Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova

Born: February 28, 1982
Age: 42
Birthplace: Gorky, Soviet Union
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Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova (Russian: Наталья Михайловна Водянова; ; born 28 February 1982), nicknamed Supernova, is a Russian model, philanthropist and occasional film actress. She is well known for her rags to riches life story and for her eight-season, seven-figure contract with Calvin Klein. In 2012, she came in third on the Forbes top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $8.6 million in one year. Vodianova is currently ranked by as one of the New Supers in the fashion industry. Vodianova is founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, a philanthropic organisation. In 2015, Vodianova launched the digital app "Elbi", which allows people to donate money with a “Love Button,” create content, send messages, and vote for Charitable purposes.


Early life

Born in Gorky, Soviet Union (now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia), Vodianova grew up in a poor district of the city (Avtozavod) with her mother, and two half sisters Kristina and Oksana, one of whom has cerebral palsy. 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. Vodianova's father walked out on the family when she was a toddler, and she did not have any further contact with him until after she had become famous.



At the age of 15, Vodianova enrolled in a modelling agency. By the age of 17, she had moved to Paris, and signed with Viva Models. Vodianova has achieved high fashion success as a runway, editorial, and advertising campaign model. She has appeared in the front covers and editorial spreads of fashion magazines worldwide.

Vodianova has walked in more than 300 runway shows for U.S. and European based designers' ready-to-wear and haute couture collections, and has completed advertising campaigns for Guerlain, Givenchy, Prada, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Nina Ricci, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, L'Oréal, David Yurman, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Diane von Fürstenberg, Hugo Boss, Miss Sixty, Stuart Weitzman, Etam and others.

To date, Vodianova has been photographed and worked with all the established photographers in fashion world, as well as citing some as personal friends such as Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh, Craig McDean, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matidin, Mario Sorrenti, Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, David Sims, Juergen Teller, Bruno Aveillan, Hedi Slimane, Ellen von Unwerth, Terry Richardson, Mariano Vivanco, Sølve Sundsbø, Steven Klein and Karl Lagerfeld.

Vodianova has also graced the cover of every major international magazines including Vanity Fair, American Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Vogue China, Vogue Russia, Vogue Australia, Vogue España, Vogue Germany, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Japan, Vogue Hellas, Vogue Korea, Vogue Portugal, W (magazine), Numéro, i-D Magazine, Marie Claire, GQ, Elle magazine, Allure, Glamour magazine, Pop magazine, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, L'Officiel, Grazia, Esquire Russia, Tatler, Hello magazine and Interview (magazine).

Photographed by Steven Meisel, She made her first appearance on the cover of the U.S. Vogue in the September 2004 edition, (alongside Gisele Bündchen and Daria Werbowy) as one of the "Models of the Moment". Vodianova 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. In May 2009, Vodianova was again featured on the cover of U.S. Vogue as one of the "Model Faces of the Moment". As of 2014, Vodianova has appeared on the cover of British Vogue ten times; the first was the September 2003 issue. and as of December 2015, she has appeared in a total of 70 international Vogue covers.

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. Vodianova has a contract with Guerlain, a French perfume house and cosmetics line, which was acquired in 1994 by the LVMH group, a multinational investment corporation specializing in luxury brands. She is also a regular campaign / poster model for Stella McCartney.

Vodianova was ranked 14th in the UK channel Five's 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.

In May 2009, Vodianova co-hosted the semi-finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow.

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

In 2010, she was named in Tatler’s top 10 best-dressed list.

In 2014, Vodianova appeared on the September Cover of Vanity Fair shot by photographer Mario Testino. Vodianova was one of 50 models on the September 2014 cover of Vogue Italia, the magazine's 50th anniversary issue. She has also appeared on a solo cover for Vogue Paris in the September issue, her 6th cover for the magazine. In the November Issue, Vodianova graced of the cover of U.S. Vogue shot by Annie Leibovitz, this marks as her fourth U.S. Vogue cover and second solo U.S. Vogue cover since her appearance in July 2007.

In 2015, Vodianova was photographed by Steven Meisel as part of the 12 models for the 2015 Pirelli Calendar, this marks Vodianova's fourth appearance in Pirelli since 2003. Vodianova returned as the face of Calvin Klein's Euphoria fragrance shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, ten years since her first exclusive contract with Calvin Klein. This marks Vodianova's return as the original face of the Calvin Klein Euphoria fragrance, "Calvin Klein has been such an integral part of my career, and I am honored to be the face of the new Euphoria campaign," said Vodianova. Vice President of Calvin Klein Fragrances, Coty Inc, Friedemann Schmid commented on Vodianova's return to the brand. "Natalia Vodianova truly embodies the sensual glamour and sophistication of the Euphoria woman". Vodianova returned for the Stella McCartney campaign for the Spring / Summer 2015 and Fall / Winter 2015 collections. Vodianova ranked No. 5 on the 2015 Forbes list of highest earning models, earning an estimated $7 million.

In 2016, Vodianova was selected and photographed by Annie Leibovitz as part of the 43rd Pirelli Calendar, which celebrated some of the world's most inspiring women (along with Tavi Gevinson, Serena Williams, Amy Schumer, Yoko Ono, Fran Lebowitz, Patti Smith, Kathleen Kennedy, Yao Chen, Mellody Hobson, Ava DuVernay, Agnes Gund, Shirin Neshat). This was Vodianova's fifth appearance in Pirelli. The Pirelli pivot seems to give real substance instead of the public objectification of female sexuality.

