In 2021, Paulina Porizkova broke the internet with a “full-frontal nude” photo taken for the cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia — without any filters or photo editing.
“It’s unretouched,” Porizkova confirmed.
“As soon as it came out, Twitter was like, ‘Well, fine, retouch [the photos] and then sure, they’ll look fine,’” she continued, recalling the online skepticism she faced when the images were first unveiled.
“It’s like, no, no, no … it was Marie [Tomonova’s] photography! Obviously, you know, you could take a much worse picture than that of me, but you wouldn’t want to see that on the cover, right?”
In fact, the Czech-born beauty didn’t even realize her stripped-down photo would appear on the magazine’s cover.
“I just thought we were screwing around, quite frankly,” she told us of the “very chill” and “casual” shoot at her home. “You know, we were all just hanging out, speaking Czech, having a good time taking some pictures … I figured we’d have a page or two in the back of Vogue.”
A few days later, the team approached Porizkova to ask about running the revealing image on the front of the issue. She enthusiastically agreed, and the glossy was unveiled “exactly four decades” after her first German Vogue cover, a coincidence she said “kind of freaked [her out].”
“My very first Vogue cover was in May 1981, and it was an extreme close-up on my face,” she remembers. “I was 16 and I thought, ‘Oh my God, the pinnacle of a career is to be on a Vogue cover.’ And then it came out, and you can’t even tell who it is. It’s just a close-up of eyes and a nose. I was like, ‘Oh, great, thanks.’”
Cut to 40 years later, and there’s no mistaking Vogue Czechoslovakia’s latest cover star. Porizkova said she’s been “thrilled” by the overwhelmingly warm reception to her shoot.
“Look, when you’re full-frontal nude on the cover of Vogue at 56, I hope it would have some attention,” she said with a laugh.