Nikol Švantnerová won Miss Czech Republic in 2015. Before that she had mostly been known in Asia, where she'd been doing modelling since the age of thirteen. Thanks to the beauty pageant she got into the consciousness of the Czech public, which helped her get a job in the field at home. The beautiful brunette has many fans on Instagram, whom she tries to motivate towards a healthy lifestyle. In her interview with Luxury Prague Life, Nikol opened up not only about the hardships a model sometimes goes through, but also about her love for football and, most of all, football players...
I actually haven't seen you since Miss Czech Republic, which happened four years ago. Tell me how your life has changed since then.
Drastically, but mostly because I wanted to change it myself. During those four years both my personal and work lives have changed, and overall I feel like I've matured. After all, I was 22 when I won, and now I'm 26, at this age you've got your priorities in order. So I feel like literally everything has changed.
You were already a model back then, and had a huge amount of experience compared to the other girls that competed with you. Did competing in Miss Czech Republic help you then?
Definitely, because I didn't work much around here, I mostly worked abroad and I decided to sign up for Miss Czech Republic specifically because I wanted to settle here a little, because I missed this 'normal life'.
It definitely helped. By being ambitious and pursuing my goals, that's how I got where I'm at even four years later, I think. I have a job, I think people know me, so it definitely helped.
Are you in contact with the girls that were there with you back then?
Very little, sometimes we meet at events, but I can't say we hang out during our private time at all.
And what do you think about what happened to Miss Czech Republic later? With you guys and the year after, they still had a somewhat prestigious approach, but what came of Miss Czech Republic later simply doesn't live up to it.
Of course, what happened a year or two after us is that the management changed. When it's handled by people who do not understand it and only want to profit off of it, not thinking about what's best for the pageant, then that's when it, excuse my language, all goes to shit. So I washed my hands off it too. Of course, Miss Czech Republic is dear to my heart and it will always be so, it really helped me and I feel like it's a part of the Czech Republic, but then you see where it's going and that it's not a direction you like, and you don't want to associate with it.
So I took a break from Miss Czech Republic for two years, and this year a completely new management took over. Literally everyone got replaced and they even got back their collaboration with Prima TV. They got together with Slovakia, so it's supposed to be a Czechoslovakian thing, and many good partners came back too. People who understand it returned, the ones that were there in my day, so I hope that this year it's got a chance to start getting to where the pageant used to be before.
Of course you can't do it right away, everything is gradual, but we need this. We don't have that kinda pageant here, even though we do have a few that try to reach that level, but Miss Czech Republic still has Miss Universe, aka the most prestigious beauty pageant in the world. Moreover I think that the media and people are still zoned in on it and wonder whether it will or won't happen. So we'll see. Of course I was sad, but I hope that now it will finally be approached correctly and will be heading in a good direction.
Didn't you even have trouble with unfavorable contracts at the time?
Of course the contracts weren't extra favorable, they were for three years and it was quite complicated. But the first year tends to be the hardest, that's all about whether they want to screw you over or not. On one hand, for me the change in management was a bit of a disadvantage, because I was getting demands from management that had nothing to do with me.
It was more complicated. On the other hand you have to watch those girls, because you never know what might happen. I think that a three year or a five or more year contract is terribly stupid. A year or two is more than enough.
Are you working for an agency right now?
I'm not, I have my manager and I kinda made all of my contacts myself, so I mostly function all on my own, and then with my manager, but it's not like I have any exclusivity as a model, no.
I found out myself that that isn't even really possible. You have so many offers that I wouldn't even be able to do everything and I know what I'm doing already. I know what I want from it, if I can arrange it myself, why not. I've mainly been doing many of these things for many years, so I work with my clients on a friendly basis. That's why it's much easier for me.
Who do you work for, do you have any regulars?
I've been working with Puma for four years now, which is probably the best collaboration for me, because it's related to something that I love, and that is sport. I love to wear those clothes in my daily life as well, and most of all, I grew up with that brand. As I was starting out, they too were entering the market, so to speak, and I see how they helped me grow, so it's just really kind of nice.
Then I've got Huawei, for example, whom I've also been with for almost four years, and then many other clients. There's really a lot.
When there's that whole controversy that's going on with Huawei right now...
Yes, but for me that's mostly this big inflated bubble. I feel like it doesn't concern me. I like the brand. I can't say anything bad about them. I've been with them for four years, I've had phones by them for four years. Nothing's ever happened, I never had a problem. I actually kinda feel like it's a bit about competition.
