• Vodianova's sister is also the motivation behind her latest project: supporting families of children with special needs. "When I learned about children being left in institutions, it struck me," she says. "We want to support the families so they
    won't feel they have to give their children away."

    Her own children with Portman [Lucas, 11, Neva, 6, Viktor, 5] made the move to France a tough decision. So how does she manage the work/life balance? "No matter how much time you spend with your children, it's never enough. To build our lives alongside our children is also important – to be happy and to feel you've lived for a purpose. If that's for your children, great, but it's good to share your

    “No matter how much TIME you spend with your CHILDREN, it’s never enough. BUILDING our own lives is IMPORTANT”

    heart with others. I work hard for my charity, my friendships and my relationship, but also as hard as I can as a mother. I give them everything I have with positive energy, even if I am tired."

    This year, she will star in her first major acting role, opposite Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Belle du Seigneur. "That movie was so appropriate for me three years ago," she says. "I had to clear some emotional baggage." Hollywood whispers claim that this could be the start of a new career. "I have offers, but now I'll only do movies my children can watch."

    Diane von Furstenberg once called Vodianova "one of the strongest women I have ever met". It led me to expect someone full of opinion and purpose. Yet there is something childlike and open about her; a head ruled by a heart. It strikes me that this is Vodianova’s strength – her acceptance of who she is. "I've made mistakes," she says, "but I have no shame because they were done for the right reasons – because I followed my heart."

    Pants by



    Model: Natalia Vodianova. Hair: Shon at Julian Watson. Makeup: Marie Duhart at l’atelier(68). Manicurist: Magali Buisson at Majeure & Evénements. Fashion assistant: Benjamin Canares

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