Supermodel—and supermom—Natalia Vodianova as seen in Tory’s Spring/Summer 2020 campaign. Photo Mikael Jansson.
Natalia Vodianova has one of the most recognizable faces in the business, with her sea-glass eyes and the striking brows that inspired innumerable women to put down their tweezers. She’s a longtime member of the Tory fold, most recently opening the Fall/Winter 2020 fashion show and appearing in our SS20 campaign — shot what feels like a lifetime ago in Palermo, alongside Anok Yai and Tory Burch. When she isn’t busy modeling or spearheading her numerous charities, the Russian juggernaut has her hands full as mother to five children. We caught up with her to discuss the importance of daughters, sisters, mothers, and grandmothers– at a time when family feels more important than ever.

My favorite way to spend Mother’s Day… is being pampered by my five children. I love receiving their flowers and massages (yes, I get massages as a gift!) and I go crazy for their incredibly cute homemade gifts. I don’t need much else to make it a special day.

Since becoming a mom, I learned how to… multitask. The switch was necessary since having my first child, Lucas, as I was working non-stop at the time as a model. It became even more important when I started dividing my time between modeling my charity work with, the Naked Heart Foundation. I also have the charitable giving platform Elbi, and the Let’s Talk campaign to raise the standard of women’s health. And, of course, I had another four children in the meantime! The multitasking approach taught me the secret of prioritizing the things I have to do. It was the only way to make all this possible.

My wish for all children is… for them to be healthy. And in the case that they have special needs, is for them to have a loving family and environment in which they can achieve their full potential. This is the Naked Heart Foundation’s mission.

I hope I teach my children… that every individual can take action to build a better world and a better future for many others. I hope they understand this requires hard work. I hope to inspire them to be motivated to invest all of their energies into causes they believe in. I hope to teach my children that they can be agents of positive change and impact the world with their actions.

My grandmother influenced my personal style by… simply being the wonderful woman she is. She was a factory worker but I’ve always looked up to her for her stunning elegance, her fine taste, her impeccable and balanced lifestyle. She is my icon. She has been an inspiration for my career way before I knew what I would be doing. I still remember when she saw me plucking my eyebrows for the first time and she said: “Don’t. You will regret it. Your eyebrows are the most beautiful thing about you”. She was right; my eyebrows became one of my trademarks. She has always had a true instinct for beauty.

The best advice my mother gave me on never giving up was… very concrete since she never gave up on my sister Oksana, who was born with cerebral palsy and autism. Although things have improved a bit now, Russia is not an easy place to raise a child with special needs, not to mention she was a single mother. Despite the many cultural, financial and personal problems she experienced, she never gave up on Oksana. I owe all my strength and energy to her. I use her story to inspire many more parents in Russia to keep on loving their children and never abandon them, no matter how difficult it can be.