Models

What do we know about the 12yo Russian model Zhenya Kotova?

Zhenya Kotova

Who is Zhenya Kotova?

Zhenya Kotova was born on 4 July 2007, in Russia, and is a professional model, best known from finding fame in 2015 after being featured in the Russian edition of “Vogue” magazine. Since then, she’s gained numerous professional projects, and has also built a strong online following.

The Net Worth of Zhenya Kotova

As of early-2020, Zhenya Kotova’s net worth is estimated to be over $100,000, earned through a successful career as a model. Her mother has been the primary person to handle her wealth as she is still too young to be given contracts as an individual.

Apart from professional work, she also does a lot of sponsorships and collaborations online.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Zhenya lived her early childhood away from the spotlight, but things changed when she was eight years old. She was discovered by modeling scouts, and was quickly hired to work as a child model, one of the rare talents to reach a professional level at a young age.

She made her debut on the cover of “Vogue” Russia, which gained significant attention due to her age. She showed a natural look and talent for modeling, which made her transition to the profession quite easy.

“Vogue” is a lifestyle and fashion magazine, known around the world for being one of the top fashion magazines – its Italian version, in particular, is considered the cream of the crop in terms of fashion magazines, while Vogue Russia in particular, has been known for its feature of child models. The publication started as a weekly newspaper before later transitioning to a monthly format sometime during the 1990s. There are various international editions of the magazine available, all covering stories of lifestyle, culture, beauty, and the catwalk.

Online Fame

Following her modeling debut, Kotova signed a contract with the Alessandro Borelli Milano Modeling Agency.

Zhenya Kotova

The clothing company and talent agency is known for its promotion of child models, often using them for their ad campaigns, selling various children’s wear. The agency quickly caught attention with the media as well following the success of Kotova. A few years later, she began making media appearances, with one of the most notable being on Radio Kids FM, which airs as a part of KISS-FM’s programming in Russia, and has numerous affiliates around the world.

Her work started to gain traction overseas as she had more projects in modeling. She eventually set an online account on Instagram, though it is primarily managed by her mother.

The account has reached over 100,000 subscribers, and mainly features photos of her at work. Her mother is also a model, which is one of the reasons why Zhenya quickly got work in the field. With her increasing fame, Zhenya has gained the support of several companies, gaining sponsorship contracts with several of them. She’s also worked with numerous professional photographers, as seen in some of her posts.

The Controversial Issue of Child Modeling

While it is common to see children doing modeling jobs for department stores, fashion magazines, and other companies, many professionals discourage children from getting too involved at a young age; this is because the modeling world is filled with pressure and stress not meant for children.

As many aspiring models would testify to, agents and companies can be harsh when it comes to dealings with models. They can also be highly critical when it comes to a model’s looks and physique.

While children can be built on the premise that they have worthy characteristics to succeed as a model, things can change suddenly as they are still growing up, with many changes ahead of them. A child who doesn’t have a lot of experience and maturity yet may find themselves being in a situation where they are taken advantage of by people in authority. Modeling is also a type of job that doesn’t often offer long term relationships or consistent contracts. Models are often freelance workers or contractors, and are subject to drastic changes.

Despite this, one of the unique advantages of Zhenya is the fact that she has her mother behind her. She has an authority figure who is rooting for her, and who has enough experience in the modeling world to protect her child. So Zhenya should be able to successfully transition to adult modeling, with the guidance of her mother.

Children on Social Media

Many social media websites often prohibit children from getting into their websites on their own, with some putting the bar at around 13 years of age. Without parental guidance, the lack of any support on social media can prove to be disconcerting due to the amount of information and influence available on the platform.

Children can be subjected to messages of admiration and support, but on the other side of the spectrum, there are critics, bullies, trolls, and people who will try to demean regardless of the reason. The pressures of social media have proven time and again that it can change the dynamic of one’s personality especially if he/she gives in to popular opinion. One way Zhenya has prepared for this is through her parents. Understanding that she doesn’t need to manage her online accounts means that her mother can take the brunt of any negativity from online viewers, so she can just build on her career and the positivity she’s acquiring.

Personal Life and the Future

At the age of 12 Zhenya is of course still single, busy with her education and with her budding career. Her work has led her to befriend several other child models in similar situations, and they often support each other. It is not known if she is taking any form of home education, though it is likely that she is in a curriculum that gives her enough time to dedicate to her young career. All signs point to her transitioning to an adult model, with many companies continuing to maintain good relationships with her.

About the author

Olivia Clarke

Joined Biography.Today in February 2020. Formerly Assistant Editor of Radar Magazine. Studied Journalism at City University.

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