Walking runways and appearing on the cover of magazines before she was legally allowed to drink, her lifestyle did not allow much room to explore interests, take classes, or discover new ideas. Now, after almost 11 years of modeling, Prague-born model, Linda Vojtova is still searching for what brings her the most joy in life and discovering her true passions by focusing on new projects. She started a jewelry line aptly titled Love Linda Vojtova, has had a 10-year retrospective celebrating her career in the industry, and has continued to be involved with her biggest passion: charity work.
RG: You’ve been modeling a long time now, about ten years right?
LV: Almost 11. I love it. I didn’t at first. I think you have to grow into it. I feel like when I was much younger, nobody really cared about my opinion. And I was 16, why would they? But as you grow up, you realize that you have something to offer to people. You’re in the world and everybody is like “you’re beautiful” and you’re this and that. But you’re 17 years old, thinking “I don’t get it. Why can’t I just be home and just go out and get drunk and do crazy things that teenagers do?”
RG: And you can’t because you’re in the public eye.
LV: Yes, but you don’t get this feeling as much when you’re a little older and that you fully understand what your role is in your job, and what you can actually do for others.
RG: Tell me about your new jewelry line.
LV: It’s coming out in October; it’s a new line from a company called Gitanjali, which made a line called Love Universe. All my life I’ve loved dogs and I’ve done a lot of charitable work for dog shelters, so I wanted to create a line for people who love their dogs and want to have their dog with them all the time [by using] pieces that don’t scream “dog” when you look at somebody who’s wearing it.
RG: You had the launch party in Las Vegas this past June, right?
LV: Yes, it was in June. We had Rosario Dawson host the event. She’s part of the Love Pledge, which is part of a movement that Love Universe is doing. You donate 1 percent of your annual income and 1 percent of your annual time. You don’t need to sign a contract. If you want to do it, you do it. According to numbers, by 2020 if half the world does it, it will be the largest charitable movement in the world ever.
RG: Wow! What charities do you work with?
LV: I work a lot with Sunflower Children, which is my best friend’s charity. I know Helena [Houdova, former model and founder of Sunflower Children] from when she first started. I was looking up to her and thinking what an amazing person she is. We ended up meeting and then lived together in New York. When I did my 10-year anniversary exhibition, the proceeds went to her charity. Her charity is one of the biggest that I support.
RG: Going back to the jewelry line, are you very “hands on” with it?
LV: Completely. I actually take jewelry classes and made this ring myself. I wanted to understand the process of how all the jewelry gets made and how stones look with each metal. I really believe that you have to try everything, because if you don’t try you’ll never know if you like it. Before, I was really afraid of trying things because I didn’t know if I would be good at it. I had never done anything besides modeling. I started so young. And it’s kind of nice to start new things, and you’ll probably fail a few times but something great will come out of it.
RG: You had a reception for celebrating your 10 years in fashion, “Love Linda”. Can you tell me about that?
LV: You know, when you say you’re doing a show about one person, it’s tough because it can end up being kind of boring, but this ended up being great because every picture was so different. It was really showing the talent of each photographer. We got some amazing names in the photography world! The interesting thing is that all twenty of them did something completely different. They just had me as subject, and some did super crazy things. Like Anthony Maule had me in this one dress looking super robotic, but then somebody else shot me with a super natural look.
RG: Talking about love and projects, do you see yourself continuing with this charity work, continuing modeling, or both?
LV: I’ll definitely continue modeling until I don’t enjoy it anymore. I want to find more passions and do as much as I can to make myself busy. I was always struggling with what I wanted to be. What do I want to do? Well, maybe I’ll know when I’m 22 or something. So then I hit 22 and I said, maybe I’ll know when I’m 24. And at 24 I still didn’t know. And I think if you keep thinking like that you’ll never get anywhere. So, do I know what I really want to do one day? No. And unless I try things, I won’t know. I want to take different classes. It happens that you have lots of days off when you’re a model and it’s so easy to just turn on the TV on and watch it all day. But I would like to spend the time I have to just do and learn different things, like cooking or working on my poetry skills.
RG: You seem to keep yourself quite busy! Do you get any vacations sometimes?
LV: I love to travel. Actually, I’m leaving tomorrow! We’re going to Turkey and we’re going to be sailing to Greece. Then we’ll be in Prague for my brother’s wedding. And then we’re going to Israel. Traveling is going to open whole new worlds to me. I am so excited about it. I wasn’t so open about learning new things before, now, it’s like I am getting addicted to it.
Photographer: Nicholas Ong
Model: Linda Vojtova at One Management
Makeup: Cyndle Strawhecker for NARS cosmetics
Hair: Amy Farid at Kate Ryan for Bumble & Bumble
Retouching: Petteri Lamula
All jewelry: Love Linda Vojtova