Natalia Vodianova

Harper’s Bazaar: What was the moment when you felt like you had made it in your career? 

Natalia Vodianova: Maybe it was actually signing the Calvin Klein contract back in 2002. It’s been amazing. The best part of work is always working with people and getting to know them and having the sense that you’re not actually working.

How do you balance it all—your children, charity work, modelling? 

NV: It’s all so different in a way that one is allowing for rest from something else. So when I work as a model, it feels like holiday. Doing a shoot is so light in a way that it’s really a good break from being a mother or running a charitable organization and other philanthropic projects that I’m really passionate about. Because that’s all very serious and sometimes it’s not very glamorous and it is such a hard work compared to being a model.

What’s your biggest indulgence? 

NV: Something to do with my hair. When I really treat myself, I go to incredible Leonor Greyl in Paris for a head massage.

HB: What do you do for a big night when you want to feel your sexiest?

NV: I guess something shiny. Shiny eyelids, beautiful, glowing skin and lip gloss.

HB: How do you stay in such amazing shape? 

NV: Pilates, but I’m now actually looking for a dance studio. I don’t exercise very much so I’m thinking maybe if it’s a dance studio, I would have a little bit more fun doing it and it would encourage me to actually go.

HB: What’s the best way for people to get involved with your charity, Naked Heart Foundation?

NV: Naked Heart is the kind of organization where it’s really hard to create an army of volunteers because we work with families who raise children with special needs. For these families and for these children, you need a very well-trained specialist, so donating so we can do our specialist training is the most effective way.

HB: Tell us about the new social good app–Elbi—that you just launched. 

NV: At the moment, we’re starting with three easy actions you can do everyday to discover the charities we’re working with, which range from small organizations, like Smile Train, to larger ones. Smile Train is a charity that provides clef surgery to children and today we’re asking you to draw a picture of a happy family for this boy who just had surgery and if you really love a charity, then you can donate a little money to it through the app. It’s based on micro donations. You click once and you’re done—you have supported the project and supported the charity. If you can’t donate money, you can donate time and we support that. We already have 31 charity partners and of course we’re going to have many more as the users grow. When we’re encouraging charities to create campaigns on Elbi, we’re telling them to be really authentic and do something that can be really useful to their beneficiaries.

Natalia Vodianova