Vogue editor Anna Wintour called her the "next supermodel".
Kurková is among the world's top-earning models, having earned an estimated $5 million in the year 2007. She was placed 6th in the Forbes annual list of the highest earning models.
Early life and career
Karolína Kurková was born in Děčín, Czechoslovakia, to Josef Kurka, a Czech basketball player, and a Slovak mother. While Kurková was young, she was made fun of for her height. But after a friend sent photos of Kurková to an agency in Prague, she – at 15 – landed a runway appearance, as well as a commercial and print advertising. She later traveled to Milan to gain more experience and signed a modeling contract with Miuccia Prada.
In September 1999, Kurková appeared in the American edition of fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue, and, after moving to New York City at the age of 17, graced the cover of the February 2001 edition.
Following her Vogue cover, Kurková became recognized at haute couture fashion shows. Additionally, the lingerie brand Victoria's Secret chose her to be a part of 2000's fashion show webcast, though she was only 16 at the time. Prominent fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent signed Kurková to contracts, while print campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, John Galliano, Chanel, Christian Dior, Hugo Boss, Versace, H&M, and others helped expose her even more. In the 2002 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, she wore the "Star of Victoria" Fantasy Bra, worth almost $10 million. Other runway credits of hers include Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Calvin Klein, Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, and Vera Wang.
Kurková was named "Model of the Year" at the 2002 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards, in part for her work ethic, having worked twenty-three weeks straight. Photographed by Steven Meisel, she was presented on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue as one of the "Models of the Moment".
Kurková has appeared on over 25 Vogue magazine covers internationally, including the French, Italian, UK, German, Russian, Greek, and Korean editions, and has also appeared in international editions of Elle, Vanity Fair, and The Face. She has worked with noted fashion photographers like Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, and Mario Testino.
After being contracted as a Victoria's Secret Angel in 2005, she was featured in the 2006 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, showcasing the $6.5 million "Hearts On Fire" Fantasy Bra decked with almost 2000 diamonds weighing 800 carats (160 g) with a centerpiece diamond brooch weighing 10 carats (2.0 g).As an Angel, she received a star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" prior to the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, appeared on the February 2008 cover of Esquire, re-creating the classic 1966 Angie Dickinson cover for the magazine's 75th anniversary, and was chosen as part of People magazine's 100 most beautiful people in the world.
In December 2007, she could be seen in print ads for Dell.
In the last Cía Marítima fashion show, Kurková's unexpectedly heavier physique brought criticism from the Brazilian press as having "too much back fat, love handles and cellulite".
Kurková has a smooth indentation in place of a navel due to surgical operation she had as an infant,and photographs are often altered by the addition of an image of a navel to hide this.
Kurková is represented by Viva Models Paris.
In November 2008, E! Entertainment Television voted her the world's sexiest woman, beating the likes of Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Gisele Bündchen, and her fellow Angels Heidi Klum and Adriana Lima.
Kurková modeled for Bottega Veneta spring 2011 campaign in a classic Hitchcock-esque style.
Kurková made her film debut alongside Frankie Muniz, Harvey Keitel, and Amber Valletta in Howard Himelstein's coming-of-age dramedy, My Sexiest Year. She played Courtney A. Kreiger / Cover Girl in the live action 2009 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra film. She was a guest judge on the fifteenth season of America's Next Top Model and fourth season of Germany's Next Top Model.
She appeared on the 2008 Academy of Country Music Awards along with Dwight Yoakam in presenting the "Top Female Vocalist" award to Carrie Underwood.
In September 2010, Karolína guest-starred on NBC's Chuck season 4 episode, "Chuck Versus the Suitcase". She played Sofia Stepanova, an enemy spy posing as a supermodel.
Kurková appeared alongside German model Eva Padberg on the reality television show Das perfekte Model, a model casting-show similar to Germany's Next Top Model. The show aired in spring 2012 on German television broadcast VOX. The show was canceled due to low rating in summer 2012.
Kurková made a guest appearance on television series 30 Rock in Season 6, Episode 9 titled "Leap Day" in February 2012.
She lives in New York City's TriBeCa district and enjoys courtside basketball games at Madison Square Garden.
Kurková revealed that she has suffered from hypothyroidism, which caused her to gain weight.
In July 2009, she announced she was expecting her first child with her fiancé, Archie Drury. The couple welcomed son Tobin Jack Drury, on October 29, weighing in at 6 lbs. 3 oz. Kurková revealed that Drury proposed to her whilst on holiday in Cape Town, South Africa and they were married in 2009 before the birth of their son.
In March 2006, Kurková received an award from the non-profit organization "Women Together" for her humanitarian work. Kurková was honored for working for the welfare of children through organizations such as "the Beautiful Life Fund", "Free Arts" and "Global Youth Action Network". Karolína Kurková received the Atmosphere Magazine Award at the Madrid Planet Hollywood restaurant on December 18, 2003.
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