perfection is possible

blatherings about gymnastics

New Nastia Article [w/ pictures]

Posted by Rawles on December 12, 2008

So, in the course of her many appearances and interviews and suchnot since the Olympics, Nastia has mentioned modeling amongst things that she wanted to dip her toe into on the side. I always smiled to myself and tittered a little, good-naturedly. Maybe I went, “Aww, that’s cute,” since Nastia, though tall for a gymnast, is obviously quite petite for a real person. And for all her hardcore, glorious bitchfacing on the sidelines during competition, she seems very sweet and generally darling out of the gym when she’s not concentrating on visualizing her routines and whatnot. So I was unsure if she could port her competition fierceness over to any modeling work.


Nastia Liukin on the Cover of WWD Beauty Biz

Nastia Liukin on the Cover of WWD Beauty Biz

WWD Beauty handed her over to fashion photographer Guy Aroch to get some pictorial accompaniment for their piece on her and her marketing and endorsement adventures…

Long, lean and willowy in a sport where the athletes tend toward the prepubescent, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Liukin personifies fresh young beauty. But those who saw her compete in the Beijing games know she’s got a game face as inscrutable as a Xi’an warrior. Liukin’s ability to focus during competition is legendary. Her mother gave her the book The Secret shortly before the Olympics, and its message about visualizing success resonated. “I’ve always been so focused when I compete,” she says. “I don’t like to look around me. I do a lot of visualization. I think about my routines over and over and the right way to perform them, from sticking the dismount to saluting at the end.”

Split leaps in Norma Kamali

Split leaps in Norma Kamali

Now, she’s bringing that same single-mindedness to bear on her life beyond gymnastics. Liukin—who is a five-time Olympic medalist, four-time world champion, nine-time world medalist, four-time U.S. national champion and, in 2008, also won both the Pacific Rim and American Cup titles—counts AT&T, Adidas, Visa and P&G as sponsors, all of whom signed the 19-year-old before she won gold. She’s also got deals with the jeans company Vanilla Star, the sports equipment manufacturer AAI and Beacon Street Girls, a social networking site aimed at teens. In the spring, she’ll appear in ads for MaxAzria, while a fragrance deal and line of jewelry are in the planning stages, though nothing has yet been signed.

Posing in VPL and Rick Owens

Posing in VPL and Rick Owens

The deals range in scope: For P&G, Liukin acts as a spokesperson for the various brands. For Vanilla Star, she is featured in the ad campaign and is also introducing a denim line under the moniker Nastia’s Gold. Her goal—representing a new direction in sports marketing—is to be more than just a talking head. It’s to be a vested partner. “She owns equity in some of the companies and projects,” says Morgenstein. “You’re not having to go through a sieve of endorsement deals forever, where you get one one millionth of a penny for every dollar a product you endorsed brought in. There’s so much opportunity now for athletes to take the risk and be rewarded for it.”

In the pit in VPL

Still, it’s a feat that’s as difficult to pull off as a full twisting double back. “Our biggest question is, how long is the window?” says Mark Levy, president of Vanilla Star Jeans, questioning how long an athlete can maintain public interest. “We think Nastia will turn into the exception because of her goals and what she stands for. She’s aspirational because she wants to prove that any girl can live her dream, and her appearance on Gossip Girl will definitely rekindle excitement.”

Beauty shot in VPL and Vanilla Star

Beauty shot in VPL and Vanilla Star

To transcend her life beyond the gym, Team Liukin has created a brand positioning centered around promoting healthy living for young women. “Her message is about fighting teen obesity, getting kids active, giving kids the opportunity to have fun and be healthy,” says Morgenstein, who speaks as quickly as a Liukin tumbling pass. “There’s a certain reality to how sports works, and our goal is to put her in a position where her success isn’t tied to sports.

To be sure, it’s possible: Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Mary Lou Retton all have widespread appeal beyond athletics. P&G’s Dial thinks Liukin has crossover potential, too, particularly because, like Barack Obama, her story epitomizes the American Dream. “At the end of the day, the appeal has to go beyond the sport,” says Dial, “and for Nastia, there’s a wonderful story of how she’s Russian born and has a long lineage in gymnastics. She has the potential to broaden her appeal and connect with consumers and fans in a way that goes beyond gymnastics.”

Full Article Here

SO…that said shown:


Have a stamp of approval:

Tyra Banks approves!


12 Responses to “New Nastia Article [w/ pictures]”

  1. pdl said

    Man, you know Tyra would want to bond with Nastia so hard about their hairlines. It ain’t easy having a fivehead. :(

    Anyway, for a fake person, that’s some totes fierce shit.

  2. Rawles said

    She wooooould. So hard. It would be pretty amazing.

    Some of my favourite people are fake people!

  3. jess said

    She can be fierce, as well as soft. Tyra would be very proud. She even puts a lot of tension in her lips (in the first photo) the same way Tyra used to.

  4. […] perfection is possible – New Nastia Article [w/ pictures] […]

  5. Rawles said

    And now I want an all gymnast version of Top Model.

    The lulz! They would be endless!

  6. Jess said

    Hahah! I think I’ve watched too much reality tv when I think how easily you could conver the entire olympic team selection process into a “who wants america’s next top gymnast”

  7. Jessica said

    she is both fierce and sweet at the same time. there are lots of pics and clips that show that. if a photographer tells her that he wants her to deliver a pose or shot, i knw in a heart beat she will. right away.

    i was wondering…where can i buy this magazing? is it in stores?
    please please and thank you!

  8. TCOisbanned? said

    I think they are really over-sexualizing her.

  9. Rawles said

    Not especially. Particularly not by fashion world standards.

    Plus, she’s 19. She’s allowed to be a little sexy if she wants.

  10. TCOisbanned? said

    Too fakey and stylized for me. But whatever floats…

  11. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
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    You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your blog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  12. I used to be suggested this web site through my cousin. I am no longer certain whether or not this put up is
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