Born and raised in Karvina, in the former Czechoslovakia, Petra Nemcova has taken the modeling world by storm. Nemcova modeled for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue in 2002 and the following year appeared on the magazine’s cover. In addition to her work for SI, the Next Agency model graced the pages of Elle, Harper's Bazaar, and the French magazine Madame Figaro, and modeled for several companies, including Max Factor, La Perla, and Cartier.
She is also known for her work as the founder of the charitable organization Happy Hearts Foundation, after her survival of the 2004 Thailand tsunami. She has discussed her near-death experience on ABC’s “Primetime Live” with Diane Sawyer and CNN’s “Larry King Live.”
Meet Petra Nemcova
Expertise: Philanthropy, Education, Fashion
Location: New York and London
Interests: Creating joy for my loved ones and others, creating strategies to help and empower others or creating art through photography.
Background: Born in The Czech Republic.
Why did you curate the Double Happiness Square and what do you love about it? Jack Dorsey has brought a super-exciting technological innovation to the market and Vivienne Tam has made it fashionable. In addition, they have done something very meaningful! They have chosen to support the Happy Hearts Fund, which rebuilds children’s lives after natural disasters. I call this triple happiness.
Favorite meal: Home cooked Sunday roast with my loved ones.
Recent purchase: A present for my man at the Diesel store.
Hidden talent: Qualified sky diver.
Book recommendation: Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch.
Restaurant recommendation: Bouley in NY – Very chic restaurant that offers an amazing dining experience with many delightful dishes, as you get a little surprise between each course. Great for a romantic dinner. Lure in NY – delicious food with fun, buzzy energy. Great service and people. Perfect for dinner with friends or for a relaxed business dinner. Kampa Park in Prague – Romantic restaurant with Czech and international cuisine next to the famous Charles bridge and the river Vltava.
If I had $20, I’d… Get something that would bring a smile to the face of others. Whatever would bring them meaningful joy.
Transformative travel experience: I'm lucky enough to have had the opportunity to travel to many corners of the world through my work and the Happy Hearts Fund. I have a transformative travel experience almost every day. One specific occasion was teaching at a primary school in Indonesia in July 2010.
Favorite neighborhood: Hampstead in London, but I love any neighborhood where my loved ones are.
Dream holiday: Experiencing culture, learning, relaxing and laughing with my fiancé, family and friends.
If I could solve one problem, it would be: People’s disconnection from each other and the focus on "me, myself and I." I wish we would all express the compassion that we’re capable of.
I wish people cared more about: The similarities we have instead of our differences. We have so much more in common than we realize.
Recent big aha!: Getting engaged to my true love.
The world would be a better place if: We focused more on the impact our actions have on each other and future generations.