Paulina Porizkova

Born: Prostějov, Czechia, 1965

Paulina Porizkova was born in 1965 in Czechoslovakia and is one of the best-known European models of all time.

John Casablancas the head of Elite model agency discovered Paulina after her friend, hoping to impress as a photographer, sent in photos of Paulina. Once her photos had been seen at Elite Paulina was brought to Paris to start her modelling career. Paulina’s lucky beginning in modelling took her by surprise, so did her instant success: “I thought everybody did covers when they first started modelling. I didn’t think there was anything amazing about it.”

Paulina’ career took off quickly and she was a near instant success in Paris. It was in the first half of the 80s when she appeared in Sports Illustrated magazine three times that she began to gain recognition in America. Her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1984, aged 19, made her the youngest ever model to feature on their cover. She also posed for the cover of Playboy magazine in 1987, which further heightened her success.

From the very start of her career Paulina was achieving success that some models only dream of, this was helped by her talent being very versailte as she moved from Sports illustrated covers one year to high end fashion campaigns the next. One of Paulina’s best-known campaigns was for Estee Lauder. The long running six million dollar black and white campaign was highly regarded in the fashion industry and was the most lucrative in fashion history at that time. Paulina is well known for her swimsuit calendars, one in 1988 and another 1989. The calendars, shot by Marco Glaviano, were hugely popular and sold thousands of copies.

In 1999 Paulina was presented as one of the ‘Modern Muses’ by US Vogue, this high accolade was just one of the many successes throughout her career as her striking looks found popularity both on the runway and with advertising campaigns. Paulina has also appeared in magazines Vogue, Elle, Glamour and Cosmopolitan among others, she was also selected by ‘People’ magazine as one of the world’s most beautiful people in both 1990 and 1992.

Through her work as a model Paulina has been shot by some of the most respected photographers in the industry and she has also had the honour of appearing in books by great photographers including Patrick Demarchelier, Marco Glaviano and Herb Ritts.

Paulina was always keen to work in more industries than modelling alone, in an interview in 1989 she voiced her dissatisfaction with modelling: “”People are shocked when I say I love the money and hate the job, but it isn’t very creative to stand in front of a camera all day.” So alongside her work as model Paulina has also worked as an actress, after becoming a mother 1993 Paulina dedicated more and more of her time to acting and has appeared in many independent films including, ‘Anna’, ‘Arizona Dream’ and ‘Thursday’.

Paulina also appeared in a music video for band ‘The Cars’ during the filming of this she met Timothy Hutton, as well as modelling and acting Paulina has also entered the literary world, she co-authored a children’s book with writer Joanne Russell and in 2007 she published her debut novel ‘A Model Summer’. Paulina has continued her writing work and currently writes for the Huffington Post.

In 2011, she expanded her horizons by exploring the world of television, appearing as a judge on the reality competition show “America’s Next Top Model.” As an accomplished author, Paulina added another dimension to her career in 2015 by releasing her memoir, “The Other Woman.” This intimate and introspective work delved into her personal journey, shedding light on the highs and lows of her life as a supermodel and the challenges she faced along the way.

Throughout these years, Porizkova’s personal life also garnered attention. In 2018, she announced her separation from her longtime partner, musician Ric Ocasek, after nearly three decades of marriage. Despite this personal setback, Porizkova remained resilient and continued to thrive both personally and professionally.

In 2020, she made a triumphant return to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, dazzling audiences with her radiant beauty and confidence. Her inclusion in the magazine at the age of 55 shattered age barriers and redefined beauty standards, inspiring women of all ages to embrace their bodies and celebrate their individuality.

Paulina Porizkova  Biography

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Written by Roanna Price

Roanna Price, fascinated by the escapism, imagination and conversation that can be conjured in the glossy page of fashion writing. Journalism graduate in Liverpool Roanna is responsible for our Top Model Biographies section.

2 thoughts on “Paulina Porizkova

  1. Paulina Porizkova married Ric Ocasek, lead singer for The Cars, whom she met on the set of The Cars’ 1984 video for the song, “Drive”. Timothy Hutton did direct the video, but that’s about it.

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