Gisele Caroline Bündchen (born 20 July 1980) is a Brazilian Supermodel, occasional film actress and goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. In the late 1990s, Bündchen became one of the first in a wave of Brazilian models to find success. In 1999, Vogue magazine dubbed her "The Return of the Sexy Model" and she was credited with ending the "heroin chic" era of modeling. Bündchen was one of Victoria's Secret Angels from 2000 until 2007. Since 2004 she became the highest-paid model in the world and after the sixteenth richest woman in the entertainment industry with an estimated $150 million fortune. Members of the fashion industry, such as Claudia Schiffer and Naomi Campbell, have argued that Bündchen is the only true remaining "supermodel." As an occasional actress, she had supporting roles in Taxi (2004) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006). From 2000 to 2005, Bündchen was in a much-publicized relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. She began dating New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in 2006. They married in February 2009.
Bündchen was born in the Brazilian town of Três de Maio and grew up in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul. She is of German-Brazilian heritage from both her parents, Vânia Nonnenmacher, a bank clerk pensioner, and Valdir Bündchen, a university teacher and writer. She has five sisters — Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela and her fraternal twin Patrícia, Gisele's junior by five minutes. Bündchen 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 back-country 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, Bündchen wanted to be a professional volleyball player and considered playing for the Brazilian team, Sogipa. While in school, Bündchen was so thin that her friends used to call her "Olívia Palito" (Portuguese for Olive Oyl, Popeye's skinny girlfriend) and "Saracura" (a type of Brazilian shorebird). In 1993, a then-13-year-old Bündchen joined a modeling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela at her mother's insistence. The following year, Bündchen went to São 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, Bündchen 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. Bündchen placed fourth in the world contest, held in Ibiza, Spain. In 1996, Bündchen moved to New York City to begin her modeling career, debuting at Fashion Week.
Gisele Bündchen pioneered the "horse walk" -- a stomping movement created when a model picks her knees up high and kicks her feet out in front. She appeared on the cover of Vogue in July, November and December 1999. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999, and a January 2000 cover gave her three consecutive Vogue covers and in December 2009 she appeared alongside of her husband Tom Brady on the cover of book The World in Vogue – People, Parties, Places. 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." Bündchen 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 600 magazine covers throughout the world. Bündchen 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 Muñoz and Patrick Demarchelier, and with renowned directors such as Jean Baptiste Mondino and Bruno Aveillan. 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 Bündchen lived there. Claudia Schiffer said: "Supermodels, like we once were, don't exist any more" and reckoned that Gisele Bündchen 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 26 August 2008, the New York Daily News, in a list, named Bündchen the fourth-most-powerful person in the fashion world. On 12 May 2009, The Independent, called her the biggest star in fashion history. She is ranked #1 as the Top Model Icon of All Time at models.com. She is also #3 at the Money Girls list and The Sexiest Models.
On 11 April 2008, a black-and-white photo of Bündchen, 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. Bündchen's picture reached the highest price in comparison with the others. Bardot was the second with US$181,000 (£90,000).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 percent gave Bündchen 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, research results were 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 Bündchen, Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Pamela Anderson, Sophia Loren, Brad Pitt and George Clooney were the most frequently mentioned celebrities. Bündchen won the abdomen and hair categories and took second place in the breasts category.
On January 2011, Bündchen came in first beating the "girl next door" Jennifer Aniston for the most desired female body on the 14th Annual Famed Hottest Looks survey, compiled by Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Dr. Richard Fleming and Dr. Toby Mayer. Even after giving birth in December 2009, her body was the most requested by the doctors' patients. Since her debut, Bündchen has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including several seasons of Christian Dior, 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 Bündchen as a spokesmodel and began airing television commercials, sales increased by 30%. In May 2006, Bündchen signed another multi-million dollar deal 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, Bündchen became the new face of Swiss luxury watchmaker Ebel. She has her own line of sandals with footwear company Grendene called Ipanema Gisele Bündchen. 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 1 May 2007, it was announced that Bündchen 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.
From 2000 to 2005, Bündchen was in an on-again/off-again relationship with American actor Leonardo DiCaprio. On Thursday, 26 February 2009, Bündchen married Tom Brady in a small Catholic ceremony at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California. On 5 April 2009, the couple remarried in a larger ceremony in Costa Rica, with Brady's son and actress Bridget Moynahan present. For the April ceremony, Bündchen wore a dress and veil designed by John Galliano. In December 2009, Bündchen gave birth to a boy in Boston, but the couple had trouble choosing a name before finally picking Benjamin Rein Brady, whose middle name is in honor of Bündchen's mother's father Reinoldo. Bündchen said that she speaks only Portuguese to her baby. Bündchen told Harper's Bazaar Magazine that breastfeeding should be a "worldwide law" stating, "Some people here (in the US) think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?' I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months." She later explained her comments on her blog, "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law," Bündchen writes. "It comes from my passion and beliefs about children. Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions, I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child." They baptized their 6-month-old son Benjamin in Santa Monica on 22 June 2010.
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