Czech-born Karolina Kurková took the fashion industry by storm when she arrived in New York as a 16-year-old model. Almost immediately, she landed in the pages of Vogue magazine and Victoria’s Secret fashion show. But he career hasn’t been all smooth sailing.

In 2008, Brazilian newspapers caused an international uproar when Kurkova was criticized for appearing on the runway at Sao Paulo Fashion Week with “back fat, love handles and cellulite.”

The reports drew international scorn and spurred the debate about the unrealistic demands on models to be super thin.

Check out Karolina’s photos; click to enlarge.

Only two years earlier, Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, 21, died of anorexia on the eve of a Paris photo shoot. A year after her, Uruguayan Eliana Ramos, 18, died of a heart attack triggered by malnutrition.

The industry’s trade group, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, earlier this year launched programs to mentor young models entering the business and consult with them on health issues.

Meanwhile, Kurkova has continued with her career.

The 28-year-old model looked in top shape for the cover of the December issue of Elle France. Photographer Nagi Sakai shot the accompanying photos spread.

Karolina wore autumn ensembles from Dries van Noten, Dolce & Gabbana, Diane von Furstenberg and Bottega Veneta.

Her classic beauty and well-defined facial features are as prominent as ever.

Her unique beauty landed her on the prestigious cover of Vogue a year after she launched her career, and she has been a favorite of editor Anna Wintour ever since.

At the time, Wintour called Kurkova the next supermodel, and she has more than earned the title. She hass appeared on almost twenty Vogue magazine covers internationally.

Kurková has also been among the world’s top-earning models and ranked as high as 6th on the Forbes annual list in 2007.

She became a Victoria’s Secret Angel in 2005, and the following year she was chosen to wear the line’s $6.5 million fantasy bra fitted with almost 2000 diamonds weighing 800 carats.

In addition to Victoria’s Secret, she has been featured in campaigns for Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Balenciaga and other top brands.

She left the brand in 2009 and has been focusing more recently on an acting career.

She debuted in Howard Himelstein’s coming-of-age dramedy, “My Sexiest Year” in 2007, with Frankie Muniz, Harvey Keitel and Amber Valletta

She is currently working on a German version of “Next Top Model” after working as a judge on the American show for its 15th season. The German show will premiere this spring.

Check out her photos.