In the collective imagination, Russian girls have always had a certain charm. It will be due to the somewhat exotic features, the result of the union between European, Asian, and Slavic physiognomy. This will be due to the fact that mainly Moldovans and Ukrainians emigrate to the West and therefore the Russians remain distant. It may also be for the past and present as a superpower: in any case, they inspire curiosity and even fear. On the other hand, we think of Eastern women as strong women, capable of enduring inhospitable climates and situations. And therefore also for this reason worthy of respect.
The end of communism in Russia had epochal effects. One of the many was to open the borders – indeed, to open them wide – to advertising and fashion. Advertising and fashion that, like everywhere else in the world, need models. And in the country ruled by Putin, there are plenty of girls fit for purpose. Whether they have had a past as an athlete or have been fished almost from the street. These girls have been able to gain space and visibility, as well as enviable salaries.
But which are the most beautiful and famous Russian models? We have selected five, which we will present to you starting with the youngest. Many others, however, would have deserved equal consideration. If you want to feast your eyes on some of them. And look for information on your own, we recommend Daria Strokes, Valentina Zeljaeva, Anne Vyalitsyna, Tanya Dziahileva, and tennis player Marija Sharapova.
The beautiful Irina ShaykBorn in January 1986, Irina Shayk (or Irina Valer’evna Sajchlislamova, using her long, real name) is the youngest of our five-year-old models. And perhaps the most famous. Originally from Emanželinsk, a small town on the border with Kazakhstan. She is the daughter of a Tatar Muslim miner and a Russian teacher. During his childhood. He lived in great financial straits, especially after the death of his father. At 18, however, she was noticed by a modeling agency, and her life changed radically.
In fact, since 2005 the covers and advertising campaigns have started to flock. Among many, Shayk appeared on ten consecutive editions of Sports Illustrated’s swimwear special. He also lent his face as a testimonial for Replay, Lacoste, Triumph, Givenchy, L’Oreal, and especially Intimissimi. This last campaign, already in 2007, made her enter the ranks of supermodels, in parallel with her romantic relationships. From 2010 to 2015, Shayk was in fact the girlfriend of Cristiano Ronaldo, while since April last year she is linked to actor Bradley Cooper. Two men who certainly do not go unnoticed.
An intense portrait of Natasha PolyEven the name of Natasha Poly. The second model in our five is actually more complex than it appears in magazines. Born in 1985 in Perm, a metropolis at the foot of the Urals, her name is Natalia Sergeevna Polevscikova. Discovered when she was just 15 years old in her city, she found herself a few years later in Paris, parading for Emanuel Ungaro. At 19 he advertised Louis Vuitton jewels, and then lent his face and walk to Dior, Prada, Gucci, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and others.
In the following years, she continued to pose for all the most important brands of the world fashion, also appearing in the Gucci by Gucci commercial directed by David Lynch. In particular, she has become the regular face of Gucci, while among the publications she has been seen on the cover of various international editions of Vogue and on the Pirelli Calendar signed by Karl Lagerfeld. From a sentimental point of view. She married in 2011 the wealthy Dutch businessman Peter Bakker, with whom in 2013 she had her first daughter, Aleksandra Christina.
Sahsa Pivovarova and the other most beautiful Russian models, on the other hand, Muscovite Saša Pivovarova, a supermodel in her early thirties (she was also born in 1985) who has forged ahead in the last ten years. Its beginnings in the sector are in fact relatively recent. Until the age of twenty, Alexandra aka Sasa was just an ordinary art history student at the university, perhaps just a little more beautiful than average. A friend, however, sent some photos of her to the IMG Models agency, which immediately decided to hire her. After a few months, he was parading for Prada and getting ready to work for all the major brands in the environment.
Particularly intelligent and educated, passionate about war and peace. She posed for Armani, Diesel, Chanel, Dior, Valentino, Versace, and Alberta Ferretti, as well as for the Pirelli Calendar. Despite the rich engagements, the passion for art never abandoned her. She is, not surprisingly, a very gifted designer and some of her works have been exhibited in Parisian art galleries. She lives in New York with her husband, the Russian Igor Vishnyakov, and with her daughter Mia Isis.
Natalia Vodianova, model and philanthropist story of Natalia Vodjanova as its protagonist is also a story of great redemption. Born in Gorky in 1982, the girl grew up in a situation of great poverty. The first of three sisters, one of them a victim of autism, grew up without her father, who divorced her mother when she was still small. He, therefore, had to work in the fields and in the markets as soon as he was 11 years old. During her adolescence, however, her boyfriend gave her a course in bearing that allowed her to get noticed as an aspiring model. At 17 she was like that in Paris, very far from the world that had raised her
He has worked for clothing and perfume brands, such as Gucci – with which he signed his first major contract -, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and others. His presence on the covers of specialized magazines is also notable, with various appearances in Elle, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Her career, however, did not stop at modeling: She conducted television broadcasts in Russia, appeared in some music videos. And played small parts in a handful of films, including Clash of the Titans.
Despite the tremendous success, which last year also made her the fifth highest-paid model in the world, Vodjanova has not forgotten her origins. Very committed to social issues, she directs a foundation that has raised several million euros over the years for Russian children, building play areas in the country. From a personal point of view, she has four children: three born from the marriage with Justin Portman, one. The last, from the new relationship with the French millionaire Antoine Arnault.
Anna Kournikova concludes with a model who has become one in a way in passing. As a result of another career. Anna Kurnikova, in fact, before being a testimonial of clothes and beauty products was a strong tennis player. On the breach she arrived very young just sixteen, when in 1997 she reached the semifinal of Wimbledon, enchanting the world for her talent but also for her beauty. And if it is true that from then on the great sporting results that were expected may not have arrived. The Russian athlete has not stopped making people talk about himself. The best result in a Grand Slam tournament remains, in fact, the semifinal played at a very young age. Even if it went better in the doubles, a specialty in which she won the Australian Open twice.
Born in Moscow but raised in the United States, where she still resides. Kurnikova retired from competitive tennis at 26 due to frequent injuries. At that point, her modeling career began full time, mostly related to sportswear (not disdaining swimwear). She has also appeared on various US broadcasts and has made appearances in some films. His love life is also much discussed. For a long time there have been rumors of his relationship with a couple of hockey players (Pavel Bure first and Sergei Fedorov later). But the most stable relationship is that with singer Enrique Iglesias, which has now lasted for several years. Nobody knows for sure if the two are just living together or are also married.