Not only is the twenty-six-year-old Hungarian model lending herself to the campaign, she’s turning into a designer and following in Irina Shayk’s sketching footsteps by creating her own bag for the brand. Barbara certainly has the sales pitch to match the chicness of the aptly named ‘Barbara Bag.’
It’s Monday morning and the struggle is real, even for Barbara Palvin. I am in London, she’s in Paris as we get on the phone to discuss her latest campaign for The Kooples which she stars in alongside her boyfriend, Dylan Sprouse. “I just flew in from Tokyo,” Barabara shares seeming a touch tired. “I am ok now but, in the afternoon, I am going to die. All in the name of a good time,” Barbara laughs flashing a humour that is cornerstone of her character.
“If you want a practical and sexy bag. Buy the Barbara!” Who knew it was possible to do practical and sexy, I say? “Well I did! Plus, it’s a magnetic opening so you don’t have to worry about finding your phone – I am always struggling with that!” Talk about serving…
As a booked and busy gal on the run the random item she carries everywhere is beyond cute. “I do have a huge coin in my bag which is sentimental, as Dylan gives it to me every time I leave him.” Cue a stream of awwws as Barbara references the relationship that started in summer 2018 when Dylan slid into her DMs.
Working together on the campaign has been an informative experience for Barbara, she confides, flashing that dead pan humour again when I ask what the process has taught her about her relationship. “That we really are a good-looking couple! We do look similar, too,” she jests.
But all jokes aside Dylan has had a transformative effect on her, “We brought the best out of each other,” she says. “As cheesy as that sounds it’s true. I wore a lot of baggy t-shirts before and because I feel more confident, I wear tighter, sexier clothes.”
The couple are each other’s biggest cheerleaders, too. “We are,” Barbara says enthusiastically. “We do respect each other and that’s the key to a healthy relationship. We trust each other and the fact I can be transparent with him and he loves me for who I truly am empowers me to be myself, to go out there and not worry about what anyone else thinks because I am great the way I am! He thinks the same thing, too. I feel like I am learning every day from him.”
“It took time to be at one with myself,” Barbara continues as we discuss her other long-term relationship, the one with herself. “We all go through a journey of finding ourselves and connecting with ourselves and self- love. There are things I am less confident about and every day I am working on myself and learning to love myself more. I am embracing that.”
How does she raise her confidence levels, I wonder? “I cry in the corner,” she jokes. “I turn to Dylan or turn to my family. I talk to them. Tell them about it. I feel like talking about it and saying things outload takes a weight off your chest.”
Having strong personal relationships, including a powerful sisterhood of models around her, has also helped. “We are never alone. When we feel lonely, we aren’t actually. We need to speak out and ask and help. For me I never used to go to people if I felt down or confident to talk about it. I used to think it was embarrassing to talk about my own fears. Actually, going to see a friend is great – they are usually going through the same thing,” she says.
Overcoming a somewhat toxic relationship with social media has also been a game changer for Barbara and her relationship with confidence. “Like everyone else, I am affected by social media,” she confides. “I had to just learn to not read the comments as there is not one person that everyone loves. The hardest thing for me was that people will label you, categorise you, and that I shouldn’t be interested in that!”
Barbara has a matter of fact response to negativity, too. “The best way is for people to stop commenting negativity,” Barbara shares. “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all. But other than that, I don’t pay attention to the negative ones, they must have their own issues to be saying those kinds of things. I just hope for them to heal and to change.”
Haters are gonna hate, but thankfully Barbara is preoccupied with love for her relationship with herself, her boyfriend and The Kooples.