Multitasking Models Mixing Fashion With Business And Social Causes
Thought these clotheshorses were just pretty faces? Nu-uh: these ladies prove (as we all know) that brains and beauty happily co-exist.
Straight-A student and Cambridge graduate (she scored firsts in both her first and second year exams), 28-year-old Lily Cole absolutely gives the lie to the notion that you can’t have beauty and brains. She’s followed up her educational prowess with acting – she’s appeared in St Trinians, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Snow White and the Huntsman, but it seems that a career that’s built on empathy is were her real sympathies lie. She’s been the face and ambassador for The Body Shop, promoting its Fair Trade ethos, and she’s also founded impossible.com, a social network that’s all about community, ethical living and giving back.
You’ll know her as the face of Guerlain, but that’s definitely not all this 33-year-old model mum of four gets up to. Elevated to supermodel status after humble beginnings in Moscow, which saw the teenage Natalia helping her mother out on her fruit and veg stall, she’s now the founder of the Naked Heart Foundation, which is close to her heart as it helps to provide safe upbringings for children living in urban Russian environments. In addition, it helps support families raising kids with disabilities – one of Natalia’s half-sisters has cerebral palsy. She’s done further good by co-creating the Elbi App which allows users to donate money cross-charity, including Save the Children International, Walkabout Foundation, Blue Skye Thinking and several others.
Alek’s early years were fraught – she fled, with family, to the UK in 1991 to escape the Sudanese civil war and subsequently found fame on the catwalks as the first black model who didn’t have a ‘white’ look. Now 38, she’s heavily committed to humanitarian activities as an advisor to the U.S. Committee for Refugees Advisory Council, a missionary for World Vision, an ambassador for Doctors without Borders in Sudan, and she devotes time to UNICEF too. Then there’s her design career, which has seen her create a handbag line, Wek 1933, as well as her autobiography, Alek: From Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel, which details her journey.
Pick up the latest issue of STELLAR to read about more models building business empires when they’re not on the runway. The April issue, starring Saoirse Ronan, hits shelves 9th March.
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