Natalia Vodianova, Russian, born February 28, Born in Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod, Russia's fourth largest city), Vodianova, nickname 'SuperNova', had a difficult childhood. Her mother's abusive boyfriends and a tight financial situation dogged her throughout childhood. Having helped her mother with her fruit stall business from the age of 11, Vodianova moved into her own apartment with a friend at 15 and started her own fruit-stall business. She was thus able to help out her sisters, one of whom is disabled.
At age 15, Natalia Vodianova enrolled in a modeling academy, and started going to castings. A scouting agent from Paris told her that she could have a great future if she learned English quickly. Convinced that her life would change for the better, Vodianova learned English in three months, moved to Paris and signed up with the Viva agency at age 17. Soon, Gucci made her the new face for their perfume line. After working at more than 40 runway shows, she was hired to appear in Calvin Klein's spring show. Around this time she also made a brief appearance in Roman Coppola's film CQ, with Billy Zane.
Natalia Vodianova has done campaigns for David Yurman, Louis Vuitton, L'Oreal, Marc Jacobs, Miss Sixty, Pepe Jeans, and Calvin Klein's collection and his fragrance, "Euphoria".
In July 2007, Vodianova was featured the cover of American Vogue as the solo subject, a considerable feat during an era that relies heavily on celebrity cover subjects to push sales. She first appeared on the cover along with eight other top models in September 2005. The only other models to have singularly graced the cover of US Vogue in between those two issues have been Linda Evangelista and Liya Kebede.
According to Forbes, Natalia Vodianova is ranked as the seventh highest-earning model in the world after Carolyn Murphy, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima, Heidi Klum, Kate Moss and Gisele Bьndchen. Her earnings for the past year were in the order of $4.5 million.
Her husband is British real estate heir, Justin Portman, a half-brother of the 10th Viscount Portman, son of a Viscount and Scion of one of Britain's wealthiest real estate families, owning swatches in London. The couple had their first son, Lucas Alexander, on December 22, 2001. On September 1, 2002, Vodianova and Portman married in a lavish ceremony in Saint Petersburg. Their second child, daughter Neva (named after the Russian river Neva) was born on March 24, 2006, weighing 7 pounds. She posed with her baby in Vogue. Her third child, a boy named Viktor, was born on September 13, 2007; Viktor is named after Natalia's grandfather. Vodianova's husband and children often travel with her.
Natalia Vodianova is also a dedicated philanthropist, an achievement that was honored in the March 2007 issue of US Vogue.