Adriana Karembeu is a Slovak model and actress and former Guinness record holder for the longest legs among female fashion supermodels. Raised by her grandparents until the age of five, Adriana opted for a career in medicine following her physician mother, for whom she has a great deal of love and admiration. After being noticed by a modeling agency in a beauty contest held in college, she entered the fashion industry and her life changed dramatically. With a perfect body and a sleek figure, she quickly rose to become one of the stars of the catwalks of haute couture and posed for international brands. Throughout her illustrious modeling career, she has graced the covers of many fashion magazines including ‘Vanity Fair’ and ‘Maxim’. She is also a well-known actress and has appeared in several movies. In addition to her work on the big screen, she is an eminent television personality and has appeared in various shows—as a presenter in ‘Tops Models’ and a contestant in ‘Dancing with the Stars’. She is also a successful businesswoman and a notable humanitarian who aptly uses her fame to help others. Once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest supermodel legs in the world, she serves as a classic example of beauty and compassion.
Childhood & Early Life
She was born as Adriana Sklenarikova on September 17, 1971, to Slovak Czech father, Miroslav, an engineer, and his mother, Zlatica, a physician. She has a sister, Natalia Sklenarikova, who works as a lawyer in Paris.
When she was born, her parents were still students in their respective fields, therefore she was raised by her grandparents till the age of five after which she came to live with her parents. She is very close to her mother and has great admiration for her. She also revealed that her father had been cold and distant from her.
She studied for several semesters at the Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague. In 1997 while she was in the third year of her studies, she was noticed by a recruiter from a French modeling agency on the occasion of a beauty contest.
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She signed her first contract for the catalog ‘Les Trois Suisses’. Her first photo shoot for the catalog was scheduled on a beach in the Bahamas.
She quickly emerged as the queen of the catwalk and walked for major brands such as ‘Thierry Mugler’, ‘Rochas’, ‘Karl Lagerfeld’, ‘Givenchy’ and ‘Lanvin’. In less than a year, she became one of the most sought-after models of the late 1990s.
Later, she was chosen to be the face of lingerie brand ‘Wonderbra’. She also became the advertising face of top labels such as ‘Victoria's Secret’, ‘Roberto Cavalli’, ‘Majestic’, ‘Onyx Jeans’ and the Czech brand ‘Škoda’. She appeared on the covers of many magazines including ‘She’, ‘Vanity Fair’, ‘Harpers Bazaar’, and ‘Maxim’.
In 2004, she played a gogo dancer, alongside Gérard Jugnot, in the movie ‘The Three Girls’. The following year, she introduced her line of cosmetics ‘SILICON +’.
She also forayed into television and hosted a show ‘Domenica In’ on RAI Uno, the largest chain of Italian television channels. Later, she also hosted ‘Top Models’, a reality show promoting girls to the rank of models.
In February 2007, she returned to the big screen with a fictional TV movie ‘Adriana et Moi’, opposite Bernard Yerlès. She played herself in the movie, a catwalk star who meets a small florist and falls in love with him.
Since March 2010, she has been serving as an ambassador of women's football for the French Football Federation (FFF).
In 2011, she appeared as a contestant on the first edition of the show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ on TF1, alongside dancer Julien Brugel, but was eliminated in the semifinals.
In 2012, she co-hosted ‘Extraordinary Powers of the human body’ alongside Michel Cymes, on France 2. The same year, she presented a new docu-reality on M6 dealing with the complexities of married life.
Awards & Achievements
In 2006, she was voted the sexiest woman in the world by ‘FHM France’.
In 2009, she was the given the award for ‘Style Icon’ at the ‘Vienna Fashion Awards’.
Personal Life & Legacy
From 1994 to 1997, she dated an English singer, Mick Hucknall.
In 1998, while on a flight from Milan to Paris, she met Christian Karembeu, a French footballer. Soon they fell in love and were married in December 1998. In March 2011, she announced the news of their separation. She suffered from a miscarriage early in her marriage and has no children.
In June 2014, she married an Armenian businessman, Aram Ohanian, after being in a relationship with him for three years.
In 1999, she used her fame to benefit humanitarian causes and began to support organizations in the fight against landmines. A year later, she was recruited by the ‘Red Cross’ for their first aid training campaign.
In 2004, she participated in a sale transaction auction operation organized by the NGO ‘Reporters Without Borders’ to provide financial support to the families of 29 journalists imprisoned in Cuba. She also serves as an ambassador of the ‘French Red Cross’.