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 Natalia Vodianova

Born:   28 February 1982

Russian supermodel and philanthropist


Natalia Vodianova is one of the richest super-models in the world. She is on the list of 300 richest people of Great
Britain. Being on the top of the world, Natalya never forgets about her unhappy childhood, so she is trying her best to help to those people who have already lost all their hope for help and sympathy.

Name: Natalia Vodianova
Nickname: SuperNova
Date of Birth: February 28, 1982
Place of Birth: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Height: 5’9.5″ ; 177cm
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Brown
Measurements: (US) 33-23-33 ; (EU) 83-58-83
Dress Size: (US) 4 ; (EU) 34
Shoes Size: (US) 9; (EU) 40
Mother Agency: VIVA


Natalia Vodianova was born in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) in February 1982. She grew up in a poor district of the city with her mother and two sisters, one of whom has cerebral palsy. Her family was very poor, so Natalya had to earn money and help her family from her childhood. As a teenager, Vodianova helped her mother sell fruit on the street and later set up her own fruit stand with a friend to help her family out of poverty. Because of this, she did not do well at school.

Her personal "wind of change" blew when, at the age of 15, she was invited by her friend to visit a model agency. She did not even have a suitable dress so she had to remake the old one. Skinny and vulnerable, with massive eyes and pale skin, Natalia at once attracted attention of model agents and then was invited to work for the famous Parisian model agency "Viva". She was told she would need to learn English to succeed, so she mastered the basics of language in three months. By the age of 17, Vodianova had moved to Paris and signed with Viva Models. She was compared to Romy Schneider, Kate Moss, and Carolyn Murphy.

Vodianova has achieved considerable success as a runway, editorial and advertising campaign model. To date, Vodianova has walked in more than 175 runway shows for U.S. and European based designers' ready-to-wear and haute couture collections, has appeared in editorial spreads in fashion magazines worldwide and has completed advertising campaigns for Shiatzy Chen, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, L'Oréal, David Yurman, Marc Jacobs, Pepe Jeans, Diane von Fürstenberg, Chanel, Guerlain and others.

As of May 2009, Vodianova has appeared on the cover of British Vogue seven times; the first was the September 2003 issue. Photographed by Steven Meisel, she featured on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue as one of the "Models of the Moment', alongside eight other models. She then appeared as the solo cover subject of the July 2007 edition of the magazine. During this time period, other covers of the American Vogue have all featured non-model celebrities with only three other exceptions: models Linda Evangelista, Liya Kebede, and Gisele Bündchen. The legendary session for Pirelli calendar marked the unconditional capitulation of fashion world before the Russian "Cinderella".

In November 2001, Vodianova married Justin Trevor Berkeley Portman, a British property heir and half-brother of the 10th Viscount Portman. In September 2002, nine months after registering the marriage in the UK, they had a wedding ceremony in St. Petersburg, where Vodianova wore a dress designed by Tom Ford. The couple have three children: son Lucas Alexander (born 22 November 2001), daughter Neva (born 24 March 2006), and son Viktor (born 13 September 2007). Viktor is named after Vodianova's grandfather, who had helped raise Natalia after her father left the family. Neva is named after the river Neva in St. Petersburg. They announced their separation in June 2011. The reasons of their divorce remain private, although reportedly the split was caused by Lord Portman's penchant for irresponsible behaviour.

As an actress, Vodianova appeared in Roman Coppola's 2001 film CQ. In September 2008, Vodianova stated that she was not interested in film-making because of her three children; however, she appears in director Alexander Kott's 2009 film Probka. She also has credits in the 2010 remake of the film Clash of the Titans. In the action flick Natalia has been CGI-enhanced to play Medusa, the mythological snake-haired mortal gorgon with powers to turn those who look at her into stone.

In spring 2009, Vodianova entered into a three-year agreement to be a brand ambassador for the French lingerie company Etam, and will design a lingerie collection each season during the term of the agreement. The collections will be marketed under the brand Natalia pour Etam.

