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Moscow is a huge inspiration for me. I love what I find here, I love being here.
– Natalia Vodianova
When you become a mother, you think less about yourself and care more about the world.
My childhood gave me resilience – and there’s little that can surprise me in life.
I have made enough money to secure my family and that is all I care about.
Before I left Russia in 1999, I was living in a very poor factory town with my family and friends, and nothing was ever going to change.
It’s better to be skinny than to be fat.
When you are at the bottom, you find beauty in such little things, and goodness in such little gestures. When I compare any struggle today to ones that I may have had in my childhood, there is nothing that can bring me down.
Finding out I was pretty was a very nice realisation.
My appearance gave me access to a particular kind of world and I’m really grateful for it.
I missed quite a lot of school because I was working from the age of 11.
I love Yves Saint Laurent and Giambattista Valli and Givenchy, and I get given quite a lot, but perhaps nothing is as wonderful as the white fake leather trench coat I got when I was 15.
Because of my childhood where I was constantly by myself, I always feel lonely. I have a lot of people that I absolutely love and I know love me but I can’t get rid of that feeling of loneliness no matter who I’m with – even with my children.
I learnt early to have little expectation so I protected myself from ever feeling greatly disappointed.
If you never know hardship, you can’t really support people around you.
If you are ambitious you can have a moment of glory but it will most likely be temporary. But talent always finds its way out.
I completely admire my mother for raising a child with cerebral palsy at home.
I was born in Nizhny Novgorod to a very poor family and unfortunately my father and mother separated when I was very little.
I raised my sister. I was six when she was born. My mother had to make a living for herself and it was very hard, so I was looking after my sister, cooking and cleaning, and she had four jobs.
I believe in reincarnation of the soul.
I think protecting your family and giving to them is so important. It’s the most important achievement.
The people that live in my hometown do not walk along the street with smiles on their faces. It is a desperate place, but I got out.
I don’t mind being called ‘Supernova.’ If one nickname is going to stick, that’s not a bad one!
We all have our own purpose in life and I feel very strongly that I have a bigger purpose than giving to just my immediate family and friends.
I know what it’s like not to have food in the fridge or money to buy more.
I live a very different life now, with incredible privileges, but looking back I realise that growing up in Russia gave me tools that other people don’t necessarily have – such as the will to push that bit further, to make things happen, to succeed.
As a child I really didn’t like men at all, in fact.