June 24, 2013

Nata Supernova. Natalia Vodianova working on the Love Ball, summer’s event in Monte Carlo

Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova is the international supermodel having shaped her success to follow the shape of her heart. Almost literally. ’’When I met her for the first time, she took my breath away. ’’ ’’Natalia has such a great spirit.’’ says Calvin Klein, and Vodianova has had various multi-million dollar contracts with the American designer.

Diane von Furstenberg, another one of her admirers and, how odd it sounds in this context, contractor of Natalia, has her own love story to talk about: ’’I immediately loved her. She was never like a young child, always a grown-up. ’’

It makes it all the more beautiful when such a soul has the philanthropic drive and success that Natalia Vodianova (now 31) has been cultivating from very young, at just 21 years old. Her foundation, Naked Heart, strives to provide a safe and inspiring environment in which to play for children living in urban Russia as well as to give support families raising kids with special needs.

For Vodianova, it has never been the kind of impulse beauty queens say they have to make the world a better place. She never got the chance. In Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Natalia grew up next to her mother and two younger sisters, Oksana and Kristina. The mother had three different jobs and Natalia sold fruit to support the family. Her sister, Oksana, is autistic and suffers from cerebral palsy.

Her life had been so burdening than when she reached Paris at 17, she felt, for the first time, she was a normal girl. And just 4 years later, she was overwhelmed by the feeling that she could and needed to offer children something she knew to be essential, exactly because she had needed it so badly herself. Safety and the refuge of a haven away from harm and worry.

Vodianova doesn’t feel she can be compared with Cinderella and is sure of her success having nothing to do with luck. With nothing else but work. That is why her fundraising Love Ball is this year to be hosted together with Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene de Monaco, organised at the Monte Carlo Opera, offer up for auction a Chanel internship next to Karl Lagerfeld and aim at a EUR 5 million worth success.

And that is why Vodianova can be seen radiant in the Stella McCartney, Guerlain or Etam campaigns, anytime up for another Mario Testino Vogue cover and, sooner than ever, on a Time magazine front page. All because she is, as self confessed, Nata Supernova.

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Photo source: Natalia Vodianova