Vodianova also fronts for Riccardo Tisci's Givenchy 2016 Spring/Summer campaign along with Tisci's longtime muse and Vodianova's friend Mariacarla Boscono. Other veteran models in the campaign included Lara Stone, Joan Smalls, Miranda Kerr, Gemma Ward, Iselin Steiro, Candice Swanepoel. This marks Vodianova's 4th appearance in Tisci's Givenchy Campaigns. Shot by photographer Steven Meisel, Vodianova for the first time, became the campaign model for Prada's 2016 Spring/Summer along with Prada's comeback muse Sasha Pivovarova and Dutch newcomer Yasmin Wijnaldum. Vodianova appeared in her 9th ad campaign for Stella McCartney in their 2016 Spring/Summer collection together with top model friend Mariacarla Boscono. She also returned as the campaign model for Italian denim wear brand Miss Sixty.


In 2001, Vodianova made a brief appearance in Roman Coppola’s film CQ with Billy Zane. In 2010, she portrayed Medusa in the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. 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 was released in 2013.


Vodianova is a founder 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 and to help support families raising kids with disabilities.

She was inspired to found the charity after the Beslan tragedy. Natalia's idea was to distract children who survived with play from their psychological trauma. The organisation built its first play park in 2006 in Nizhny Novgorod. It has since built nearly 90 more including one in Beslan.

The main fundraising event of the Naked Heart Foundation is the Love Ball. The first Love Ball Natalia organised in Moscow in 2008, the next two took place in London (2010) and in Paris (2011). In 2013 Natalia will organise the Love Ball in Monte-Carlo under the high patronage of Albert II, Prince of Monaco, and Charlene, Princess of Monaco.

Vodianova also lends her support to a number of philanthropic 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 and 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."

Vodianova was selected and photographed by Annie Leibovitz as part of the newly revamped Pirelli Calendar for 2016, which celebrated some of the world's most inspiring women. The Pirelli pivot seems to give real substance instead of the public objectification of female sexuality.

Launch of Elbi app

In 2015, Vodianova teamed up with Eugenia Makhlin, who has worked for tech sector in Google, Facebook, and AOL. They created The Elbi app, which was also launched on the App Store, it allows people to donate money with a “Love Button,” create content, send messages, and vote. The app currently allows users to donate to a number of charities including Save the Children International, Walkabout Foundation, Blue Skye Thinking, and several others. The name stands for "Little Big" (LB), and the philosophy behind it is that you can make a big difference through little actions.

On Vodianova words: "Elbi is a platform that brings the power of social and digital worlds to charities and connects them with people around the world. With Elbi you can do small actions that make a big difference. That is what Elbi stands for — little actions that can make a big difference.

"Little actions can make a big difference. So often these stories are lost. Now all of us can take action straight from our phones and make a difference all over the world."

The app has been supported by notable leaders in technology and philanthropy including internet safety and security minister Joanna Shields, Bebo cofounder Michael Birch, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Huffington Post cofounder Arianna Huffington, Mind Candy founder Michael Acton Smith, designer Diane von Furstenberg, co-founder of and Brent Hoberman, as well as the founder and CEO of Illumination Entertainment, Chris Meledandri.


In November 2010, Harper's Bazaar awarded Vodianova with the Inspiration of the Year Award, given in recognition of her philanthropic efforts.

In April 2013, she was honored with the Inspiration Award at the fourth annual DVF Awards. The award is given to women "who have demonstrated leadership, strength and courage in the face of adversity, and who use their influence to effect positive change." The same year, she was also the recipient of Harper's Bazaar's Philanthropist of the Year Award.

On November 10, 2014, Vodianova was one of the honored 2014 Glamour Woman of the Year for her contribution and philanthropy as The Voice for Children. The ceremony was held at Carnegie Hall, with Arianna Huffington presenting the award to Vodianova.

Personal life

Vodianova has close associations and friends in the fashion industry including top model friend Mariacarla Boscono, Karlie Kloss and Eva Herzigova, respected and well known photographers such as Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber and Patrick Demarchelier, top fashion designers Riccardo Tisci, Valentino Garavani, Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Diane von Fürstenberg, Christian Louboutin, Ulyana Sergeenko, Editor-in-Chief of Net-a-Porter fashion magazine Lucy Yeomans, fashion creative director and icons Grace Coddington, Carine Roitfeld, and editor-in-chief of US Vogue Anna Wintour.

Vodianova met Justin Portman (b. 1969), half-brother of the 10th Viscount Portman, a British property heir, former artist and chess organizer at a Paris dinner in 2001. They married in November 2001 when she was 8 months pregnant. In September 2002, over 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 has three children: son Lucas Alexander (born 22 December 2001), daughter Neva (born 24 March 2006), and son Viktor (born 13 September 2007). Viktor is named after Vodianova's late grandfather, who had helped raise her after her father's departure, and Neva is named after the Russian river of the same name. Vodianova and Portman announced their separation in June 2011.

Soon following her separation from Portman, Vodianova began a relationship with Antoine Arnault, son of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault and the CEO of luxury brand Berluti. The couple's son, Maxim, was born on 2 May 2014. She is now pregnant with her 5th child and 2nd with Arnault.

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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