In autumn 2009, Vodianova was signed as a new face for 2010 of Kamiseta, a fashion line in The Philippines that had previously used non-model celebrity actors including Alicia Silverstone and Natalie Portman. Vodianova was photographed by California photographer Caroline Schiff in New York City.

Vodianova was ranked 14th by the UK's Channel Five 2005 television programme World's Greatest Supermodel. Forbes magazine estimates Vodianova earned $4.5 million (USD) between August 2006 and July 2007, $4.8 million (USD) between May 2007 and April 2008 and $5.5 million (USD) between June 2008 and June 2009, making her the seventh highest earning model worldwide during all three time periods.

On 12 December 2009, she was designated an ambassador of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, becoming a "face" and a key advocate of Russia’s first Winter Games. In 2010, she appeared at the Vancouver Olympic Closing Ceremony within that role.

In October 2010, Vodianova landed her first leading acting role in a film adaptation of Albert Cohen's 1968 novel Belle du Seigneur, directed by Glenio Bonder and co-starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. It is scheduled for release in 2012.

In May 2011 Vodianova has kept the 9th place in the annual list of the richest models in the world. Natalya has remained the constant entry on the list for several years. She could keep the highest position in the list, had she not dedicated a lot of funds to philanthropy, which is a very important activity for her.




Vodianova is a founder and president of the Naked Heart Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that strives to provide a safe and inspiring environment, in which to play for every child living in urban Russia. She was inspired to found the charity after visiting Russia with her son Lucas and finding there were no suitable places for children to play. The organisation built its first play park in 2006 in Nizhny Novgorod. Since then nearly 40 other playgrounds have been built throughout Russia.

Vodianova also lends her support to a number of charity causes, such as the (Bugaboo)RED campaign, an initiative to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. That same year, Vodianova became an ambassador for Hear the World, a global campaign that seeks to raise awareness of the topic of hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world.

She is also a spokesperson for the Tiger Trade Campaign, an alliance of 38 organisations united under the common aim "to bring back wild tigers by stopping trade in tiger parts and products from all sources." In an interview supporting the campaign, Vodianova said: "I'm proud that Russia, my country, is home to the most magnicifent of animals, the wild Siberian tiger. Today it is up to us to protect the tiger and its home. Fewer than 350 Siberian tigers remain in the wild, and no more than 3,400 tigers survive anywhere in the world. Unless we act now we will see the extinction of the wild tiger within our lifetime".

Bringing Fashion and Charity Together

On the 6th of July 2011 Natalia Vodianova and her friend maestro Valentino Garavani organised a charitable ball, The Fairy Tale Love Ball, that took place in Valentino's country residence in the suburbs of Paris. The raised money went to the Naked Heart Foundation. The Foundation has recently started a new programme for children in extreme poverty.

About 400 guests were invited to the ball which was held during the Paris Fashion Week and ardently supported by the U.S. Vogue editor, Anna Wintour. Forty unique dresses were created especially for the ball by world-famous fashion houses - Agent Provocateur, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Marchesa, Nina Ricci, Olivier Theyskens, Oscar de la Renta, Prada, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Tsumori Chisato, Valentino, Vera Wang, and Versace. The show was inspired both by haute couture and by Russian fairy-tales, interpreted by the Russian expats and foreign authors. It is possible, the Russian Tatler reported, that the idea of a fairy-tale was also suggested by Anna Wintour who previously cast Vodianova as Alice in Wonderland in a Annie Leibovitz session for Vogue, opposite Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, and Christian Lacroix.

After the fashion show there was a philanthropic auction of the dresses. It was Wintour's suggestion that a designer of the dress would subsequently tailor the outfit for the buyer. The famous photographer Paolo Roversi made a special session with Natalia Vodianova, who was dressed in each of exclusive designer dresses. The Ball helped to raise between $2mln and $3mln for the Naked Heart Foundation

Sources and links:, Natalia's personal site, Wikipedia, Creative Studio, Paris Chance

Beautiful Flowers for Beautiful Women


Julia Alieva


Tags: Natalia Vodianova Russian supermodels Russian fashion philanthropy Russian models 

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