Russian model Natalia Vodianova is not only a fashion model but also a real role model. Her ‘rags to riches’ story is a truly inspiring one. After having a breakthrough career as a model and reaching the height of success, the model has found a way to give it back to the society through her philanthropic organization Naked Heart Foundation.
Vodianova who started her modelling career as a 17-year-old in Paris grew up in a poor settlement in Russia. Abandoned by her father at a very young age, Vodianova helped her mother sell fruit on the street to support the family. Vodianova enrolled in a modelling agency when she was only 15 and that’s how she ended up in Paris. She has had a successful career as a runway, editorial, and advertising campaign model. She has graced the cover of many fashion magazine worldwide like Vanity Fair, Vogue, W magazine, i-D magazine, Marie Claire, Elle, GQ, Allure, Glamour, Tatler, Hello etc. She has worked for designers like Guerlain, Givenchy, Prada, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Nina Ricci, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, L'Oréal, David Yurman, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Diane von Fürstenberg, Hugo Boss, Miss Sixty, Stuart Weitzman, Etam and many more.
One of the richest models in the world, Natalia Vodianova has a net worth of an estimated $26 million. And does she not have a fantastic way of utilizing her wealth? Her philanthropic organization that is Naked Heart Foundation strives to provide a safe and inspiring environment in which to play for every child living in urban Russia and to help support families raising kids with disabilities. Of course, the idea didn’t strike her out of nowhere! She was motivated to start the charity after the Beslan tragedy. Her initial idea was to distract the surviving children from psychological trauma.
Naked Heart Foundation’s main fundraising event is the Love Ball that is organized annually. It was first organized in Moscow in 2008. But Naked Heart Foundation isn’t her only venture into philanthropy. She has also been involved with (Bugaboo) RED campaign which is an initiative to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. She is also the honorable ambassador for Hear the World, a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of the topic of hearing and hearing loss and to promote good hearing all over the world.
A spokesperson for the Tiger Trade Campaign, Vodianova launched The Elbi app which allows people to donate money with a “Love Button”, create content, send messages, and vote. The app also allows users to donate to a number of charities; Save the Children International, Walkabout Foundation, Blue Skye Thinking, and many others.
As a true inspiring hero that Vodianova is, she was awarded the Harper’s Bazaar’s Inspiration of the Year award. She was also presented with the Inspiration Award at the fourth annual DVF Award. In 2014, Vodianova was cited the “Glamour Woman of the Year”. Natalia Vodianova is currently seeing Antoine Arnault and has five children.