Yesterday, we promised you a whole week of exclusive one-on-one interviews with the stars of The Face, and you better believe we’re sticking to our word! Hot on the heels of yesterday’s confidential with the one and only Naomi Campbell— yeah, we still can’t get over that either— we’re bringing you up close and personal with fellow supermodel and style-setter, Karolina Kurkova!
Known for drop-dead gorgeous looks and spot-on red carpet style, Karolina has received countless honors for her supermodel work, most notably being named on People’s ‘The 50 Most Beautiful People List’ and the youngest model to win VH1/Vogue’s ‘Model of the Year’ Fashion Award in 2002. From modeling the Fantasy Bra on the Victoria’s Secret runway to appearing in countless editorials for the world’s leading glossies, Karolina has more than enough experience to bring to the table as a model mentor, the evidence of which is apparent in our chat with the supermodel. The Czech beauty had quite a bit to say on the topic of career advice and what it takes to be a fashion star— a role she’s well versed in, considering she also took home a Modelinia Style Award for 2012’s ‘Risk Taker of the Year!’ So without further adieu, check out our must-see interview with Karolina below! And don’t forget to check back tomorrow for the next edition of our The Face Confidentials!
Well, this is really my second time working on a TV show. I was also on Germany’s Next Top Model, so I already had a little bit of experience working with producers and being on camera. It’s an incredible experience learning how a show comes together and the format and the idea—it was really stunning! But with reality TV, you have to be careful, because you never know. You could look good and it can go very well, or it can be not so good. Also, I wanted to do something that I was passionate about where I was able to really do something special. It’s easy to be in a show just to get famous, but I didn’t want it to be for that reason. I was really ready to do something that I really cared about and after coaching the German show, I really knew that this was what I liked and this was what I was interested in. When the network and production called to ask if I would like to do the show, at first I gave them a really hard time and was asking a lot of questions because from that first show I knew, “well I already did this,” and “how is this going to be different from this,” so by the end I learned that they were really going to do something special and something that was professional and on a high level. And just knowing that Naomi was going to be involved, I knew it was going to be good. Naomi has been doing this for a long time and she wanted it to be great. And it was! I haven’t seen the episodes yet, but we had a blast and we worked really hard and put our hearts and souls into this and the girls gave us their everything. They put their lives on hold to be there and to do this, which I was so impressed with and found really inspiring. And it was worth it. It was worth it for them and I really learned a lot from them. It was a great experience.
What qualities were you looking for when you were choosing your team?
Because we had to choose four girls, I wanted to find four different girls, not just one look or one type of girl. I was really looking for versatility, so I would have a chance to win, since you never really know what people are looking for and I wanted to make sure I was covering my bases. I was really looking for girls who were passionate, who really wanted this and were professional and willing to work really hard for it. Also, that they were good people with a great personality and were not just pretty, but also positive, driven and open.
Well we talked to the girls about a lot of things. We got very intimate and spent a lot of time together, but there were a lot of conversations about remembering who you are. One day you could have it all and when all of that attention comes in and people start to notice you, you need to keep your feet on the ground. It’s important to remember that you may have it all today, but tomorrow you could have nothing. So always remember to be a good person and be professional because your reputation is key. And that’s not even just relevant to modeling, that can work for life. Also, because this is a competition, if something didn’t happen they way they wanted, or if they messed up, I would tell them not to look back, always look forward. I wanted to keep them positive and motivated, so it’s important to always look forward.
Surround yourself with the right people. Always listen to your gut. Even when you’re young, you might think, “oh, I’m really young I don’t have experience,” and you might question your thoughts, but listen to your feelings. And do some research, meet with professionals in your local area, ask a lot of questions, check them out and make sure you’re working with a legitimate agency. Go on Modelinia or Models.com and do your research, check out who these people are and you really have to work hard. It’s not just about showing up and looking pretty, you have to be willing to work hard and to face rejection.
You know, I actually don’t get to watch much TV. I’m quite busy between my work traveling, modeling, doing the show, spending time with my son and being a wife. By the time I get to bed, I’m like “ughhh!” So, I don’t really get to watch that much TV, but a show that I have been watching and that I kind of fell in love with because my husband is a marine is Homeland. He really wanted me to watch that show because he is a former marine, so when we can sometimes when everything is done and our son is asleep we sit on the couch and watch Homeland.
You were the winner of Modelinia’s Fashion Risk Taker Style award for 2012. Do you have any tips for those looking to take a fashion risk? How do you distinguish between a good risk and a risk you should stay away from?
Of course, you have to think about what you’re doing, but it also has to feel right. You don’t want to try too hard to be cool and fashiony. It should all just come together. And it’s all about how you carry yourself and your attitude. If someone else picked up the Rachel Zoe dress and turban and didn’t carry it the right way and wasn’t believing in the hat wrap and everything, it could go the other way. If you’re taking a risk, you have to believe in it and own it! Then people will be like, “wow she is really wearing that!”
My husband gave me a collage of a lot of our old pictures together that he had cut out himself and framed for me, which was very sweet. I like thinking outside of the box and doing something different. Of course, flowers are nice, but I also like doing something that is different. I don’t like something that is perfect. I mean I’m a classic girl, but I like being original.
They’re going to see a lot! They’re going to see these girls work and us too. These girls are more than just models. They have to style themselves, they have to come up with the hair makeup concept, pick the photo concept, pick the pictures and edit them, present the pictures to the client, so they have to do a lot! You really are going to get a look at the whole industry. It’s not just about how to walk and pose—it’s very intense. Also, there are so many amazing people on the show! I can’t give away all of the names, but the brands and the personalities that they work with are all respected and established by the fashion industry and you are going to get to see their real modeling jobs. You’re going to see their magazines and online work, from social media to runway images to photography, I mean there’s so much. It’s really everything that a real model would have to do. Like interviews and being able to talk, and being able to change and be a chameleon, walk in runway, develop concepts. Supermodels have to know how to do all of that.