Date of Birth: 1984 Place of Birth: Decin, Czech Republic Nationality: Czech Hair Color: Blonde Eye Color: Green Height: 5' 11" Agency: DNA Model Management, Why Not (Milan)
Campaigns: Celine, Chanel, Christian Dior, eLUXURY.com, Express, Furla, Giuliano Teso, H&M, Hugo Boss fragrance, La Perla, Louis Vuitton, Mango, MOGA, Plein Sud, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, Versace, Victoria's Secret, Yves Saint Laurent, Zeki
Covers: Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Numero, Glamour, Flair, Telva, Marie Claire, Elle, Nova, Photo, W
Shows: Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Anne Klein, Antonio Berardi, Calvin Klein, D&G, Dsquared2, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Douglas Hannant, Fendi, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Jil Sander, Krizia, MaxMara, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Rocco Barocco, Rochas, Sean John, Sportmax, Strenesse, Viktor & Rolf, Zanella, Chanel, Givenchy, Azzedine Alaia, Anna Sui, Behnaz Sarafpour, Custo Barcelona, Lagerfeld Gallery, Lanvin, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Matthew Williamson, Narciso Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab, Emanuel Ungaro, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, Anna Sui, Balenciaga, Bill Blass, Carlos Miele, Carolina Herrera, Celine, Chanel, Chloe, John Galliano, Luella Bartley, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta, Paco Rabanne, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Valentino, Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Anna Molinari, Blumarine, Byblos, Chado Ralph Rucci, Costume National, Emilio Pucci, Hussein Chalayan, John Galliano, Marni, Prada, Samsonite BlackLabel, TSE, Vera Wang, Viktor & Rolf, YSL Rive Gauche, Zac Posen
Born in the town of Decin, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) on February 28th, 1984, Karolina Kurkova had a slight taste of what celebrity would be like, as her father Josef Kurka was a star basketball player. As a child, her height made her relatively awkward and gangly, but that would all change with age.
A close friend recognized her beauty and sent photos of Kurkova to an agency in Prague. Kurkova immediately landed a runway appearance, not to mention a commercial and print ad. Still, being a model in the Czech Republic did not expose her to what fashion was really about, so Kurkova took a chance and traveled to Milan to gain some more experience.
There, Miuccia Prada (the designer behind the famous brand name) signed her to a contract that proved to be the beginning of her stellar career. On September 7th, 1999, Kurkova's hard work as a 15-year-old model culminated in a meeting with some Vogue editors in New York. She impressed them immediately and the execs began to slowly groom her for success.
A move to the Big Apple and hectic work schedule ensued. It all paid off when Kurkova finally made her presence known in the February 2001 issue of Vogue. One of the youngest models ever to grace its cover, the magazine helped propel her to stardom. She was now recognized at haute couture fashion shows and Victoria's Secret swept her up and chose her to be part of that year's television special, in November. Even fashion houses like Yves Saint Laurent took note of the stunning beauty and proceeded to sign Kurkova to deals.
Print campaigns for Tommy, Valentino and others helped expose Karolina Kurkova even more, while she headlined the second Victoria's Secret show the following year. The constant flow of work (she is said to have worked 23 weeks straight) was recognized by Vogue as they honored her with the "Model of the Year" title at the 2002 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.
The usual contracts with big designers such as Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta and Balenciaga continued, and a recent tally put Kurkova's magazine cover appearances at 60 and counting. She is revered as much in the fashion world for her personality, which is described as intense and energetic, as for her looks. This attractive attitude leaves little doubt that Kurkova will emerge as a legendary supermodel; even Vogue editor Anna Wintour called her the "next supermodel."
Living in New York's TriBeCa district with her longtime boyfriend, Karolina Kurkova is able to separate herself from modeling enough to enjoy courtside basketball games at Madison Square Garden. We only hope that she can keep up this frenetic work pace or realize that sometimes, less is more.