Natalia Vodianova: An #Inspirational Journey from Poverty to Philanthropy

Posted on Aug 19 2017 - 7:00am by Mia Gardner

Rate this post

Tell us which aspects of Natalia’s life inspired you the most. Rate her achievements out of five giving your favourite story the most stars! ✨

Criteria 1
Criteria 2
Criteria 3

Natalia ‘Supernova’ Vodianova, Russian model, and philanthropist is the ultimate fashionista and businesswoman of 2017. She has endured a difficult but successful journey from rags to riches, all thanks to her amazing work ethic. This gorgeous female boss not only works with fashion and charitable work but has also dabbled in acting.

Natalia started modeling at the young age of 15 and has since then, never looked back. Her journey is empowering and truly inspirational. With an endless list of achievements, incredible celebrity friendships and a final triumph in love, we feel that Natalia Vodianova is the woman everyone wants to become.

The 35-year-old was raised by her single mother and lived with her two half-sisters in the then-Soviet city of Gorky, now known as, Nizhny Novgorod in Russia. She was just 11 years old when she started helping her mother sell fruit on the street – it was their only source of income. She took it upon herself to set up a stall on the market with a friend in hope to improve their conditions of poverty.

Natalia also cared for her disabled younger sister, Oskana, who had cerebral palsy. So, at such a young age, she had masses of responsibility.

But she still went on to succeed in all aspects of life. She now spends her time attending glamorous events, meeting amazing new people and modeling when she can.

Natalia Work

At the age of 17, Natalia moved to Paris and signed a contract with Viva Models. Her gorgeous yet effortless looks instigated a desire from many fashion companies and designers to feature her. Whether that was on a catwalk to wear haute couture or to pose in photographs for high-fashion editorial campaigns.

She went on to walk in over 400 runway shows for both American and European brands including Givenchy, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Versace and much more. Imagine having a wardrobe full of designer items? Yes, please.

It didn’t take long for her to build up a stunning modeling portfolio. Before she knew it, she had exclusive deals and highly-paid contracts offered to her on a weekly basis. She signed an eight season, seven-figure contract with Calvin Klein.  Not long after, in 2012, Vodianova was listed in Forbes magazine as the No.3 top-earning model with an outstanding income of over 8.6 million dollars.

She now has 1.4 million followers on Instagram. Here you can see that she spends her time hanging out with the likes of Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Kanye West and others celebs that support her work.

Natalia Vodianova didn’t just succeed as a model. She is now a mother of five beautiful children and her love story will make you swoon – prepare yourself. Despite an unsuccessful first marriage at the early age of 19 and three children later, it ended on good terms.

It wasn’t long after that, that she finally met her gorgeous ‘Mr. Right’. Antoine Arnault, son of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault and CEO of luxury brand Berluti, swept her off her feet. They wined and dined on the balcony of his Parisian apartment and fell in love. Mmm… dreamy.

Natalia Family

In a romantic whirlwind, she found herself married for the second time and wanting to expand her beautiful family. By 2016, her hubby, Antoine, went from having zero to five children in the space of two and a half years! They are incredibly happy together and this couple is so much more than #relationshipgoals.

Natalia Relationship

Natalia finds herself surrounded by not only colleagues but genuine friends. Throughout her glamorous modeling career, she has accumulated a long list of celebrity friendships. Whether it’s with photographers, designers or stunning fellow models such as Naomi Campbell, Emma Roberts and Heidi Klum. She has so many contacts that never fail to support her philanthropic pursuits.

With all the love and support Natalia was born to give, she founded the Naked Heart Foundation. They provide safe environments for children living in urban Russia and families raising children with disabilities. This venture was triggered by the Beslan tragedy, also known as, the Beslan school hostage crisis in 2004. She wanted to distract and help as many children as she could. The foundation has built 177 playgrounds in Russia, the UK, and Peru with 17 more approved for this year. Natalia also pushed for a mobile teacher-training program which went on to succeed in a number of schools.

Natalia Vodianova’s most recent project involved a collaboration with Eugenia Makhlin, to create an app: Elbi. The application allows people to donate money with a ‘love button’ as well as being able to create content, send messages and vote. Users can donate to a wide range of charities with the philosophy behind it being that you can make a big difference through little actions.


The inspiration you can take from this amazing woman is to never give up on your career. Use any success you gain from it to help other people no matter how large the ‘act of kindness.’

Photo credit @natasupernova

About the author : Mia Gardner

Mia Gardner spends most of her time writing fashion and lifestyle pieces along to the sweet sound of an Arctic Monkeys album or two whilst fighting an extreme book-buying addiction and saving up for the day she can transform her dream of running a cat sanctuary into a reality. She’s also rather handy in the makeup department.

View all posts by Mia Gardner