She'll turn 29 on the 28th of February. But Natalia Vodianova still has a girlish air about her that adds to her already impressive allure. She's called "Cinderella" and "Supernova" by fans and the press, which refers to her fairy-tale background. Born to a poor family in Gorky, Russia, her mother sold fruit at the market. But even as a young girl she loved fashion and was surrounded by stylish people – like her grandmother whom Natalia remembers as always perfectly dressed, an impeccable hostess and able to organize parties with barely any money.
Natalia's life changed after she attended a modeling school, learned English and then moved to Paris at the age of seventeen. All it took were a few appearances on the catwalk and a few photo shoots and her career was launched. "My career has resulted from a series of fortunate coincidences," she claims.
From that time, in the late '90s, Natalia has been unstoppable. With her childlike look, her heart-shaped face, her perfect skin and her giant blue eyes emphasized by her natural eyebrows (which her grandmother told her never to pluck), she's appeared on the world's glossy fashion magazines – both in campaigns and in fashion editorials by the most prestigious photographers. From 2003 to 2006 she was the face of Clavin Klein for all of its lines – accessories, fashion and perfumes.
The last chapter in this Cinderella story came in 2002, with her marriage to Justin Portman, from a noble English family and with whom she's had three children: Lucas, Neva e Viktor.
Her personal life hasn't been hindered by her career, which includes covers and ad campaigns for brands like Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Roberto Cavalli, Louis Vuitton and fashion shoots for Vogue Italia with photographers like Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh and Paolo Roversi. But having a family changed her priorities, and Natalia Supernova's has become a bit less frenetic.
She's been designing lingerie and beachwear for the French brand Etam since 2006: her last collection was presented in Paris last January at an event attended by Beth Ditto, Boy George, The Kills, as well as flurry of models and designer friends.
But she's never forgotten her native country. Natalia founded The Naked Heart foundation in 2005, a non-profit organization that helps build playgrounds for Russian children. She spends a lot of time creating fund-raising events around the world.
But there's another project on her horizon: acting. She just finished shooting the film, Belle du Seigneur, alongside the actor Jonathan Rhys Meyer, directed by Glenio Bonder and co-starring Marianne Faithful. It's a dramatic, intense love story that promises to be a launching pad for a future career in the movie business.
(via www.vogue.it/ )