Russian supermodel Tatiana Zavyalova was born in Magadan, into a military family. When Tanya was 6 months old, her family moved to the town of Nikopol, then to Karaganda, Almaty, Moscow. At the age of 19 Tatiana took part in the famous contest «The Look of the Year» (later renamed the «Elite Model Look») and won the national stage. This gave her the right to go to the international final, which was held that year in Miami, and in the global competition, it was the third. Over the ten-year history of the contest Tatiana was one of the first Russians who managed to climb so high. Tatiana moved to New York. Since her participation in the final of «The Look of the Year» in the Russian modeling industry began a new era.
Tanya belonged to that generation of models, for whom the idea of being a model is a childhood dream. “The era of supermodels” was a fait accompli: the whole world know about Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Nadja Auermann. Their triumph, dazzling and unfulfilled even in wealthy countries, in Russia looked fantastic history of the inhabitants of heaven.
In 1993, when Tatiana Zavyalova decided to take part in the famous competition agency «Elite», which then still was named «The Look of the Year». In 1993 «Elite» was the most influential international agency. It was the time of its absolute triumph. History of the agency began in 1970 when its owner was John Casablancas. Agency Casablancas not just successfully worked in the fashion market. It opened a fundamentally different era in the modeling business – “the era of supermodels”.
The meaning of this victory was not only a prestigious contract with «Elite» , or the opportunity to work with well-known designers and photographers. Tanya Zavyalova victory made us believe that we can qualify for the highest position in the modeling world due to the professionalism, and not because of comforting myth that Russian women – the most beautiful in the world.
On the other hand, Tanya was alone in a huge city, she didn’t have any friends who could support her or even sympathize. Her English was poor, everything she had to learn quickly on the run, trying not to make fatal mistakes and irreparable mistakes. It soon became clear that no one will worship her as the winner. In order to achieve more, it was necessary to once again become a shy, hardworking girl. Working conditions faced by Tatiana, were often almost extreme. During one of the shootings in the south of France, she posed in a bathing suit and had to sit on wet cold stones, the air temperature was very low. At some point, Tanya complained that she was cold and tired. She was told “Think about how much you are paid, and once the weather gets warmer”.
Tatiana Zavyalova was a model of a new type, and a new generation. She was like a child with fragile proportions, confused eyes and plump childish lips. This appearance – blond hair, blue eyes, very beautiful line of her mouth – a natural and at the same time very unusual, was the secret of her success. Even in the photographs by Ellen von Unwerth, one of which appeared on the cover of the Italian «Vogue» in 1995, Tatiana Zavyalova looked a frightened girl, despite the aggressive make-up and clothes. This ability to look into the camera with the look of a child made her a star.
One of the first photographers who noticed this gift was the legendary Steven Meisel, due to his photographs Tatiana became truly famous. The scale of the photographer and his influence on modern fashion was total. Meisel – one of the founders of the modern style of luxury fashion photography. He discovered stars such as Linda Evangelista and Stella Tennant. At a time when he was shooting Tatiana Zavyalova, he was one of the most influential photographers.
1996 was a year of triumph of Tatiana Zavyalova – she appeared on the covers of magazines in different countries, from Argentina to Spain, and from France to Russia. She participated in fashion shows «Comme des Garcons», «Yves Saint Laurent», «Emanuel Ungaro», «Christian Lacroix», «Kenzo» and «Lanvin». Then, the famous photographer Richard Avedon invited Tatiana to shoot for the calendar «Pirelli» for 1997.
Calendar was sent out to VIP-guests as a gift for Christmas. Among the recipients were the Sultan of Brunei, Australia and the U.S. presidents, British princes and a whole list of celebrities. It is known that in the early 1970s in the London office of «Pirelli» John Lennon ordered a copy of the calendar. The invitation to shoot for the calendar «Pirelli» is still considered something of a Nobel Prize or an Olympic medal in the fashion business.
For the shooting of «Pirelli» Tanya was invited along with two other models from Russia – Irina Pantaeva and Christina Semyonova. Irina Pantaeva starred in the movie «Mortal Combat», and Christina Semyonovskaya became the face of fragrance «Dune» by Christian Dior. The three of them were month of September. In total that year participated in the shooting 20 fashion models from different countries, including such stars as Ines Sastre and Monica Bellucci, that was a collection of most beautiful women from different countries and continents.
Another legendary character with whom Tatiana worked was Fabien Baron. A Frenchman by birth, in the early 1980s, he moved to New York. In 1990, Fabien opened in New York City firm «Baron & Baron», which was engaged in advertising campaigns such iconic brands as «Issey Miyake», «Giorgio Armani», «Prada» and «Calvin Klein». Almost all famous brands of these posters have appeared thanks to Baron.
A further list of achievements of Tatiana Zavyalova was no less worthy. Her image – a frail woman with a strong character was loved by the fashion designer Vivien Westwood. Therefore, from 1997 to 2000, Tatiana had been involved in almost all the famous English shows. In addition, she had been the face of advertising campaigns «Cacharel», «Christian Dior», «Lolita Lempicka», «Georges Rech», «Diesel», «Wolford» and many other brands.
The experience that Tatiana Zavyalova acquired over the years of her work on the runway, may seem paradoxical. It lies in the fact that to be a star – is to remain very human. Her recipe – do not complain of fatigue and be polite. She has achieved a lot in the profession, but the most important thing in her life – family: loving husband and three daughters – are still beyond. When Tatiana is not busy working, she leads very quiet and measured life: home, family, friends . She does not like deceptive luxury of social events. She is still the same person who never tired of looking at the world through the eyes of a small child.
Having had a brilliant career in the West, she became a mother of three beautiful daughters in Russia. Tatiana didn’t give up her activity. In 2010, she came up with the idea to make a journey through the world her new profession. This is her new project – TV program “Around the World”. One of the most beautiful women on our planet opens to viewers amazing cities, countries and continents, tells the story of the most striking historical events, meets unusual people. Tatiana gladly shows the life and traditions of each country, which a regular traveler might not notice. For her, there are no boundaries. For her, all doors are opened. The program is aired every Saturday at 10.30 am on TV channel “Zvezda”.