Supermodel Karolina Kurkova has walked countless runways and graced so many magazine covers, it might be hard to believe that once a upon a time, she felt like a “tall, skinny nerd” growing up in the Czech Republic.
In the latest edition of Net-a-Porter’s online magazine, Kurkova talks about how she started out—and where her career is heading now that she’s on the cusp of turning 30 (!). Check out 10 fun facts we learned about the supermodel, right here:
1. These days, Karolina Kurkova is known for her brilliant smile, but growing up, she never wanted to show her gnashers: “I thought my teeth were too big,” she said.
2. Her first big break came in late 1999 when Anna Wintour picked her for a shoot with super-famous photographer Steven Meisel. “He said my smile was beautiful,” Kurkova said. “So I started smiling!”
3. Karolina Kurkova is 29 and still going strong! So much for that myth about model shelf life.
4. She actually loves her job. “I know I’m lucky to do this work,” she said. “I get to express myself and work with creative people. So I don’t think of it as work; it’s what I love.”
5. Karolina Kurkova is 5’11″—and height runs in the family. Her dad was a famous basketball player in the Czech Republic.
6. Her workouts of choice? Pilates and kickboxing.
7. Lipstick is her secret weapon. “Even if I don’t have time for anything else, I have to have lipstick,” she said. “It makes me feel ready for the world.”
8. Her favorite designers and labels are Celine, Alexander Wang, and Christopher Kane. And her favorite clothes? “I love a dress I can wear with flats to play with my son, but then I can add a great pair of pumps, maybe a jacket, a cool piece of jewelry and I’m ready for a meeting,” Kurkova said.
9. How does she balance a busy work schedule with family life? “That’s always the first discussion at home,” she said. “Have we been traveling a lot? How much quality time as a family have we had? As a mother, I’ve started to ask: Why am I doing this job or that job? Do I believe in it? It has to be good for the family.” She, her husband, Archie Drury, and their son, Tobin Jack, recently moved to Miami. “We have peacocks walking around our property and manatees in the ocean,” she said. “It’s where we want to live while our son is small, so he’s able to run and be in nature.”
10. As for what’s next: “The next phase of my life will be about building my brand,” she said. “I need to find the right idea and the right team. It has to have integrity, and I want to be part of the process.”