Natalia Vodianova | BoF 500 | The People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry

The Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova is one of the world’s most in-demand models. Enrolling in a modelling agency in her native Russia, by the age of 17, Vodianova signed with Viva Models in Paris and begun her storied career. She has starred in 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, Guerlain, and Etam among many others.

Vodianova has spoken about the culture shock she experienced between her childhood, selling fruits with her grandmother on the roadside, and the comparative luxury of Paris.

Her first US Vogue cover was photographed by

Steven Meisel
in September 2004. She appeared as one of the “Models of the Moment,” along with 8 other models, however she appeared on a solo cover in 2007. Since then, Vodianova has appeared on the cover of British Vogue eight times, and 

Vodianova is a founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that strives to provide a safe and inspiring environment 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. Vodianova’s idea was to distract children who survived the tragedy from their psychological trauma with play. The organisation built its first play park in 2006 in Nizhny Novgorod. It has since built over 90 more, including one in Beslan.

She is currently in a relationship with

Antoine Arnault
, son of LVMH chairman

Bernard Arnault
and the chief executive of luxury brand Berluti. The couple lives together in Paris with their son and her three children from a previous marriage. Alongside her modelling career, Vodianova is also known for her knack for tech entrepreneurship, notably recently investing in the Clapham-based start-up, “Little Tummy”, a baby meal delivery service. Primarily investing in female and tech-focused businesses, the model joined the photography app, “PicsArt”, as the company’s head of aspiration. She has also invested in Flo, a period tracking app, and launched her own philanthropic app, Elbi, in 2018, which turns likes into charity donations.

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