The supermodel opens up about her second pregnancy and how motherhood has changed her perspective
“To me, birth is the most unbelievable thing that women can go through, there’s no achievement that can describe that moment, that feeling of ‘I’ve done this’. It’s incredible, it’s exhausting, it’s crazy and to be able to go through that changes you as a woman.” Karolina Kurkova may be a supermodel, she may have appeared as the face of countless fashion campaigns and walked the runway of almost every big-name designer there is, but when we catch up with the pregnant 31-year-old on the phone from Miami, she proves to be down-to-earth and thoughtful, talking candidly about the changes motherhood brings. Already a mother to a five-year-old son, Tobin, Karolina admits that with a little one to run after, pregnancy the second time around has been a different experience. “You don’t have that much time to think about every move. There definitely are moments when you’re like ‘Oh sorry baby, you’re in there, I haven’t forgotten about you!’” she laughs.
She may have her feet firmly on the ground but Karolina’s life is anything but ordinary. Discovered when she was 15 after a friend sent pictures of her to a modelling agency in Prague, the Czech teenager quickly shot to stardom, signing a contract with Prada and scoring her first cover with US Vogue at just 17-years-old. Anna Wintour famously dubbed her ‘the next supermodel.’ Fast forward 16 years later and Karolina is still at the top of her game, with pregnancy failing to slow her down. Now in her third trimester, she recently attended the Spring/Summer 2016 shows in New York, sitting front row in a series of statement expectant looks, including a fringed 3.1 Phillip Lim coat and shirt dress from NINE IN THE MIRROR.
After so many years in fashion, it stands to reason that Karolina knows a thing or two about how to dress, but dispensing style advice appears to come naturally. She has created a hashtag, #kkstyle, for her legion of followers on social media (@karolinakurkova), on how to emulate her playfully chic looks. “I’m not that into trends. For me it’s about keeping it simple. I’m really more about quality pieces that will never go out of style, things I’ll never get tired of.” When it comes to maternity dressing, she says it is all about investing in a few key items. “It’s definitely a bit trickier – you’ve got to have the right pieces, as you can’t just go to your wardrobe and think, ‘Right, what jeans am I wearing today?’ because you only have the few options with the special waistband.” Aside from expectant essentials such as leggings and denim, “It’s about finding pieces that you can transition from when you have the belly, to when you don’t.” Her go-to piece during pregnancy? “A great button-down [shirt]. I of course get bigger sizes as they have to be longer or have space for the belly so the buttons don’t pop off! There’s something so stylish and pulled-together about a button-down. You can roll up your sleeves, leave them down, button it up all the way to the top for a preppy look or leave it open to show off a great necklace or beautiful lace lingerie that just pokes through.”
Expecting another boy (which she revealed on a video announcement via Facebook) she has so far enjoyed a happy second pregnancy. “I’ve been feeling really good. I’m in the gym as much as I can. I do my strength training, my bands or a little weight training and I always make sure I roll out every time after my workouts.” She hasn’t been struck by any crazy cravings and has stuck to a healthy diet. ”I’m making sure I’m eating the right foods.” This means protein, leafy green vegetables and lots of fat, No, she doesn’t mean doughnuts and fried chicken, (she is a supermodel after all) rather she has been eating “avocado, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut cream, coconut milk, lots of eggs. I’m constantly being mindful [of eating healthily] and making sure that I’m feeling good, that I have the right energy for my son, my husband, the people around me…”
Karolina may live a glamorous life, but she is endearingly honest about the pressures of motherhood and the impossibility of perfection. “It’s not always easy, it is hard, it’s overwhelming. We live in such a fast world – we’re expected to do five different things at once,” she says, pausing for a beat before going on in a mock voice, “’Well how come you’re just a mum, shouldn’t you be on a cover ten times and shouldn’t you have ten companies, blah blah blah’. It’s important to step back, be in the moment, be present. Yes it takes time, but [being with your family] is something you can’t buy or bring back.” She credits having Tobin to giving her a fresh perspective. “You really realise what’s important.”
When asked what she loves about being pregnant, she says,“The whole experience. It always amazes me that there’s a human being, with heart, soul, brain, bones, blood and everything growing inside of you and I think there’s nothing more incredible to experience.”
Karolina with her son Tobin
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Words by Amanda Woodward-Brown
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