Eva Herzigova is a Czechoslovakian born model and actress whose versatile career has spanned twenty-six years. She comes from a modest family of five with parents who encouraged their children to work hard and stressed the importance of perseverance and commitment. They encouraged their daughter to find another career field as a back-up plan in case modeling proved unsuccessful. Without modeling lessons, she didn’t know what to expect when she entered her first modeling competition at the age of sixteen. Despite her lack of training, she won the competition in Prague and eventually headed to Paris where she launched a lucrative career. She quickly rose to international fame in the modeling world, appearing in both print and television advertisement campaigns for several well-known companies worldwide. Renowned as one of the supermodels of the 1990s, her name is recognized amongst models such as Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Helena Christensen to name a few. Her career includes a successful transition to film where she is credited for appearances in seven feature length films and one short film. Today she continues to work in the modeling industry, appear in films, and play the role of mother to her three children.
Childhood & Early Life
The model-actress has two siblings, a brother and sister. Her mother was a secretary and her father was an electrician and former professional swimmer.Herzigova and her siblings were very athletic during their youth. She was involved in multiple sports, including gymnastics, basketball, track and cross-country skiing.
Initially, she thought her older sister had a better chance of becoming a model. In 1989, when her sister didn’t want to participate in a modeling competition in Prague, Herzigova decided to enter and won.
After winning the competition, she left home with plans to model for three months, however, she was approached by a Paris based modeling agency and began her lengthy career.
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Starting from 1992 she represented ‘Guess?’ jeans in print advertisements and she continued her association for the next two years. Also in the same year, she appeared in her first film, the UK TV movie ‘Inferno’ alongside several fellow supermodels.
Her stint with ‘Guess?’ fast-tracked her modelling career and she was flooded with offers for assignments and endorsements. She became a model for ‘Maybelline Cosmetics’ in television and print ads from 1995 to 1998. During this period, she also starred in two films, ‘Guardian Angel’ and ‘L’amico del Cuore’.
Her most important modeling campaign began in 1996. She was chosen to represent ‘Wonderbra’ in print advertisements for two years.
From 2000 through 2004, she appeared in three movies.In the film ‘Just for the Time Being’, she played the female lead. She also appeared in the feature length ’Modigliani”, and the short film ‘Twisted Tango’.
‘L’Oreal Cosmetics’ signed the model for television commercials in 2008. The following year Herzigova appeared in television commercials for ‘Dolce &Gabbana Women’s Fragrance’ alongside fellow supermodels.
Additional film roles came in 2013, in ‘Cha ChaCha’ and a year later in ‘Storyteller’. She was cast as the female lead in both films.
Her most recent project is the 2014 fashion art film ‘Imagine Fashion Presents: Decadent Control’. The film can be found on the ‘Imagine Fashion’ website.
Her first important work was appearing in the 1994 advertisements for ‘Wonderbra’, which gained international attention. The first billboard advertisement featured the model in a black ‘Wonderbra’ accompanied by the phrase ‘Hello Boys’.
She not only starred in the 2004 short film ‘Twisted Tango’ but she also acted as producer and costume designer. This increased her involvement in the film industry.
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2006 brought her further attention when she was chosen to represent Venus at the ‘Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony’. The ‘Winter Olympics’ were held in Italy, home of her partner Gregorio Marsiaj, and represented the rich culture and history of the country.
Awards & Achievements
In 2000, she won the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ for ‘Best Actress’ at the ‘New York International Independent Film & Video Festival’. This award was in recognition of her work in ‘Just for the Time Being’.
The ‘Wonderbra’ campaign brought her international attention, providing her with additional opportunities to expand her career. In 2011 the billboard ad was voted ‘Most Iconic Outdoor’ ad by ‘Outdoor Media Centre’.
Personal Life & Legacy
Eva Herzigova was previously married to musician Tico Torres from 1996. The marriage ended in divorce two years later.
In 2002, she began a relationship with Italian businessman Gregorio Marsiaj. The couple has three sons, George, Phillip and Edward.
In 2003, she sued Canadian retailer ‘La Senza’ for breach of contract. The model asked for $36,000 US Dollars when ‘La Senza’ refused to pay her for a catalog photo shoot. ‘La Senza’ reached an out of court settlement with the model.
Herzigova has chosen to live a more simplistic and environmentally friendly lifestyle. While pregnant with her first son, she watched Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, which brought about a greater awareness for the environment.
With a career including both modeling and acting, Eva Herzigova has amassed a net worth of $8 million US Dollars. Her claim to fame is ‘The Miss Wonderbra Campaign’ in the 1990s, which brought her international recognition.
In 1998 the model was linked to Leonardo DiCaprio, but the relationship was never confirmed.
Stanley Kubrick offered her the role of Mandy in ‘Eyes Wide Shut’; however, she turned it down because of too many nude scenes.
In 2003 ‘La Senza’ refused to pay the model for a photo shoot because of her shortened hair. This led to a lawsuit which was later settled out of court.