You don't feel like you're being spied on at all? (laugh)
Absolutely not, I really think it's an inflated bubble, and if it doesn't concern me at all, I don't feel like getting into it. I have a phone, I'm satisfied, and that's that for me.
And what kinda job would you turn down? You have a lot of followers on social media after all, you're followed by many young girls for example, who'd like to be like you one day, so do you have the tendency to lead by example? Are there any collaborations that you deliberately turned down because of this?
I'm the type to really only agree to collaborations that deal with products I personally use, that are a part of my daily life, because I don't just wanna take pictures with a product and get paid.
I'm well aware of the power of Instagram, that many people follow me there, that if I'm recommending something, it's really because I'm satisfied with it. Naturally I do not endorse hard liquor. I'm not saying I don't promote any alcoholic drinks. I personally enjoy some flavored beers or champagne. I have no problem with that.
But I don't like promoting hard liquor, I don't like promoting smoking and things like that, because I do not indulge in those things myself. No fast food chains either. I've had a lot of offers from fast food chains actually, and I just don't wanna do it. I lead everyone towards exercising more, living healthy. Of course I don't always follow that myself, I do sometimes go to a fast food joint, but I don't want to promote it.
Same with plastic, but that way I probably wouldn't be able to do anything, I think. There it's more up to everybody, how they approach it, how they deal with their waste at home and such. So I'm like, I try not to be a sellout. On one hand there's money in it too, we all know that, on the other I don't ever want to make my Instagram an advertisement site and nothing else, and I don't want to sell out for anything that I do not really use.
How many followers do you have?
I recently broke two hundred thousand.
I assume they contact you a lot. Do girls ask you about diets, lifestyle, or do boys ask you out on dates?
The boys have quieted down lately, because I think that everyone knows, since it's no secret, that I'm taken and happy. We have a lovely relationship. So everyone kinda knows it's not worth to even try. However I try to communicate with fans.
Sometimes it's really hard, answering hundreds of messages is not possible, but I try to communicate with them. They contact me about all sorts of things, be it healthy lifestyle, exercise, clothes, travelling, to asking about how I edit my photos. It's so many questions in so many different fields. I try to answer everything, that's why I run the account.
How much time does that take, even?
It takes a lot of time, but I try to always set aside the time for it. Of course I've already told myself that I can't answer everything. If there's a day when I end up getting 150 messages, I can answer fifty, and then it's hard to get back to them because every day there are more and more new messages. So sometimes I feel really bad, but I try to answer everything, be it on Stories, or in a post, I try to please everybody.
You used to date Jakub Hora, now you're with Patrik Dressler. You said that after Miss Czech Republic your personal life changed as much as your professional life; did you mean this swap in particular?
Yes, everyone blew it out of proportion, that it's the Miss disease. Me and Kuba made it two more years after Miss, so I absolutely refuse to believe there was any "Miss disease" in it. There had been problems for a long time, it was just about getting there. So this change happened during those four years, and I'm glad for it. For this swap, as you say, because it really helped me in my professional life too.
I feel like, if a person is mentally well and has a good environment at home, it reflects into their professional life too. Patrik really supports me, most of all, which I didn't really get in my previous relationship. From Patrik I feel that he's proud of me, whatever it is that I manage to do, and whatever I need - to get something transported, to get accompanied to an event, he's there for me. That's really important to me too.
I'm baffled that it's always a model and a sports player. And this is your second football player, even.
Might be the fourth one actually (laugh)
See, are you that drawn to football? Your dad is a coach actually, right?
My dad coaches and my bro plays, so I've always been in that environment. I feel like once you fall in, it just stays around you, you have no chance to meet anybody else.
I have to admit that I am drawn to sports players, and with how he supports me, we talk about my job, I support him too, and we talk about his job. I like football, I enjoy it, so it's easier to talk about it. That played a bit of a role in it. I just feel like once you stumble into it, you have no chance to crawl out.
Do you go to matches too?
I do, I do. When I broke up with Kuba, I kept on getting contacted by football players, and I said then that I have no chance to find anyone different, because no one different contacted me, no businessman or a hockey player.
Might be fate. I'm also curious, do you still travel a lot, or are you, as you said, settled with your job in the Czech Republic?
I don't do modeling abroad at all anymore. I feel like I'm too old for it too...
But you're only 26!
