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Billie Eilish

Teenager from remote Russian town draws pop superstar Billie Eilish for Vogue cover

Sixteen-year-old Nastya Kovtun is the youngest person ever to design a Vogue digital cover

The 18-year-old US pop superstar Billie Eilish might seem worlds away from Chaykovsky, a town in Russia's Permsky Krai. But in the latest instance to prove that Generation Z has no borders, a depiction of the singer by Nastya Kovtun, a 16-year-old resident of the city, was chosen via Instagram to serve as a Vogue magazine digital cover.

The town, which lies just over 1,200 km east of Moscow and has a population just over 80,000, was founded in the 1950s as a settlement for hydroelectric plant workers. It was named after the 19th-century composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, who was born in the nearby town Votkinsk.

“Kovtun, who drew Eilish in a Louis Vuitton dress, is now the youngest person to have ever held a Vogue digital cover,” Vogue reported on Monday. She and another young artist, Kaylee Young from Canton, Michigan, were recommended by Eilish, and both at first did not believe that they had been selected when contacted by Vogue. The singer has liked 15 Instagram posts by Kovtun, who was inspired by Eilish's moody music and as a result now has nearly 10,000 Instagram followers. Kovtun’s Instagram bio is to the point: “I'm 16 and I love to draw.”

Since the announcement, Kovtun has received attention from the state media and various tabloids, who have reported on her success. Ivan Urgant, one of Russia’s most popular television hosts, also gave Kovtun a shoutout on his late-night show.

Kovtun told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper: “About a year ago, I happened to hear a song by Billie and I became interested in her work. It turned out that she is so young, but was already very successful. And I realised that I can do the same thing—develop and achieve something, regardless of age.”

Kovtun said she plans to stay in Chaykovsky for now. “I have not thought seriously about the future yet, but I love Chaykovsky,” she told the newspaper. “And now you can develop regardless of where you live, because there is internet.”