Russian girls have always been famous for their beauty. The first ardor for Russian girl models began just after the Russian revolution of 1917. This was the first wave of Russian models abroad (mostly in Europe), when many of the aristocratic class had to escape their native land and to search for a way to survive in other countries. Young nice-looking Russian girls worked as models with the dressmakers as they were not used to hard work in their former lives.
The second wave of Russian models began at the end of the 80's when the so called "iron curtain" fell and many beautiful Russian girls went to conquer the west looking for a better life and easy money. And some of them actually achieved real success. The first of them were Kristina Semenovskaya, who became the face of Dior at the age of 18, Olga Pantushenkova representing the Cacharel brand and Diana Starkova - Chopard.
We are now in the first decade of the new millennium and the world has begun to notice the third wave of Russian girls in the modeling business. There is great interest in all aspects of fashion and Russian girls makeup. Probably the most successful and famous Russian model till now is Natalia Vodianova. Her story of coming from a distant province in Russia to Paris and becoming a cover girl for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and the face of L'Oreal - plus her marriage with an English nobleman - is a dream for every Russian girl who wants to become a model. It is a classical Cinderella story for Russian girls throughout the former Soviet Union.
Can any Russian girl become a model? Yes, if she is beautiful and has the height 172 to 180 centimeters, which is not really typical for the average woman, and the measurements of 90-60-90. This mathematical formula is not a designers' fancy, or even a morbid sign of the times, but a production necessity. The camera makes everyone look fatter and a woman with a normal figure will look rather plump. Also nice long hair is an essential requirement for the trade. These high requirements are not only restricted to outward appearance. Models should also have socializing skills and the ability to talk and support any subject of conversation. You may ask why do so many Russian girls want to become models? The answer is quite apparent. Models seem to always attract attention. They stand out. Fancy parties, catwalks, shootings for fashion houses in Milan and London are the usual timetable for a model. Models seem to incarnate a bright and glamorous way of living. They appear to always be around celebrities and there is always the possibility that a model will achieve celebrity status herself. As a rule models become a beacon for imitation and many of them become famous in areas outside of modeling such as politics or acting after they quit modeling.
A prominent example of such carry-over celebrity in Russia was Anna Azarova. At 16 she went to Paris to try her luck with the Idol modeling agency. She made it big working with Armani, Paco Rabanne and Comme des Garcons. And suddenly one day she decided to break her contract, return to Moscow and make her acting debut on TV playing herself as a top Russian model who returns home after many years in Europe. Now Anna's has achieved real fame in Russia and every Russian girl in every little hamlet wants to follow in her footsteps and perpetuate the third wave.