Unfortunately. I remember than when I traveled out I was thirteen, sixteen years old. I feel like I'm too old, and I like to be comfortable, too. I can't imagine going somewhere for a month at this point, I like my privacy, my comfort. But thanks to working with Instagram too, I travel abroad a lot with my business partners, with clients, to many foreign events, for example, so I travel a lot thanks to all that.
At the same time, I really found myself in travelling. My income doesn't only fund purses and clothes anymore, which is what I did when I was about 23, when I was kind of all over that. Right now pretty much everything goes into travelling, because I enjoy it and it fulfills me. I found a way to link it to Instagram too, because people are really interested in it.
I'm not the type to go on a luxurious holiday, more like, we take the car and go on a roadtrip and discover various places, so I like that I inspire people with that, help them discover new places and give them tips. It's this link for me, that I learned to travel and link it to Instagram. Sometimes you can utilize it well, when you get a hotel room for free, because you take a nice picture there, that's what's great about Instagram.
How do you manage your time? He surely must train a lot as a football player, must have matches, there's the football season.
It's hard, but we got it set up so that any time we have two days off, we pack our stuff and go, almost don't sleep, travel at night, do pretty much anything just to enjoy it a little. We really put all of our free time into travelling. Then, God forbid, there's two weeks of vacation finally, and that's like a miracle to us. That's what's a bit hard about it, but I learned to think of myself a bit, so when Patrik doesn't have time off but I do, I take my mom, a friend, my bro, and go with them. If I have the option, it'd be a pity not to take the opportunity.
You told me that you wanted to be a model for the rest of your life, but that you also feel old. What are you going to do once you're over thirty?
I really don't know, it depends on how my personal life will go, then there'll be kids, so it'll also depend on that, but I try to take care of myself, so that I can still look good after thirty, I think that it's possible. Naturally I likely won't be a full-time model, but it also depends on what'll happen with Instagram. It's this package that can keep working for ten, twenty years. We'll see.
Since you're very well-spoken, have you considered auditioning for TV?
Not at all. I work as a host for Fashion TV, but there you can pretty much just be yourself. You don't have to, like I see with TV hosts, sit there and say exactly what you've been told to say. I wouldn't really enjoy that. I enjoy just talking offhand, I'm good at that I think, but when I have to say what I've been told to say, I feel that I don't come off as genuine.
You said that you take good care of yourself. Do you go for any luxurious wraps, rejuvenation treatments?
I'll admit, I usually don't. I just realized that I'm 26 and that maybe it's time to start investing in better facial creams, for example...
Do you use like Nivea or...
Right now it's Yves Saint Lauren (laugh), but before I really did use whatever you could buy at the drugstore. Every time I said it anywhere I was told that I'm lucky to look the way I look. So I really try to be conscious of it, think of the future, and I've been telling myself that it's time to think about if from an aesthetic standpoint, try a procedure maybe, go for some not exactly enhancement, but to meet it halfway maybe. I think it's time to start, before it's to late. For now I try to take the health route: healthy food, exercise, healthy lifestyle and so on.
So plastic surgery isn't on the horizon for you?
Jesus, not for now, definitely. I have some rejuvenation planned, but all natural, because I don't feel like I need to get any tweaks, even if I were to end up looking nicer, maybe it'd help, but I don't want it, I guess. I'm still the type to try to prove to people that you can exist with imperfections, be it my teeth that everyone wanted me to get fixed, but four years after Miss I keep on going and nobody's bothered by the teeth. I feel like there's no point to changing, when your imperfection is what makes you special.
You're in a relationship. What about marriage, kids? You guys have a dog, whose is it?
The dog is mine, I got him after I broke up with my last partner, because we used to have a dog but it ended up with him, and suddenly my home was so empty. I hadn't planned it, it kinda just happened, because I was going to shelters and suddenly this white creature turned up there, and ended up going home with me. The dog is mine, but we really consider him our child, he goes everywhere with us, he's always with us.
Regarding marriage and kids, the question of kids really is up to me, because I need to be the one to know that I'm ready, which I really am not right now. I feel that I still want to prove so many things to myself, that I don't feel I'll be able to do after having a child, so I'm not in a hurry to have kids. When the time comes, I'll know best. And when it comes to marriage, I always say that that question needs to be aimed at him. I can't plan something if I don't know if the other person wants it. When it comes, it comes. I'm not opposed to it, of course, but I don't feel like we need it, there's no rush. As I said, when it comes, it comes.