Petra Němcová

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Petra Němcová
Němcová in 2018
Born (1979-06-24) 24 June 1979 (age 44)
Karviná, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Modeling information
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorHazel
  • Jonathan Sanders & Co (Worldwide)
  • One Management (New York)
  • Marilyn Agency (Paris)
  • View Management (Barcelona)
  • Place Models (Germany)
  • Next Models (Milan)
  • Stockholmsgruppen (Stockholm)[1]

Petra Němcová (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpɛtra ˈɲɛmtsovaː]; born 24 June 1979) is a Czech model, television host, and philanthropist who founded the Happy Hearts Fund. In 2017, the Happy Hearts Fund merged with All Hands Volunteers to create All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response, with Němcová assuming the role of co-founder and vice chair.

Early life[edit]

Němcová was born in Karviná,[2] then Czechoslovakia, now the Czech Republic, and grew up in Karviná in the Moravian-Silesian Region with her sister Olga.



Scouted on the streets of Prague by NEXT Model Management, Němcová moved to Milan, Italy, upon signing with the agency. After winning the 1995 Czech Elite Model Look, she returned to Milan where her career flourished.

She has featured in campaigns for Benetton, Bulgari, Cartier, Clarins, Cortefiel, Dirk Bikkembergs, Fortunoff, Graff, Hewlett-Packard/Intel, HS, Intimissimi, John Lewis, Lancaster, La Perla, La Senza, Maidenform, Max Factor, Pantene Pro-V, Passport, Playtex, Rampage, Schwarzkopf, Victoria's Secret, and Wild Orchid.[2] Němcová has appeared on international covers of Harper's Bazaar, Madame Figaro, Elle, Shape, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Flare, Glamour, L'Officiel, and Sports Illustrated.[2]

Němcová has walked for designers including Lolita Lempicka, Gai Mattiolo, Matthew Williamson, Guglielmo Cappone, Marina Babini, Yumi Katsura and Michiko Koshino.[2]

Němcová gained attention outside the fashion industry after featuring on the cover of the 2003 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, from a shoot in Barbados by Walter Iooss. She also appeared in the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 editions.[2] She was the object/subject of Joanne Gair's body painting work.[3] In January 2015 Němcová replaced Abbey Clancy as the face of Ultimo underwear.[4] She also serves as the global face of Chopard.


In 2001, Němcová appeared on British television series Absolutely Fabulous.[5] On 3 June 2004, she was one of the telecast judges during the 53rd annual Miss Universe competition in Quito, Ecuador. In 2007, she was the host of TLC's A Model Life. On 7 July 2007, she was a presenter at the American leg of Live Earth.[2] Němcová was a contestant on season 12 of Dancing with the Stars with dance partner Dmitry Chaplin, reaching the 4th week before being eliminated.[6][7]

In 2005, Němcová published her autobiography Love Always, Petra (ISBN 0446579130).

In the 2008 TV special, A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa, muppet lab assistant Beaker tests a wish machine and causes Němcová to appear.[8]

2004 Boxing Day tsunami[edit]

On 26 December 2004, Němcová was in Khao Lak, Thailand, with her main photographer and boyfriend, Simon Atlee, when the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami struck.[9] Atlee drowned and Němcová suffered a broken pelvis and serious internal injuries, but she managed to hold on to a palm tree for eight hours until she was rescued by Thai civilians and airlifted to an inland hospital nearby.[10]


Němcová serves on the advisory board of the Glamour's Women of the Year Fund.

Her autobiography, Love Always, Petra, was released in 2005 from which 100% of the proceeds were donated towards helping children affected both by the 2004 tsunami in Thailand and ongoing natural disasters worldwide.[11]

Happy Hearts Fund[edit]

In 2005, Němcová founded the Happy Hearts Fund (HHF), a charitable organization and campaign formed after the tsunami of 2004.[12] The main mission of Happy Hearts Fund has been to rebuild and renew schools affected by natural disasters. As a result of programmes run by the Happy Hearts Fund, 176 schools have been rebuilt world-wide in 10 countries including Thailand, Indonesia, Haiti, Nepal, Peru, Mexico and The Philippines. Němcová has been heavily involved on an every day basis since establishing the Happy Hearts Fund, helping to establish long term strategies, as well as outlining the vision which has led to the organisations long term success. Her personal experience during the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami gave her a deep understanding of the power of Mother Nature, allowing her to connect with those in need, bolstering the success of her work through the organisation. In late 2017, the Happy Hearts Fund merged with fellow non-profit organisation All Hands Volunteers to create All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response. As a result, Němcová now acts as co-founder and vice chair of All Hands And Hearts alongside All Hands Volunteers founder David Campbell.[13]

All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response[edit]

Němcová currently acts as co-founder and vice chair of All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response (AHAH).

