Natalia Mikhailovna Vodianova (Russian: Наталья Михайловна Водянова, pronunciation Nataľja Mikhajlovna Vodjanova; born 28 February 1982) is a Russianmodel, 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.
- 2 Career
- 3 Philanthropy
- 4 Personal life
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Born in Gorky, Soviet Union (now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia), Natalia 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.
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 Guerlain, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, L'Oréal, David Yurman, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Versace, Diane von Fürstenberg, Chanel, Etam and others.
Photographed by Steven Meisel, she was presented on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue as one of the "Models of the Moment". As of May 2009, Vodianova has appeared on the cover of British Vogue seven times; the first was the September 2003 issue. She made her first appearance on the cover of the U.S.Vogue in the September 2004 edition alongside eight other models, 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 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 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.
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 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 in Russia in 2008 at a press-conference for the Naked Heart Foundation
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 as well as to give support families raising kids with special needs.
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."
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.
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 have 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 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.
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.