Natasha Poly

Posted by Stephan Moskovic | April 9th, 2013


Who is Natasha Poly?

The answer to that question may not be as simple as it seems. It goes without saying that Natasha is a fashion force: as the first model profiled in’s ICONS series, she ranks among the most photographed and in-demand faces in the world. Open up any magazine right now and you’re sure to see her staring back at you, but who is the woman behind the images?

Photography by Daniele Duella and Iango Henzi for
Hair by Luigi Murenu (Streeters New York)
Styling by Joanne Blades
Makeup Virginia Young

Video by Hugh Lippe for
Edited by William Town
Video Styling and Art Direction by Natasha Poly
Make-up Sir John for Blackboardgroup MGMT
Hair Aleksandra Sasha Nesterchuck’s ICONS
Creative direction Stephan Moskovic
Text by Janelle Okwodu


Judging solely on those glossy shots of the Russian beauty looking aloof yet alluring, one might think that she is simply an avatar of fashion’s obsession with refinement, but looking beyond the imagery, one finds a woman who is intelligent, witty, well-respected, and a model of professionalism and skill. In her own words, she defines herself as a team player, telling Vogue last year, “When you are a new girl with a unique face and a good body, people want you on their runway or campaign. You are instantly popular. But after a while everyone gets used to your face, and that’s where your modeling talent and professionalism matters. In this industry, your relationships and connections are essential. You have to be a professional. This is teamwork and it is a fact that a model is only a part of the team. But you can’t build an ego on your face and body. If you don’t have a work discipline, you’ll lose. Modeling is my job, it’s my university.”

In this industry, your relationships and connections are essential. You have to be a professional. This is teamwork and it is a fact that a model is only a part of the team.

Were there degrees handed out for modeling, Poly would surely graduate magna cum laude: in the 9 years since she emerged in the fashion scene, Natasha has amassed an unparalleled body of work. Managed flawlessly by Women Management she booked an unprecedented six Vogue Paris covers, campaigns for the likes of Prada, Jil Sander, and Givenchy, time spent in front of the camera with Meisel, Lindbergh, Inez & Vinoodh, Mert & Marcus, Sorrenti, and numerous others. These achievements have come not just because of her rare beauty, but also due to the hard work Poly puts in behind the scenes. Is there a better runway walk in the business, or a model who can bring as much emotion and life to her photos? There has rarely been a girl spoken about in such a beloved manner, not just by photographers and stylists, but also by her peers – many of whom consider Poly’s prolific career the barometer by which models are judged.


Black dot silk long dress with lace inset by Haider Ackerman.

To understand how Natasha advanced to where she is now, one has to go back to her humble beginnings. Born into a middle-class family in the industrial city of Perm, Russia, Natasha never envisioned herself as a top model. The whip-smart child of an engineer mother and a police chief father, Natasha first imagined a career as a travel agent, but at 15, found herself entering a local beauty pageant on the advice of a cousin. Naturally, she won the contest and was soon whisked off to Milan, but the road to the top was often paved with difficulties and her Milan experience was less than encouraging. “They gave me 50 euros, a map of the city, and they told me to look for life. I lived a hell. Then I went to try my luck in Paris. At 18 I made the cover of the French ‘Vogue’ and my life changed overnight.”

Her beauty, her professionalism, and her simplicity! She’s smart, she made the right choices.
– Carine Roitfeld on what makes Natasha an icon

Though the shift from mere model to coveted covergirl did change Natasha’s life, the early setbacks gave her the resolve she is known for. Kate Moss may have coined “never complain, never explain,” but Natasha embodies those ideals with her diligent work ethic. Pucci designer, Peter Dundas, provides a compelling example of the Poly professionalism. “This happened while I was still a designer for another brand. Years ago we had booked Natasha and other girls for a mens show. The other girls hadn’t come to Milan yet and we were so late finishing the women’s clothes. Natasha came for her fitting but she stayed a whole night doing fittings on all the other girls outfits. Most girls her level wouldn’t dream to do that. It’s the nice girls that last the longest.”

