Yana and Vladimir Tarasenko with their children. Family photo by Kelly Manno Photography.

Stunning would be an understatement when describing hockey superstar Vladimir Tarasenko’s wife, Yana. Though her Instagram profile, with more than 50 thousand followers, gives us glimpses into her home life, she is protective of her husband and two children. Yana balances being a mother and celebrity wife, who supports her partner on the sidelines during hockey season and sits beside him during tough moments, with her own identity as an enterprising woman with a lifestyle brand that includes her love for fitness and fashion. This beautiful woman literally puts her boxing gloves on for a serious bout with her fitness trainer. In-between all the fashion talk, Gazelle got to know her a little better. See Q and A below.

Yana is the cover model for our July edition. Click link to watch photoshoot video by Gazelle Life TV. Fashion photos by Bonnie Nochoalds. Hair and Makeup by Amber Perry.

GAZELLE: What are three things you love about St. Louis?
YANA: The first thing I love about St. Louis is the people. They are so friendly, easy-going and nice! I’ve never met such hospitable and kind individuals in my life. We have made incredible, lifelong friends. The second thing I love about St. Louis is that it has the best hockey fans I’ve ever seen! They’re so passionate about the sport and have been accepting of me and my family. Third of all, St. Louis is a very comfortable town for families with children. There are great schools, sport centers – everything you need is all within a few miles, so you don’t have to waste your time in traffic jams as you do in some big cities. I love that St. Louis has become my home.

GAZELLE: Few people in St. Louis are aware that you have had a life in the spotlight as a model. How did your career get started, and are you still modeling?
YANA: My modeling career started when I was 13 years old, and I really enjoyed it! I got to work with a lot of well-known models, photographers and stylists. When I became a mom for the first time, I understood that I couldn’t be with my children as much as I wanted to be when I’m gone on endless flights and photoshoots, so I chose to take a step back from modeling. I am the happiest when I’m with my family. I still try to model whenever I can because I do enjoy it, but it has become more of a hobby for me.

The couple’s wedding day in July 2015. Photo courtesy Yana Tarasenko.

GAZELLE: This summer marks the three-year anniversary of your wedding. After getting married, you had to move from Russia. Did your life change a lot? How do you feel now?
YANA: Of course, lots of changes occurred, but it was not only about me. My eldest son had some difficulties at first – a new country, a new language and a new school with lots of new rules was a major adjustment for him. Actually, he adapted faster than I did. Sometimes I wonder if his interest in hockey helped him to assimilate quicker.
Our second son was born here in St Louis, and it already seems like we have one more hockey player in our family. As for me, after three years, I’ve come to understand and support my husband’s way of life. He is my very best friend, and I am my best self when we are together. I’ve also learned how to run my own business in Russia, despite the distance and time difference. We’re fully settled here in St. Louis and couldn’t be happier.

GAZELLE: How do you keep the balance between living in the spotlight, while maintaining a private life?
YANA: I’ve never thought of that, and I guess that means I don’t feel any anxiety about it. Fans we meet in public places have usually been very gracious and appreciative to meet my husband. There is nothing intrusive or rude in their behavior. Maybe that is why I think Blues have the best fans ever!

GAZELLE: What is your favorite place to eat?
YANA: Some of my favorite spots in the St. Louis area are Paul Manno’s Café and Nobu. Paul Manno’s is known for its white tablecloth service, varieties of pasta, exquisite seafood and delicious veal. I enjoy taking my family, and also enjoy date nights with my husband there. We have become great friends with Paul and his family. I am also a big fan of sushi, and enjoy going to Nobu for fresh handcrafted rolls.

FAVORITE BEAUTY ITEM?
YANA: One of my favorite beauty products right now is the Huda Beauty Bombshell lipstick. It goes on my lips perfectly, and the matte finish lasts all night long. The Bombshell lipstick is also available in lip contour kits.

FASHION MUST-HAVE?
YANA: I love boots. My favorites are transparent boots, Gianvito Rossi Lace Up Booties or Chanel boots.

CLOSET FAVORITE?
YANA: A blazer can make any outfit. My two favorites right now are from Balenciaga or Maison Margiela’s wool blazer.