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Gisele Caroline Bundchen ( born July 20, 1980 in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil) is a Brazilian model, occasional film actress and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment world, with an estimated $150 million fortune.
Family and early life:
Bundchen was born in the Brazilian town of Tres de Maio and grew up in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, to Vania Nonnenmacher, a bank clerk pensioner, and Valdir Bundchen, a university teacher and writer. She has five sisters — Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela and her fraternal twin Patrícia, Gisele's junior by five minutes. Bundchen is Roman Catholic and speaks Portuguese as her native language. She also speaks Spanish and English.
“ I was born in Horizontina, a town in the backcountry of (Brazilian) state Rio Grande do Sul. The town was once mainly colonized by Germans. In the school which I attended, learning German was actually obligatory from third grade on. But being out of touch with the language for such a long time, I unfortunately forgot it. ... I belong to the sixth generation of my family in Brazil. ”
Originally, Bundchen wanted to be a professional volleyball player and considered playing for the Brazilian team, Sogipa. While in school, Bundchen was so thin that her friends used to call her "Olivia Palito" (Portuguese for Olive Oyl, Popeye's skinny girlfriend) and "Saracura" (a type of Brazilian shorebird).
In 1993, a then-13-year-old Bundchen joined a modeling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela at her mother's insistence.The following year, Bundchen went to Sao Paulo on a school excursion to give them an opportunity to walk in a big city. In a shopping mall, while eating at McDonald's with her friends, Bundchen was discovered by a modeling agency. She was subsequently selected for a national contest, Elite Look of the Year, in which she placed second — Claudia Menezes, from Bahia, took first place. Bundchen placed fourth in the world contest, held in Ibiza, Spain. In 1996, Bundchen moved to New York City usa to begin her modeling career, debuting at Fashion Week.
Gisele Bundchen on the Fashion Rio Inverno 2006, January 30, 2006. Her debut on the cover of the July 1999 issue of Vogue magazine, and the accompanying editorial entitled "The Return of the Sexy Model", is widely viewed as marking the end of the fashion's "heroin chic" era. She graced the cover again in November and December of that year. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999, and a January 2000 cover gave her the rare honor of three consecutive Vogue covers. In 2000, she became the fourth model to appear on the cover of the music magazine Rolling Stone, when she was named "the most beautiful girl in the world." Bundchen has been on the covers of many top fashion magazines including W, Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, Allure, international editions of Vogue, as well as style and lifestyle publications such as i-D, The Face, Arena, Citizen K, Flair, GQ, Esquire, and Marie Claire. She has been featured both in the Pirelli Calendar 2001 and 2006 and in broader market publications such as Time, Vanity Fair, Forbes, Newsweek and Veja, more than 500 magazine covers throughout the world.
Bundchen consistently works with acclaimed photographers such as Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Nick Knight, Mert and Marcus, Rankin, Annie Leibovitz, Karl Lagerfeld, Peter Lindbergh, David LaChapelle, Mario Sorrenti, Nino Munoz and Patrick Demarchelier, and with renowned directors such as Jean Baptiste Mondino and Bruno Aveillan.
Claudia Schiffer said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more" and reckoned that Gisele Bundchen was the only one close to earning the supermodel title.
Naomi Campbell said: "Models need to earn their stripes - I just think the term is used a little too loosely. Kate Moss is obviously a supermodel but, after Gisele, I don’t think there’s been one."
On August 26, 2008, the New York Daily News, in a list, named Bundchen the fourth-most-powerful person in the fashion world.
On May 12, 2009, The Independent, called her the biggest star in fashion history.
Endorsements and earnings:
Since her debut, Bundchen has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including several seasons of Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Mervyn's, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versace, Givenchy, Bvlgari, Lanvin, Guerlain, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Earl Jean, Zara, Chloé, Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton and Victoria's Secret. She has appeared in advertisements for Nivea lotion and is the face of several Brazilian brands including Vivo, Multiplan (Shopping Malls), Colcci, Credicard (Citibank) and Volkswagen do Brasil. After C&A Brazil hired Bundchen as a spokesmodel and began airing television commercials, sales increased by 30%.
At the Fashion Rio Inverno 2006In May 2006, Bundchen signed another multi-million dollar deal, this time with American giant Apple Inc.. She starred in an advertising campaign to promote the new Macintosh line through the Get a Mac advertisements. Also in 2006, Bundchen became the new face of Swiss luxury watchmaker Ebel.
She has her own line of sandals with footwear company Grendene called Ipanema Gisele Bundchen. Forbes puts her 53rd on their list of the most powerful celebrities of 2007 because of the international success of her shoe line, making the brand Ipanema the most sold Brazilian flip-flop in the world, surpassing the legendary Havaianas. Custom Ipanema flip-flops sell for as much as $230 a pair. She is also the owner of a hotel in the south of Brazil, the Palladium Executive.
On May 1, 2007, it was announced that Bundchen had ended her contract with Victoria's Secret.
In July 2007, having earned an estimated total of $33 million in the past 12 months, Forbes magazine named her the world's top-earning model in the list of the World's 15 Top-Earning Supermodels.
An American economist named Fred Fuld developed a stock index to measure the profit performance improvement of companies represented by Bundchen compared with the Dow Jones Industrial Average. According to Fuld, the Gisele Bundchen Stock Index was up 15% between May and July 2007, substantially surpassing the Dow Jones Industrial Average which was up just 8.2%.
