In September 1999, Kurková met with Vogue editors in New York City, then she moved to NYC permanently. At seventeen years old, she landed a spot on the cover of the February 2001 issue of Vogue. Kurková was now recognized at haute couture fashion shows, and lingerie brand Victoria's Secret chose her to be a part of that year's televised fashion show special. Prominent fashion houses such as Yves Saint Laurent signed Kurková to modeling contracts. Print campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, and others helped expose her even more, while she headlined the second Victoria's Secret show the following year. She was named "Model of the Year" at the 2002 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards. Kurková later signed contracts with designers including Ralph Lauren, Óscar de la Renta, Chanel and Balenciaga. Most recently, she has appeared on the cover of Korea's W, as well as the Greek Vogue. Kurková has been featured in fashion spreads in most major fashion magazines including U.K., U.S., and French Vogue (as well as other international versions of), Vanity Fair, and The Face. She has worked with well-known fashion photographers including Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, and Mario Testino. She was also featured in the 2006 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Kurková is also set to make her film debut alongside Frankie Muniz, Harvey Keitel and Amber Valletta in Howard Himelstein's coming-of-age dramedy, My Sexiest Year. Kurková is among the world's top-earning models.