Brazilian girls top the supermodel charts. The insolent beauty of Adriana, Gisele, Alessandra, and the others drives the planet wild. So what is their secret?
Every year the American magazine Forbes publishes the list of the world's highest-paid supermodels. In 2013 its top three included two Brazilians. For the seventh year running, Gisele Bündchen topped the list at $42 million, while Adriana Lima came in third at $6-plus million. Adriana also holds the record for the most runway shows for
lingerie label Victoria’s Secret, reputed for its sublime representatives known as the Angels. Among the world's loveliest women, the Brazilians stand out a mile – with reason! "They have a classical beauty appreciated by common mortals. Isabeli Fontana is an example of their healthy physique that sells because women all over the world identify with it. They may not be so popular with fashion designers who prefer more striking types of beauty for their runway shows, but among them there are always one or two who catch the eye," explains Vick Mihaci, chair of Elite Model Management whose Elite Model Look contest brought Gisele Bündchen and Alessandra Ambrósio to attention. Brazilian models with a cooler beauty make their mark on catwalks too, from Paris through Milan to New York. "Their modern physique allows them to stay the course, surf the trends," says the expert. Caroline Trentini from Panambi and Raquel Zimmermann from Rio Grande do Sul are so very blonde as to make their American and Eastern European colleagues turn pale.
They feed the planet's dreams
Surname : Bündchen
First name : Gisele
Born : 20 juillet 1980 à Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul
Size : 1,80 m / 86-61-86
Anecdotal info: An affair with Leonardo DiCaprio before marrying American footballer Tom Brady in 2009, with whom she has two children.
Career: Initially she lived in Sao Paulo while her agent was struggling to find her contracts. Her looks aren't to everyone's taste, some say her jaw is too square, her nose too big. Her career took off when Alexander McQueen fell for her charm and put her on the catwalk for his spring/summer 1997 collection. She has worked with the greatest houses – Lanvin, Valentino, Givenchy, Chloé, Versace, Dior, Bulgari – and posed for the covers of best-selling magazines. She sails through fashions without a care for trends, has launched her own lingerie label, Gisele Intimates, and has even inspired a song, Tributo a Gisele by Brazilian artiste Gabriel Guerra.
Surname : Lima
First name : Adriana
Born : le 12 juin 1981 à Salvador de Bahia
Size : 1,78 m / 86-61-90
Anecdotal info: Appearances in the series How
I Met Your Mother and Ugly Betty. She does charitable work and has helped build an orphanage in Salvador.
Career: A brunette with blue-green eyes and Portuguese, Indian and Afro-Brazilian blood, she was only 15 when she came runner-up in the Ford agency's international competition. She was taken on by the Sao Paulo Elite agency and moved to New York. In 2000 she joined the Victoria’s Angels dream team. She has done numerous advertising campaigns for Guess, Maybelline, Emporio Armani and La Perla, and featured on the 2005 Pirelli calendar photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. She has done catwalk shows for the biggest fashion houses, from Valentino and Dior to Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren.
Surname : Ambrósio
First name : Alessandra
Born : le 11 avril 1981 à Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul
Size : 1,77 m / 86-61-86
Anecdotal info: Portuguese, Polish and Italian blood runs through her veins. She made a first tentative screen appearance in Casino Royale.
Career: She was just eight years old when a photo of Karen Mulder on a magazine cover caused a revelation: she too would be a fashion model. Like many Brazilian teenagers she entered beauty contests and so learnt the ropes at an early age. At 14 she won the Brazil Elite Model Look contest and her career took off. A brunette with smouldering eyes and a stunning physique, she models for major brands such as Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Gucci, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana and has been on the covers of the most prestigious magazines. She has two children and lives with her life partner, American businessman Jamie Mazur.