do more than that. I think women need to stick together and demand equality loudly. The more we support each other, the faster we grow. Personally, it can be disheartening, but my fans are truly the best in the world and I have incredible friends. I’m also very confident in what I do. Outside haters have no effect on me.

In what ways do you think we can continue to empower women across varying communities and industries?
Messaging is super important. Whether in restaurants, law offices, hospitals, or tech companies, women are mistreated everywhere. With my content, I am able to collaborate with any industry in the world and promote messages of female empowerment. My team and I have very ambitious goals to expand my content into many different industries.

Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell me about someone who has greatly inspired you.
Anna Wintour. As the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, her work has always been such a deep inspiration to me. With my own Baby G Mag, I think of her every day. She’s such an incredible leader, visionary, and a fashion maestro. Anna Wintour is such a historic female icon.

As an empowered women and beloved influencer, what is one message you want to send out into the world? You are worth your happiness. The world will tell you you’re not, but that’s a lie. They want you to buy into it so that they can control you. Don’t let a man, a job, or even a close friend tell you that you don’t deserve to be happy because you do. You are worth looking beautiful, even if you are just shopping for groceries. You are talented enough to kick ass in any industry that you love and you don’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t matter what happens, you are worth your happiness.

An Interview with Stefanie Gurzanski – BASIC Magazine (4)

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An Interview with Stefanie Gurzanski – BASIC Magazine (2024)

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