Russia is known for a lot of things, the Cold War, colder weather, roulette, vodka and who could forget…hot models. This should come as no surprise considering the physical traits Russian women typically have. Fair skin, green eyes, and high cheek bones are just some of the most common physical characteristics of Russian women and these traits add up to make a lot of gorgeous models. Their striking looks appeal to people all over the world, making it possible for Russian models to become international models. Many of the highest paid models in the world are of Russian descent.
So, as it turns out, vodka is not Russia’s hottest commodity – the models are. They grace the covers of magazines, walk the runways of the hottest designers, and represent some of the world’s most famous brands. Although it may be cold in Russia, the models there are certainly hot. Here are 12 of the hottest Russian models.
12. Sasha Pivovarova
Sasha Pivorarvoa had never dreamed of being a model, until photographer Igor Vishnyakov gave photos he took of her to international modeling agency IMG. She signed with the agency in 2005 and then walked the runway for Prada and was quickly signed on for a three-year exclusive modeling contract with the brand. Pivorarvoa has gone on to model for Christian Dior, Chanel, Valentino, Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, and many more high end brands. Thanks to her piercing glare, gorgeous blonde locks, and dramatic heart-shaped bone structure she’s considered one of the hottest Russian models in the world.
11. Natalia Vodianova
Natalie Vodianova, nicknamed Supernova, began walking Paris runways at the young age of 17 and has now walked in more than 300 shows. The model’s baby blue eyes, sun kissed skin, and ombre locks have modeled for a number of brands including Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Givenchy, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, and more. She’s also graced the cover of major magazines like Vanity Fair, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Elle Magazine, Glamour, and more. A beauty inside and out, Natalia founded the charity Naked Heart Foundation, which provides children in urban Russia with safe places to play.
10. Natasha Poly
Natasha Poly is a Russian bombshell who began modeling locally at the age fifteen in Perm, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. After being discovered by Why Not Model Agency, she made her first breakout walk for Emanuel Ungaro in 2004, and went on to walk in 54 fashion shows that year alone. Natasha has appeared in many high-end designer campaigns including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, and more. With appearances on fifty different Vogue covers, this svelte Russian beauty appears to be an unstoppable force in the modeling industry.
9. Anna Kournikova
Without Anna Kournikova, this list of the hottest Russian models would be incomplete. Known more for her long blonde locks and beauty than her tennis skills, this former tennis player gained celebrity status through her romance with Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias, and her many lucrative endorsements. She’s appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, FHM and Maxim. Anna also joined the season 12 of The Biggest Loser as a celebrity trainer and in November of 2011, Men’s Health named her one of the “100 Hottest Women of All-Time.”
8. Katja Shchekina
Frequently mistaken for being a Brazilian model because of her looks, Katja Shchekina is actually Russian. She has walked the runway for popular designer brands such as Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney and Victoria’s Secret. Shchekina has also done advertisements for Dolce & Gabbana, Juicy Couture, Adidas, and Neiman Marcus. Her exotic looks mixed with her Russian descent easily makes Katja one of Russia’s hottest models.
7. Anne Vyalitsyna
Russian model and actress Anne V is best known for her ten-consecutive-year (2005-2014) run of appearances in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After winning a modeling contest sponsored by IMG and MTV, she moved to New York to become a model. Anne has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle and Glamour, and walked for fashion brands such as Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Givenchy. The blonde bombshell also dated Adam Levine.
6. Daria Werbowy
Daria Werbowy is best known as the international spokes-model for Lancôme cosmetics. It took her a while to get her break in the modeling industry thanks to a series of unfortunate events. Her first runway season and bookings were cancelled after the attacks on 9/11 in New York City. She lived in Greece and London afterwards, but was unable to find much work. She decided to give modeling one last shot and traveled to New York to meet with her agent. The next day she landed an exclusive contract with Prada. To date, Werbowy has worked for various fashion brands such as Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Roberto Cavalli, Gucci, Hermès, Valentino, Missoni, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Chanel.
5. Tanya Dziahileva
Tanya Dziahileva is a runway model known for her striking face and gorgeous blonde locks. She signed with IMG in 2004, and made her debut in September 2005 during Paris Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week. She quickly became one of Russia’s hottest models and walked in shows for Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Hermès, Alexander McQueen, Missoni and Versace. We can certainly understand why it didn’t take long for Tanya to make her mark.
4. Daria Strokous
Daria Strokus started her career as an exclusive model for Prada, a few years ago in 2007. The following year V Magazine named her one of the top models of 2008. Her striking green eyes and high cheek bones make her simply irresistible to watch on the runway. Strokus has appeared on the covers of Vogue Italia, Numéro, Vogue Japan and Vogue Russia. She has done campaigns for Dior, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Juicy Couture and many more top brands.
3. Natalia Belova
Natalia Belova made her modeling debut at the fall Georgio Armani and Rochas shows in Milan and Paris over 10 years ago, in February 2003. Her full lips and striking green eyes caught the attention of designer brands and people all over the world (and we can see why). Belova walked in a number of high end shows including Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and more. Additionally, she’s modeled for Cotton Club, Ice Iceberg, Jets and Valentino fragrance.
2. Valentina Zelyaeva
Valentina Zelyaeva is a successful and stunning Russian model, who has appeared on the cover of the Spanish, Chinese, Greek and Mexican editions of Vogue. Her runway credits are impressive as well, including modeling for brands like Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci and Valentino. She is the face of Ralph Lauren and in 2007, she was named one of the highest paid models in the world by Forbes magazine. Valentina is often referred to as the perfect example of a ‘classic Russian beauty’.
1. Irina Shayk
Russian Model, Irina Shayk has steamed up the pages of Sports Illustrated for the past eight years and has modeled for popular clothing brands like Guess, Rampage, Victoria’s Secret and Lacoste. She’s appeared on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and many more. With her extraordinary full pout and gorgeous curves, it’s no wonder the smoldering 29-year-old model is one of Russia’s hottest. Oh, and did we mention she dated Portuguese football star, Cristiano Ronaldo for 5 years?