“Freedom is what I miss the most,”–says Hanya Kizemchuk

"Freedom is what I miss the most,"–says Hanya Kizemchuk

Covid-19 has robbed the world of so much. Above all, the freedom to live the way we know best is taken away from us all. So how do we find the courage to navigate through this unforeseen situation? Model/ Entrepreneur, Hanya Kizemchuk, shares her life, fears, courage and hope while surviving through this pandemic.

Who is Hanya Kizemchuk?

Hanya Kizemchuk is a warrior, a survivor. I have been asked throughout my life, “what’s your secret?” The answer was and is always the same. “Whatever it takes.” As a young lady, I had the burning desire to model. It never dawned on me that I would not succeed. That was not an option. One way ticket in hand to Milan, I went straight from the airport to the Top agency in Milan and announced my arrival–to their shock and disbelief. Within a few days, the agency sent me to Aldo Coppola, who was one of their best stylists, cropping my waist-length blonde hair into the cut I sport to this day. I was off to the races and thus started my career working for designers Karl Lagerfeld, Claude Montana, to name a few.

Ageing out inevitably, I pivoted careers. I transitioned into real estate, designing and the redevelopment of homes and land deals. Design and Fashion sparked similar creative juices that came naturally and led to thirty years of achievements.

Taking risks, working insane hours and always believing in myself, especially when the chips were down–I excelled with challenge and pressure.

A short nine months ago, I signed with BNM MODEL MANAGEMENT and started working almost immediately. Once again, career pivot. Loving Life, Making it Happen. My Way.

The current state of Mind.

To have courage and belief in oneself and to lead with compassion, kindness and acceptance of others. I lead by example for middle-aged women–we are not disappearing; we are standing taller than ever before. I am in my female glory at 63 years of age and shine a light into the future, ageing with grace and dignity, with style and the know-how of keeping myself in the best spirit and condition—simple Stuff.

“We are all in this together,” is not correct.

When you’re alone, you’re alone. This tag line of “we are all in this together” is not correct—some more than others. The wealthier have options that are not possible for the average person and much less so for the less privileged. As a young woman, I thrived on stress. Now, not so much, but I had my past to draw on to get me through this pandemic.

Navigating through the pandemic.

I was between moving home when COVID became an unforeseen reality. It is always hard to move homes, but the insecurity of the situation further compounded it. By suppressing the Anxiety, uncertainty, and fear in me with a mask on my face, gloves on my hands and a great deal of hope– that I wouldn’t catch the virus–, I braved to move. Bit by bit, I moved my possessions daily. As days passed into weeks, things started to normalize in my mind– I have grown calm and introspective. Now, the move is complete; I have more time to dedicate to my career and the design of my new space, while Fashion and design remain at the heart of my creative soul.

Life’s lesson from the time of Crisis.

I enjoy how patient I have become—understanding that things will get done when they get done. It has been a wonderful gift for me. Impatience and performance are what drove my entire life, and to be able to experience the calm has made me feel the moment. On many of my walks, I see the crystal clear skies again– the blue colour of the sky that I remember as a young child. Mesmerizing!

Life interrupted.


As a lifelong entrepreneur, I have managed my time for many years, so this forced isolation has not affected my living and work habits. I am always showered, dressed and ready for the day, every day.
I have enjoyed connecting with friends and family through various mediums. As someone who travels as much as I do, I have relied on these social media for several years now–it is interesting to watch others adapting.
My disruption to my schedule is the obstruction of travel. I have been living my life split between Naples, Florida and Toronto for many years. The ease of travel has allowed me to work in Toronto and play in Naples all winter long. That’s not the case right now, and I miss that part of my life.

Impact of coronavirus to the Fashion world. 

I am curious about the impact it will bring to Fashion in general. Will the luxury brand seem as crucial as it was in the past? I think we will take a more organic approach. Spending $5000 on a bag will not be as logical anymore. We have lost our lashes, our Mani/Pedi and other extravagances, and I wonder if they will come back. Fashion will be simple; quality will be paramount, and less will be more.

Freedom is what I miss the most.

What do I miss the most is a loaded question. But my answer is simple–I miss the freedom of relaxing into my day without this constant fear-mongering and policing. I miss going about my day focused on living life. Most of all, I miss being with my daughter–going for dinner, shopping, visiting, and hanging out together. But that’s not new, that’s always the case.