| Niki Taylor
has proved to be much more than just a pretty
face. She can be considered as the epitome of
a classical model with distinguished features
and tailored-made good looks.
A successful Victoria's Secret and Sports Illustrated
model, Niki is a wise entrepreneurial womanthat
knows the importance of motherhood and her two
Niki Taylor is the ideal swimsuit model. She
is perfectly curved, has an elegant face and
a great figure. She has been modeling since
she was 15, and if she was beautiful then, she
is even moreso now.
She was born in the suburbs of Fort Lauderdale,
Florida, to Ken and Barbara Taylor, a Florida
Highway Patrol officer and a photographer, respectively.
Taylor was raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida
and attended Cooper City High School. After
graduating, her education included studying
special effects and taking dance and singing
classes. She has an older sister, Joelle, and
her younger sister, Kristen, a fellow model,
died of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
on July 2, 1995, at the age of 17. Taylor married
Arena football player, Matt Martinez, on July
19, 1994, and their twin sons, Jake and Hunter,
were born the same year. Taylor and Martinez
divorced in 1996 and she later dated country
singer Keith Urban from 2002 to 2005.
Taylor grew up wanting to be a model and at
age 13, she signed with a Florida modeling agency.
In florida she met up with fashion/celebrity
photographer Jean Renard who became her manager
and sent pictures of her to newly formed agency
Spectrum. She subsequently won their Fresh Faces
contest in New York City and a $500,000 modeling
contract. She began professional modeling at
the age of 14 and two years later Taylor was
a millionaire and president of her own company,
Niki, Inc. Her first magazine cover was an issue
of Seventeen and at 17, she graced the cover
of Vogue, becoming the youngest model to do
so. She has over 400 worldwide magazine covers
to her credit and her six covers of Allure,
Vogue, ELLE, Self and Shape, all in the month
of May 1996, have become known as the "Niki
Six." She was named one of People magazine's
50 Most Beautiful People in 1991 and appeared
in the 1997, 1998 and 1999 editions of the Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, as well as on the
1998 cover of their swimsuit calendar. Niki
also had her own best selling line of calendars
and was the only supermodel to have a calendar
sold at Wallmart. In 1992, Taylor became the
first spokesmodel under 18 to sign a major contract
with CoverGirl and she became a feature in their
national advertising campaign. Some of her other
ad campaigns have been for Liz Claiborne, Nokia,
Ellen Tracy, L'Oréal, Lee Jeans and Pantene.
Taylor also simultaneously had six enormous
billboards in NYC's Times Square, in addition
to three yearlong billboards for Liz Claiborne.
Outside of modeling, Taylor has been an interviewer
for several segments of the international syndicated
show, Lifestyles, covered events for NBC and
guest-hosted MTV's Fashionably Loud. She also
appears in former boyfriend Keith Urban's "Somebody
Like You" music video.
In 2001, Taylor went to rehab to treat an addiction
to Vicodin, a prescription painkiller. On April
29, 2001, Taylor was critically injured in a
car accident in Atlanta, Georgia. The driver
of the car she was in attempted to answer his
cell phone, lost control of the car and smashed
into a utility pole. Taylor was wearing her
seat belt at the time and was not thrown from
the vehicle, however, she suffered severe internal
injuries, including a collapsed lung and severe
liver damage, and she spent six weeks unconscious.
Taylor was treated at Grady Memorial Hospital
in Atlanta and had at least 56 operations, as
well as physical therapy.
Taylor, who recently became engaged to NASCAR
driver Burney Lamar, lives with her two sons
in a French colonial house on seven acres in
Brentwood, Tennessee. "I love being a mom
and the chaos it brings me," she told People.
"It reminds me how lucky and blessed I
am." Taylor rarely models anymore, but
she opened a clothing store, Abbie and Jesse's,
in Cool Springs with her manager and friend,
Lou Taylor (no relation), in July 2005. She
also founded the Begin Foundation for the Advancement
of Women in Business, which helps women with
business ideas but who have limited resources.