Gisele Caroline Nonnenmacher Bündchen (born July 20,
1980) is a Brazilian supermodel and occasional actress.
Gisele Bündchen was born in Três de Maio, near Horizontina,
Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. She is the daughter of Valdir and Vânia
Bündchen, both of German descent, along with five sisters:
Raquel, Graziela, Patrícia, Gabriela and Rafaela. Patricia
and Gisele are fraternal twins. Gisele Bündchen has mentioned several
times that at least one of her sisters has attempted a modeling
career as well. Pictures of her family reveal they share the same
statuesque bone structures, and long, wavy brown hair.
While in school, Gisele Bündchen was so thin that her friends used
to call her "Olívia Palito" (Portuguese for Olive
Oyl, Popeye's skinny friend), and Saracura (a kind of long-legged
bird). She liked to play volleyball, and had even thought of becoming
a professional for Brazilian team, Sogipa.
An often told story about the "discovery" of Gisele Bündchen
is when, as a schoolgirl, she went to a McDonalds and was eating
a Big Mac when an agent discovered the bronze-haired beauty. In
an interview, Gisele Bündchen remarked that she at first did not know
what a model was, thinking it was something perhaps akin to being
In 1993, Gisele Bündchen, 13 years old, joined the Dilson Stein's
mannequin course to correct her posture, with her sisters Patrícia
and Gabriela, because her mother insisted. The course was for teenagers
who wanted to be models.
In May 1994, Stein took 50 girls to São Paulo to give them
a chance to walk in a big city and to let them be evaluated by Brazilian
Elite agents. On August 20, 1993 Gisele Bündchen was playing volleyball
for Sogipa, in Porto Alegre. Elite "kidnapped" her and
took her to a contest. She came between the five finalists. Then,
she went to São Paulo. She came in second in the national
Elite Look of the Year contest - Claudia Menezes, from Bahia, was
the one in the first place. In the world contest, in Ibiza, Gisele Bündchen
came in fourth. While she was easily noticeable for her beauty,
she still endured physical criticism.
As a teen, Gisele Bündchen moved to New York City to begin her runway
debut at Fashion Week, she was so nervous she decided to get a blue
star tattoo on her wrist. The tattoo is very noticeable on the model,
but there seems to be no attempt to cover it up with make-up in
photo shoots or runway shows. After her debut in NYC, she was immediately
embraced by the fashion world.
Gisele Bündchen has done ads and runway shows for various fashion
houses including Valentino, Zara, Bvlgari, Tommy Hilfiger, Chloé,
Celine, Versace, Christian Dior, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Victoria's
Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, and Louis Vuitton. She has also appeared
on the covers of Allure, Marie Claire, Vogue USA, Vogue Italia,
Harpers Bazaar, Arena, and Rolling Stone. Her curvaceous figure
prompted Vogue to refer to her body of work as the "return
of the sexy model", since she seems to have marked the end
of a trend of "waif" models such as Kate Moss.
She has received the "Model of the Year" award and has
been named "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" by Rolling
She has hosted the VH1 Fashion Awards and appeared on Late Night
with Conan O'Brien.
She has a belly button piercing as well as a star tattoo on her
Former head of Elite Models, John Casablancas, has had tiffs with
Gisele Bündchen; he once famously claimed that her infamous breasts
were fake and that she has slept her way to the top.
She treasures her dog, Vida, and broke up with Leonardo DiCaprio
since November 2005. Now dating surfer Kelly Slater. Before DiCaprio,
she had been romantically linked to male model Scott Barnhill, Brazilian
tycoon João Paulo Diniz, Hotel tycoon Vikram Chatwal and
actor Josh Hartnett.
She endorses several Brazilian brands, notably including Vivo (a
cellular service company) and the Brazilian subsidiary of C&A
(a major retailer). Her brand of flip-flops have sold enormously
well in her native Brazil.
She waved the chequered flag for the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Her other homes include an apartment in Manhattans Tribeca
district and a house near Woodstock, NY.
Her debut as an actress came in the 2004 movie Taxi. The film failed
miserably at the box office and at present Gisele Bündchen seems to
be entirely focused on her enormously successful modeling career,
rather than pursuing other film roles. She appears to have made
an exception, however, to take the part of Allyson in the 2006 film
version of The Devil Wears Prada.
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