Nice is a word that comes up a lot when talking about Natasha; in addition to her tireless devotion to her craft, those who work with her are touched by her kindness and humility. “I adore Natasha,” says designer Alexander Wang, “we have worked together for so many years now and I look to her as a friend first and foremost.” Carine Roitfeld is inclined to agree, when asked what makes Natasha an icon, the legendary editor replied, “Her beauty, her professionalism, and her simplicity! She’s smart, she made the right choices.” Those sentiments are echoed by legendary hairstylist, Luigi Murenu, who cites Poly as one of his favorites to work with. “I met her when she first started during the Milan shows. She’s changed gracefully. She is always learning and aiming straight for the top.”

we have worked together for so many years now and I look to her as a friend first and foremost
– Alexander Wang

And the top is exactly where Natasha belongs. Looking at her polished visage on high profile magazine covers, scores of advertising campaigns, and a seemingly endless array of photos shot by the industry’s premiere talents, one walks away with an idealized image of feminine perfection. Some models exemplify sex appeal, and others speak to the allure of unstudied cool, but Natasha has come to embody haute elegance in a way that few can. Designers look to her to add a touch of class to their catwalks, while magazine editors are obsessed with her glamorous off the runway style. For different people she seems to represent different things, but everyone can agree on her importance as a fashion fixture and her iconic status. Natasha Poly has commanded the modeling industry for close to a decade now, and shows no signs of slowing down. Peter Dundas summarized the formula behind her success aptly, “Beauty and a heart. It’s a winning combination.”


Vintage Long cream silk long dress with gold applique by Bellville Sassoon from Keni Valenti Vintage Couture

Beauty and a heart. It’s a winning combination.
– Peter Dundas on the formula behind Natasha’s success

34 Comments to “Natasha Poly”

  1. She is just absolutely beautiful

  2. TeeVanity says:

    Greatness, very i-D magazine esq! Love it, Congrats – Natasha slays!

  3. She truly is a one of a kind icon. A true beauty.

  4. Bruno Maric says:

    She’s really something else.

  5. ash says:

    Love this! Natasha looks great in these. Shout out to Virginia & Luigi!!! good job<3

  6. Awesome article! Don’t even have the words to describe how amazing Natasha is..

  7. How brilliant that you have started a series featuring the icons of the industry! Truly inspiring. She is amazing – always!

  8. berlin says:

    I am not even a particular fan of her look but her longevity, humbleness and incredible work ethic just evokes respect and admiration for her

  9. erika says:

    I love her! She has been my favorite, along with Anja Rubik for many years. I’m glad to read such a great essay on how nice she is.

    Thanks for sharing!


  10. Paulo says:

    I loved “’s ICONS”!

    I hope to see Raquel Zimmermann, other icon!

    Natasha is amazing!

  11. Twiggy but with curves ? Spaseebah.

  12. KEVIN CHAU says:

    This is what Ive been talking about! Thatagirlllll!!!!!

  13. Lillie says:

    Wonderful portrayal of Natasha. Wow, this makes me want to meet her! Gorgeous photos, what a successful woman.

  14. rk says:

    such an amazing person

  15. Whalen Bryce says:

    DIVINE POST MODELS.COM! Every single frame is a campaign! Natasha Poly is opulent……. IM DONE!

  16. marco says:

    The beautiful inside and out… Natasha..

  17. Bharat says:

    While she is truly ethereal, what has stunned me is brilliant photography.

  18. Nigel S. says:

    Thank you MDC.
    The lady gets her due.. and what a beautiful, emotional and evocative due it is.
    The imagery, the layout, such beautiful words and points of view, stunning motion scene.
    Somber and tear-inducing.

