You cannot deconstruct unless you know how to construct. - Alexander McQueen

The Fruit Seller of Nizhny Novgorod permalink

Natalia Vodianova’s story reads like a fairy tale. In her early teens she helped support her family by selling fruit on the streets of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Today she’s a mother of two, married to a wealthy Englishman and one of the world’s top models. Fortune has been very good to this 24- year-old, but the success she has found is also due to her tenacity and positive attitude.

natalia vogue it 0304.jpg
image: Natalia Vodianova Vogue Italia, March 2004

As with many people who’ve come from money-strapped families, Natalia seems wise beyond her age and deeply appreciative of her good fortune. When interviewed she comes across as being intelligent and unselfish. In 2005, Natalia began the Naked Heart Foundation, aiming to give children in Russia safe places to play away from the dangers encountered on the street. Referring to her home life with husband Justin Portman and their children she says, “You see, whether I work or don’t work, it doesn’t matter. Because I already have everything I want, right here”.

natalia and lucas.jpg
image: Natalia Vodianova and her son Lucas

One of my overall favorite editorials features Natalia as Alice in Wonderland. Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the spread also features a cast of the biggest names in fashion, designing not only Natalia’s costumes, but also their own. This collaboration is as magical as the story itself.

natalia 1.jpg
image: Natalia Vodianova as Alice and Olivier Theyskens as Lewis Carroll Vogue, December 2003

natalia 2.jpg
image: Natalia and Tom Ford as the White Rabbit Vogue, December 2003

natalia 3.jpg
image: Natalia and Helmut Lang (observing the scene from the wall) Vogue, December 2003

natalia 4.jpg
image: Natalia and Marc Jacobs as the Caterpillar Vogue, December 2003

natalia 5.jpg
image: Natalia and Karl Lagerfeld Vogue, December 2003

natalia 6.jpg
image: Natalia and Jean Paul Gaultier as the Cheshire Cat Vogue, December 2003

natalia 7.jpg
image: Natalia and Viktor & Rolf as Tweedledum and Tweedledee Vogue, December 2003

natalia 8.jpg
image: Natalia, Stephen Jones as the Mad Hatter and Christian Lacroix as the March Hare Vogue, December 2003

natalia 9.jpg
image: Natalia and the inimitable John Galliano as the Queen of Hearts Vogue, December 2003

natalia 10.jpg
image: Natalia, Rupert Everett and Donatella Versace as the Gryphon Vogue, December 2003

natalia 11.jpg
image: Natalia and Nicolas Ghesquiere Vogue, December 2003

Vogue’s creative director, Grace Coddington enthuses, “Alice is my dream girl, and so is Natalia. She’s a rare, rare model”.

sharing:These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Furl
  • Netvouz
  • BlinkList
  • blogmarks
  • connotea
  • LinkaGoGo
  • Ma.gnolia
  • RawSugar
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “The Fruit Seller of Nizhny Novgorod” 

  1. Irma from Lithuania Says:

    Nalalia is my favourite model ever!!!
    I just adore her!
    She’s my love!
    I love every character that she creates in every single picture!
    She’s the best!!!

  2. jeni Says:

    Very inspirational!!! I have been finding my feet as a set and costume designer / prop costume and puppet maker for the last two and a half years - working predominantly in theatre since I left college.

    I am currently looking for new challenges and remembering my love of finding shoot like this in magazines whilst researching the design work I did at college has inspired me to follow my new dream of one day working in the fashion and styling industry. i know that the skills are transferable - and this shoot confirms it too me!!

    I am currently contacting people regarding doing runing or assisting work - to learn hands on about the industry. I am hoping you will maybe reply to this email and I can forward you some images of my work to date CV.

    best wishes jeni campbell

  3. Alice « Crust Station Says:

    […] * In the pages of Vogue the land of merry unbirthdays and late-running rabbits shimmers to life again-as the world’s most influential designers dress the original little-girl-lost in their own visions (photography by Annie Leibovitz). […]

  4. alejandra bolivar Says:

    natalia eres la mejor modelo del mundo bueno para mi te admiro mucho y eres una mujer super exitosa, tienes una belleza super natural, y tu sabes ke eso ia no se ve casi eres la mejor eres para mi un modelo a seguir felicidades!

  5. HotBrunette Says:

    WOW i was just looking for pretty pictures and i came across Natalia.
    She is stunning and my new favourite model.
    If anyone has some good photos of her can you please post the website so i can download them??


  6. salvador Says:


Leave a Reply