Kristina Rivera is a native New Yorker whose love for NYC is inexplicable. She grew up loving to walk the bustling city streets, often staring into store windows at models in ads and mannequins perfectly posed, dreaming of becoming exactly that. As she grew into her leggy, lanky frame, she set her tomboy ways aside and made her dream a reality. Having modeled now for over a decade, Kristina has had quite the career working nationally and internationally, in showrooms, magazines and on the runway. Though she describes every experience she’s had in the industry as unique and special in their own way, her “made it” moment was driving passed a billboard in SoHo on Mother’s Day, with her family in the car, when her brother noticed that the model stretched across the side of a building that resembled Kristina, was actually her! Kristina first met and had the pleasure of working with Stacy Igel and Boy Meets Girl in 2011 at New York Fashion Week and a beautiful fashion relationship was born. Kristina was instantly attracted to the BMG energy and continues to rep the brand where she now calls home, on the west coast.
In 2013 I covered Kristina on my blog Behind The Seams with Stacy Igel in my muse of the month feature. Here is an excerpt from that post, "Kristina is one of our favorite models! Not only do we love how she rocks Boy Meets Girl® on the runway, she is one of the sweetest people I've met in the industry and I always love working with her as her aura is amazing. I first met her through a casting with ExploreModeling.com and since then she has walked in four -- yes FOUR! -- of our NYFW shows, including this past runway show featuring the new Invasion Collections! Here are just some of the reasons we think she’s so amazing!" Three years later and Kristina is now on the West Coast. We got a chance to catch up and Spencer captured her in sunny LA LA land. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Kristina, our muse of the week. Get to know more about her in my BTS Q&A interview! Thank you Kristina for being part of this weeks feature and for a beautiful partnership over all these years. xo, Stacy
1. Are you a Subway or Car (via, uber, lyft) girl?
First, I’ll opt to walk if I can, I love roaming the streets, and lets face it…New Yorkers walk with such passion, if you stop you’ll get run over. BUT, if my shoes will not allow, I’d say I’m a little of both! However, subways have this insane energy and people from varying walks of life; it’s so attractive to me. I love people watching and the NYC subway is easily the best people watching on the planet. Now that I live in LA, I appreciate the subway and its ease so much more since we don’t have that convenience here. Kind of like SJP in the Sex and the City movie when Big doesn’t want to go out and be pushed and shoved in a crowded movie premiere, where Carrie then responds saying that she misses that, she misses those events, she misses being pushed in a crowd in NY…THAT’S me! I miss the people and the crowds oddly enough.
2. Favorite spot to be creative?
Creativity finds me at odd times...like in the middle of the night. With that said, the beach is my spot. If I need clarity and quiet, that’s where you’ll find me. My thoughts travel pen to paper so easily there, it is my happy place; I’m a bona fide beach baby.
3. Causes you advocate for?
It started for me as a model, and being skinny but not skinny enough until I just stopped eating all together. Watching friends and colleagues who were plus size models, not be big or small enough. Petite models idolizing Kate Moss but always being told they were too short. Seeing extreme eating disorders first hand among close friends, seeing depression develop in the most beautiful of people, I became increasingly passionate about breaking industry norms. First, I decided I loved my butt haha and I liked my bones but they were better, I was better, when comforted by my curves! So, I became a member of the Model Alliance, I attended panels and heard from iconic models and government officials and got educated. Incredibly, in the last five years there have been so many developments in the right direction as far as body image, it’s amazing to watch. “Big and Tall” men’s divisions in leading modeling agencies, plus size models gracing iconic covers like Sports Illustrated, models over 50 years old on national ad campaigns like H&M along with cultural diversity on runways. There’s more to do of course but change is evident, and it’s a beautiful thing.
This is just tiny fraction of issues that need attention and equality is the hugest eight letter word…there’s working wages between men and women, LGBT rights, race issues, bullying, the list goes on. We are so impacted by the media and we are living in a world where we really have power through media, specifically social media. When people unite, change can happen. So I try to stay in these important conversations and get educated on varying issues because simply existing is not an option. Passion runs through my veins and pumps harder with each passing day, especially when tragedies occur as we’ve seen lately. So…there isn’t one place I lend my voice, there’s so many, and they’re all EQUALLY important.
4. Favorite quote?
“Be less focused on making magic and more focused on creating meaning” I heard it about 2 years ago, wrote it in my phone and glance at it when I need to. What’s cool is that I interpret it differently depending on my situation at a given moment, but it always kind of feels like exactly what I needed to hear. I do, however, intend on making magic AND creating meaning in life.
5. Tell us about your last moment you shared with someone?
One of my favorite moments I’ve had lately was at the river here in California. We had a large group of friends that were connected one way or another, totaling about 65 people; I only knew about 3 of them. As we rafted down, on the surface you saw friends floating, laughing, singing along to music, meeting new people…but when you looked deeper, there was an energy that you felt instantly, as if you’ve known every single person forever even if you had just met. One guy volunteered to inflate my raft for me, a girl gave me a string to tie to my glasses so they wouldn’t float away, everyone was so generous and kind. About two minutes in to floating down the river, I floated into a rock, fell off, lost one flip-flop and lost my strength to laughter. Everyone around me, though giggling, helped me grab my things that were floating away. This went on with all of us throughout the 5-hour rafting trip, all of us helping each other get through the rough waters, literally. In three years living in LA, THIS was my favorite day. Watching people come together, from all walks of life, and have an epic day in nature, far away from hollyweird.
6. How did Stacy discover you and how many shows did you want in for BMG?
I auditioned for a BMG NYFW show in about 2011, I remember having to send Stacy’s team a video of me doing my runway walk and I was kinda goofy in it. I was sitting on a yoga ball as I talked to the camera, I was awkward but I was me. After I did my walk I sat back down and said I hoped to work with them, and off it went into cyber space. When I was placed on hold I was beyond thrilled and was brought in for my go-see. I fell in love with Stacy immediately and hoped she liked me back. When she called to book me, and schedule my fitting it was surreal. It was so exciting. I would have never in a million years thought that I’d go on to walk about 3-4 more seasons with her and BMG, sharing the runway with artists like Wyclef, Chris Cab, The Veronicas and models of every ethnicity. Working with Boy Meets Girl has always been an incredible experience, including this one…as a Muse of the Week. I’m grateful for all the memories…I’ll always be a BMG girl.
Check out Kristina rocking this runway show! #FOREVERYOUNG
All Photos by Spencer Kohn
Kristina is wearing our Boy Meets Girl® study date crop sweater and the classic sweatpants from our women's clothing collection.
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