Bundchen lends her support and image to a number of charities and humanitarian causes, such as the I am African campaign, in which she painted her face to protest the lack of attention given to Africa's HIV/AIDS victims. Without receiving payment, Bundchen was, in 2006, the face of American Express Red Card, an initiative launched by U2 front man Bono and Bobby Shriver to send a percentage of monies earned from the financial transactions of this credit card to Africa's HIV/AIDS victims.
In 2009, she appeared almost simultaneously in more than 20 covers of the international issues of Elle magazines wearing (Product) Red clothing and posing with products from companies who support the same cause. (RED)’s primary objective is to engage the private sector in increasing assistance for the Global Fund, to help defeat AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the mark contribute a percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund to finance AIDS programs in Africa, with special attention on the health of women and children.
At the Fashion Rio Inverno 2006In 2003, Bundchen designed an exclusive and limited edition of platinum hearts, working with Platinum Guild International and Harper’s Bazaar, crafted by jewelers Gumuchian Fils. These platinum hearts were sold to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital which specializes in cancer treatment. She served as the spokesperson and campaign model for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer. Bundchen already gave a Sao Paulo Fashion Week's payment check for Zero Hunger (in Portuguese: Fome Zero), a Brazilian-government program introduced by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also in 2003.
She was, in 2009, one of the celebrities to sign up for the auction fundraiser of celebrities autographed iPods to raise cash for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, organised by Tonic.com., alongside former U.S.A.'s president Bill Clinton, Cher, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Ellen DeGeneres and others. The money is for the Music Rising institution which aims to recover and invest in the musical culture of the destroyed areas.
She promotes protecting the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and Amazon Rainforest water sources, donating to this cause a percentage of profits from her line of sandals named Ipanema Gisele Bundchen. Also, Bundchen helps projects such as Nascentes do Brasil, ISA, Y Ikatu Xingu and De Olho nos Mananciais.
Bundchen and Grendene, the company that produces and disseminates her line of sandals, also joined the Florestas do Futuro project for the reforestation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The project was created by the NGO named SOS Atlantic Forest in 2004. The new forest, named for Gisele Bundchen Sementes, started with 25,500 shoots of 100 different species, enough to revitalize an area of 15 hectares.
On 20 September, 2009, she was designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In 2004, Bundchen entered the film industry, playing the bank robbers' leader, Vanessa, in the 2004 remake Taxi. In 2006, she played a minor character in The Devil Wears Prada.
Personal life and Relationships:
On Thursday, February 26, 2009, Bundchen married New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in a small Catholic ceremony in Los Angeles ( la ). On April 5, 2009, the couple remarried in Costa Rica with Brady's son, John Edward Thomas Moynahan, present. For the ceremony, Gisele wore a dress and veil designed by famed fashion designer John Galliano. Bundchen's three dogs were also present at the ceremony. Bundchen and Brady had been dating since late 2006. Before marrying him, she dated actor Leonardo DiCaprio and professional surfer Kelly Slater. On Friday, June 19 2009, People magazine reported that Gisele was pregnant with her first child with husband Tom Brady. The baby is due on December 14, 2009.
As an homage to Bundchen, Brazilian singer and songwriter Gabriel Guerra, along with musician Pedro Cezar, wrote the song Tributo a Gisele (Tribute to Gisele in English), which is currently the theme of the model's official website. In January 2008, Bundchen met Gabriel Guerra at Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro.
There's another music called "Coisa Linda" ( Pretty Woman ) dedicated to Gisele Bundchen by Nelio Guerson and Carlos Guerson. More info on Palco MP3, Last FM and Garagem MP3.
One reason to love New York:
In the December 2005 issue, New York magazine chose and publicized a list of 123 reasons to love New York City with reason number 43 being that Gisele Bundchen lives there.
On April 11, 2008, a black-and-white photo of Bundchen, shot by Irving Penn, was auctioned for US$193,000 (£96,000). The picture was one of dozens from the collection of Gert Elfering that were sold at Christie's International in New York. In all, the auction tallied US$4.27 million and included pictures of Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Carla Bruni. Bundchen's picture reached the highest price in comparison with the others. Bardot was the second with US$181,000 (£90,000).
In 2009, Gisele featured, on artistic nude picture, the cover of the work retrospective book of Australian photographer Russell James.
In 2006, Elle magazine bosses surveyed the American leading stylists and asked them to name the star whose hair is a favourite for their clients. More than 50 per cent gave Gisele the title of best hair in Hollywood, followed by Sienna Miller in at second place and Nicole Richie in at third position.
In February 2008, a result of research was publicized by The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) to reveal how world celebrity images, which overwhelm popular media, influence people's choices and decisions to undergo plastic surgery. The question asked was "What influences do celebrities have on the decisions patients make?". The survey was sent to more than 20,000 plastic surgeons in 84 countries. Gisele Bundchen, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Pamela Anderson, Sophia Loren, Brad Pitt and George Clooney were the most frequently mentioned celebrities. Gisele won the abdomen and hair categories and took second place in the breasts category.
PETA anti-fur target
In 2002, during the taping of the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, Bundchen was the target of a protest made by four members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals because she was signed to be the new face of Blackglama, a trademark of a fur-farming cooperative. When Bundchen was on stage, four women jumped onto the runway holding posters that read "Gisele: Fur Scum" and included the logo for PETA. Bundchen tried to ignore them while several security guards detained the protesters. Bundchen told CNN that the protest was "unwarranted" because the fashion show featured only faux fur. After the incident, the producers decided to stop the music and redid Bundchen's segment once the protesters were removed.