Her first American Vogue cover, photographed by Steven Meisel, dates back to 2001. Karolina Kurkova was 17 at the time and had recently moved from Prague to New York. Mileage legs, velvet skin, wheat-blonde hair, she is one of the first to make her mark in the new wave of Eastern European models, which includes Daria Werbowy, Eva Herzigova and Natalia Vodianova, among others.
In twenty years of career, she accumulates prestigious campaigns with the greatest photographers, from Bruce Weber to Mario Testino through Steven Klein. She appeals to artistic directors who matter, especially Grace Coddington, Carine Roitfeld and Franca Sozzani. She also has tried the path of cinema, following a pattern shared by some top models of the time, such as Shalom Harlow and Milla Jovovich. Her lasting influence in the fashion world is explained by her ability to position herself on several levels, to be both in the pages of Vogue and on the Victoria's Secret show, and in social networks.
Today, also an entrepreneur, Karolina Kurkova co-founded Gryph & IvyRose, a brand based on a preventive approach to well-being, following the motto: “Grow wild, grow well” which offers herbal preparations, probiotics and bath products. First aimed at children, the brand is now also aimed at adults. “As a child and teenager, I spent a lot of time in the countryside with my grandparents. My grandmother always treated us using herbal remedies that she prepared herself, like her mother before her. I met my future partner, Orion Nevel, when I took my whole family to his acupuncture practice. My other partner, Rachel Finger, was also a fan of Nevel: a mother of twins who were only 28 weeks old, she had seen the extraordinary results. Our products are based on traditional Chinese medicine. We try to develop in the most authentic and organic way possible, we really want to educate and be a source of inspiration for children and adults using all the channels available.”
Karolina Kurkova lives in Miami with her husband and two children. “It's fantastic to be able to enjoy the outdoors so much, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding. And then Miami is an international city where my children can learn other languages, meet children of many nationalities. Our house is comfortable, elegant, but above all pleasant to live in. We favoured natural materials, wood and stone, played on the black / beige contrast with a few touches of gold or rose gold, using fabrics with a raw finish, such as cotton, linen. What is most precious are the large hand-blown glass chandeliers from Lasvit, a Czech company located in a small town near where I grew up.”