All Hands And Hearts - Smart Response is a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing fast and effective support to communities hit by natural disasters worldwide. Amongst the first to respond and often to last to leave, All Hands And Hearts have helped to rebuild schools and homes across the globe, positively impacting over 105,000 children in disaster hit areas.[14] The mission which Němcová outlined through the Happy Hearts Fund continues to be fulfilled by an international team of dedicated volunteers, to date numbering over 50,000, working in over 18 separate countries. Němcová herself has spoken about the importance of connecting with and understanding the needs of those in need of hope, empowerment and immediate aid, stating that, "We cannot control nature, but we can control that actions that we take."[15]

As of June 2018, All Hands And Hearts has positively impacted over 1 million individuals affected by natural disasters, helping to rebuild 208 schools and hundreds of homes in over 95 different locations, spread across 18 individual countries.[14] To date, 97 programmes have been launched in countries including Nepal, Peru, Mexico, Japan, Indonesia and the United States.

Němcová in 2012.


Glamour magazine awarded Němcová a "Survivor Award" in 2005 for her charity work following her tsunami ordeal.[citation needed]

In June 2012, she was designated by president of Haiti Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe as Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti for her work with Happy Hearts Fund.[16]

In 2017, Petra was appointed by the UNISDR as a Disaster Risk Reduction Champion and Tsunami Awareness Advocate.[17]

She has been a vegan since 2007 and has paid close attention to life in the world's oceans.[18]

She was briefly engaged to English actor Jamie Belman before the couple ended their relationship in 2012.[19]

In May 2014, Němcová told People that she was dating the Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe.[20] but as of 2015 they were no longer together.[21] In 2017, she became engaged to investment banker Alejandro Grimaldi before the pair called off their engagement in December 2018.[22]

In 2019, Němcová married entrepreneur Benjamin Larretche in Sedona, Arizona.[23] Their first child was born on 15 November 2019. He was premature, born at 34 weeks' gestation, and spent the first weeks of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit.[24]


  1. ^ "Petra Nemcova - Model".
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Petra Nemcova". The FMD -
  3. ^ "SI Swimsuit Collection: Petra Nemcova". Time Inc. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  4. ^ Ultimo. "Petra Nemcova for Ultimo photos are out, and more news".
  5. ^ "Petra Nemcova". IMDb. [unreliable source?]
  6. ^ Derschowitz, Jessica (2 March 2011). ""Dancing with the Stars" pairs revealed". CBS News.
  7. ^ "'Dancing with the Stars' twelfth-season partner pairings announced". Reality TV World.
  8. ^ William D. Crump, The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3d ed. (2013), p. 300.
  9. ^ "2004 Tsunami: Petra Nemcova, the supermodel who survived the Boxing Day tragedy" Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  10. ^ "Nemcova hospitalized with hip, internal injuries". ESPN. 29 December 2004. Retrieved 31 December 2008. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. ^ "petra-nemcova". petra-nemcova (in Russian). Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  12. ^ Nemcova, Petra (18 March 2010). "Restoring the Lives of Children After Natural Disasters: How You Can Bring Happiness Back". Huffington Post.
  13. ^ "World Impact - Happy Hearts Fund (HHF)". Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  14. ^ a b "All Hands and Hearts - Smart Response | Powered by Volunteers". All Hands and Hearts. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Petra Nemcova | All Hands". All Hands. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Model Petra Nemcova's charity work in Haiti honoured". The Independent. 13 June 2012. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022.
  17. ^ "UN Appoints Tsunami Survivor as Global Advocate - UNISDR". 2 November 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Petra Nemcova is speaking out against overfishing". 3 August 2009. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  19. ^ "Petra Nemcova and Jamie Belman Call Off Engagement". People. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Petra Nemcova: I'm 'Very Happy' Dating Laurent Lamothe".
  21. ^ Sontag, Deborah (29 May 2015). "An Award for Bill Clinton Came With $500,000 for His Foundation". Newspaper. The New York Times. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  22. ^ "Statement from Petra Nemcova and Alejandro Grimaldi - PR News".
  23. ^ Juneau, Jen; Leon, Anya (19 September 2019). "Petra Němcová Is Pregnant! Model, 40, Expecting First Child with Husband Benjamin Larretche". People. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  24. ^ WENN (27 November 2019). "Supermodel Petra Nemcova reveals she's a new mother on Instagram". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 1 June 2020./amp

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