    I could never find the words which fully capture my adoration and respect for Ms. Poly, (as with Isabeli and such divine creatures of light for whom words simply escape).
    As so well-expressed in this feature, she gives herself to the craft – in a way which very few models are willing or even able to do. It is testament and tantamount to excellency. Reasons why I become quite disgruntled when certain models are overtly hailed with praise and placed in her realm without half of the accolades or skill.
    It is a disrepect to mastership.

    I look forward to a lifetimes worth of Natasha Poly. A true classic.
    That is all. Amen.

  19. spotmag says:

    amazing!!! love her! | please, join! <3

  20. Natasha Poly.
    What else can I say?
    When I was still in my kindergarten years, I supposed I was struck by the fantasy of the gracefulness of the model so captivating and alluring my eyes cannot take away from the physical beauty fashion always creates and renovates every year. The model I referred is not other than Natasha Poly. I had grown up thinking who was that girl who possess such beauty and presence even if I was just staring at the television, who justifies the hard work and passion of the professionals behind the limelight of the runways with extreme elegance and professionalism and determine to push the fashion scene to the next level.

    Natasha Poly has the beauty, the charisma, the presence and the humility many are hoping to find to the other models nowadays. She is the models’ model.

  21. Clone says:

    Nice. Btw why are Gisele Bundchen and Naomi Campbell not included in the “Industry Icons” list? Are they not considered icons? What exactly defines the word “icon” if I may know?

  22. Robert D. says:

    It was the Vogue Paris issue where she was on the beach jumping and posing fiercely that made me enamored over her. March 2007! Yes!
    She’s truly a spectacle, her beauty is so marvelous.
    I would love to see a similar feauture over Anja Rubik(Her and Natasha are of the same grandeur in modeling), Daria Werbowy, Raqel Zimmermann.

  23. Brooklyn says:

    She is. She truly is. All the beautiful words are there truly fit her so well. She’s one of the most hard working models ever I have formally seen. Everything he earns all come from the best attitude as a true worker should have.

  24. For many, many, many years now, I’ve heralded Natasha Poly. For everything from her beauty, taste, elegance, poise, and style, she has always been one of those girls that truly make an impression no matter where they are. Her modelling personality is dynamic, sexy, and especially unexpected. And while many models get categorized as “this” or “that” (quirky, weird, glamorous, sexy) – she has been all those things, and more. When she first hit the scene, there wasn’t another blonde like her – and there never will be.

    I always hoped that Natasha Poly would make it into history as one of those models on par with Veruschka or Gia Carangi, so I’m so pleased to see her inducted to ICON status. She truly deserves it.

    Next thing good thing for her would be to land the role as the next BOND Girl. That’s a role a major supermodel has not been able to fill for the longest time. And with those legs, that body, that vivacious blonde hair, and that face – THAT FACE! What a special Bond girl she could make (on par with Barbara Bach in “THE SPY WHO LOVED ME”, Diane Auger in “THUNDERBALL”, and of course Ursula Andress in “DR. NO”). Don’t you think?

    I have curated a gallery of Bond Babe Beauty on my site, for more Bond Girl inspiration:

    But, just imagine it! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Anybody with “ties” needs to get the ball rolling on this one.

    And to Natasha Poly, congratulations on being ICONIC. Worshipped forever in fashion you will be.



  25. JAMES FARIS says:

    Natasha looks great in these.

  26. Nylon says:

    my lovely natasha loving her for ever

  27. JAMES FARIS says:

    Had to look again!

  28. ebencipe says:

    Natasha is soo gorgeous.. I love her both with dark and blonde hair… A true model legend.. =)

  29. ebencipe says:

    Amazing.. one of the most versatile and successful models..

  30. chris says:

    She has the fiercest walk in the business. I’m glad she is an icon she deserves it.

  31. Ronniello V. says:

    The obsession started when I first saw her on the runway. I was blown-away by the beat of her walk, her graceful body movement, her composure, her overall performance is absolutely amazing. I love Natasha Poly! I’m a BIG, BIG fan!

  32. Damache Anamaria says:

    So sensuous.