02 April 2009

Natalia Vodianova, b 1982, Russia

1 comment:

  1. Russian-born model, actress and philanthropist she now permanently resides in the U.K.

    Born in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod), Natalia Vodianova grew up in a poor district of the city with her mother and two half sisters, one of whom has cerebral palsy. As a teenager, Natalia 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.

    At age 15 Vodianova enrolled in a modeling academy, was told she would need to learn English to succeed and mastered the language in three months. At age 17 Vodianova moved to Paris, France and signed with Viva Model Management Paris.

    As an actress, Vodianova appears in Roman Coppola's 2001 film CQ. In September 2008 Vodianova stated that she was not interested in film making because of her three children, however she appears in director Alexander Kott's 2009 film Probka.

    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.

    On 1 September 2002 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Vodianova married The Honourable Justin Trevor Berkeley Portman, a British real estate heir and half-brother of the 10th Viscount Portman. The couple has three children; Lucas Alexander, a son born on 22 December 2001, Neva, a daughter born on 24 March 2006, and Viktor, a son born on 13 September 2007. Neva is reportedly named after the Russian river Neva and Viktor is reportedly named after Natalia's grandfather.

    Vodianova is a founder and the President of the Naked Heart Foundation, a philanthropy that strives to provide a safe and inspiring environment in which to play for every child living in urban Russia.