Gisele Bündchen is a Brazilian model, environmental activist, author, actress, and businesswoman.
Since 2001, Bündchen has been one of the highest-paid models in the world. In 2007, she was the 16th richest woman in the entertainment industry, and earned the top spot on Forbes top-earning models list in 2012.
In 2014, Bündchen was listed as the 89th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes.
Vogue has credited Bündchen with ending the heroin chic era of modeling in 1999; instead ushering in a sexy, healthy look with curves and a golden tan.
Bündchen was a Victoria’s Secret Angel from 2000 until mid-2007 and had signed Victoria’s Secret’s biggest contract to date.
She is credited with pioneering and popularizing the “horse walk,” a stomping movement created by a model lifting her knees high and kicking her feet to step.
In 2007, Claudia Schiffer called Bündchen the only remaining supermodel. Bündchen has appeared on more than 1,200 magazine covers.
Bündchen was nominated for Choice Movie Female Breakout Star and for Choice Movie Villain at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards for her supporting role in Taxi (2004).
She had a supporting role in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and was the executive producer of an educational environmental cartoon, Gisele & the Green Team, in 2010 to 2011.
In 2016, she appeared in the Emmy award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, in the episode Fueling the Fire, sharing the episode with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Bündchen’s charitable endeavors include Save the Children, Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program since 2009.
- Full name: Gisele Caroline Bündchen
- Profession: Brazilian model
- Born: 20 July 1980 (age 39 years), Horizontina, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
- Height: 1.8 m
- Spouse: Tom Brady (m. 2009)
- Children: Vivian Lake Brady, Benjamin Brady
- Books: Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life
Follow Gisele Bündchen on social media
About Gisele Bundchen
Gisele was born on 20 July 1980 in Horizontina, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. To Vânia (née Nonnenmacher), a bank clerk pensioner, and Valdir Bündchen, a sociologist and writer, in Horizontina, Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil and raised in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil.
She grew up with five sisters, Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela and her fraternal twin, Patrícia.
Bündchen learned German in school, but said she forgot the language after being out of touch with it. In addition to Portuguese and English, Bündchen speaks Spanish and some French.
Bündchen aspired to be a volleyball player but joined a modelling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela at their mother’s insistence in 1993, in hopes to correct her bad posture.
The following year, she was discovered by Elite Model Management at a shopping mall in São Paulo. Bündchen was selected for a national contest, Elite Model Look (then known as Look of the Year), in which she placed second.
In early 1995, at age 14, Bündchen moved to São Paulo to launch her modeling career. She had her first break in 1996, at New York Fashion Week.
1997–2000: Career beginnings
Bündchen traveled to London in 1997, where she auditioned for 43 shows, but took part in only two international shows.
Alexander McQueen chose her for his Spring 1998 ready-to-wear show, “Rain!”, because of her ability to walk in towering heels on a slippery runway.
In 1998, Bündchen posed for Missoni, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, and Versace campaigns.
She appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris, her first cover of British Vogue, and i-D, which featured her on its cover, profiling “A Girl Called Gisele.”
In 1999, Bündchen left Elite Model Management to switch to IMG Models, dissatisfied with Elite’s work environment.
In addition to her first American Vogue cover in July 1999, dubbed “the return of the sexy model”, she appeared on her first group Vogue cover with fellow supermodels Kate Moss, Amber Valletta, Christy Turlington, Iman, Lauren Hutton, Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer, Lisa Taylor, Paulina Porizkova, Carolyn Murphy, and Patti Hansen.
In December of that year, she once again appeared on a solo American Vogue cover. She won the VH1/Vogue Model of the Year for 1999.
Noting Bündchen was shooting five major campaigns at the age of 18, New York magazine editor Sally Singer said Bündchen was so successful in the industry that she deemed her an “über- (not super-) model.”
She became the fourth model to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine when she was named “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” in 2000.
The same year, Vogue’s online encyclopedia of models called Bündchen the world’s hottest model and said she opened a new category: the Brazilian bombshell.
2000–2009: Modeling breakthrough, international success, and acting debut
In 2000, Bündchen appeared on 37 international Vogue covers, including three in the American edition.
In January 2000, Bündchen was simultaneously featured on the covers of the U.S. and British editions of Vogue. The June issue co-starred George Clooney.
For spring 2000 fashion week, she opened shows for Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, and Valentino in New York, Milan and Paris.
From 1998–2003, Bündchen was in every Dolce & Gabbana fashion campaign, totaling 11 consecutive campaigns with the brand; she returned as the face of the brand’s fragrance “The One”, in campaigns from 2006 to 2009.
Bündchen retired from the runway upon signing a lucrative contract with Victoria’s Secret. In 2000, Bündchen wore Victoria’s Secret’s Fantasy bra, the Red Hot Fantasy Bra, worth $15 million and listed in Guinness World Records as the most expensive lingerie ever created.
Bündchen also modeled the “Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra” in 2005, which was the second-most expensive bra ever made, valued at $12.5 million.
In 2004, she appeared on another group American Vogue cover, with Daria Werbowy, Natalia Vodianova, Isabeli Fontana, Karolina Kurkova, Liya Kebede, Hana Soukupova, Gemma Ward, and Karen Elson.
Bündchen has appeared on the covers of W, Allure, GQ, Forbes, Marie Claire, TIME, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and in the Pirelli Calendar.
In acting roles, Bündchen co-starred with Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon in the 2004 remake of Taxi and in 2006, Bündchen played Serena in The Devil Wears Prada.
Bündchen was chosen by Time magazine in 2007, as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
In September 2007, Bündchen was photographed by Mario Testino for the cover of Vanity Fair’s style issue.
In 2008, she appeared on the cover of Vogue with NBA player LeBron James (who, at the time, was one of only 3 men to ever appear on the cover, along with Clooney).
Some criticized the cover for giving the appearance of fictional movie monster King Kong holding actress Fay Wray, therefore perceived to be perpetuating racial stereotypes.
Forbes listed her 53rd on their 2007 list of the most powerful celebrities. Ipanema Gisele Bündchen made an estimated £152 million (about $197 million) with more than 250 million pairs sold in 2010.
In May 2007, Bündchen had ended her contract with Victoria’s Secret; she described this decision as closing that chapter of her career.
In August 2008, the New York Daily News listed Bündchen as the fourth most powerful person in the fashion world.
2009–2011: Continued success
The Independent called Bündchen the biggest star in fashion history in May 2009. In April 2010, Bündchen was photographed for the cover of American Vogue for the 11th time.
Bündchen closed Balenciaga’s 2010 show in a surprise appearance. She ranked third on models.com’s the Money Girls list and second on the Sexiest Models list.
In 2011, CEOWorld Magazine ranked Bündchen among their Top Accomplished Women Entertainers.
She was ranked No. 95 in FHM magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011. In 2007, Bündchen was named the World’s Richest Supermodel.
On April 11, 2008, a black-and-white photo of Bündchen that was shot by Irving Penn was auctioned for $193,000.
The picture was one of dozens from the collection of Gert Elfering that were sold at Christie’s International in New York. Bündchen’s picture brought the highest price.
By 2010, Bündchen had appeared on two Vogue Shape issue covers, more than any other celebrity or model.
She ranked No. 45 in the 2011 FHM Australia list of 100 Sexiest Women in the World. In 2011, Men’s Health named Bündchen as No. 25 of the 100 Hottest Women of All Time.
Bündchen closed the 2011 Givenchy spring-summer fashion show in a surprise appearance during Paris Fashion Week.
That year, Bündchen launched eco-friendly Sejaa Pure Skincare, a skin care product line using all-natural ingredients.
She appeared on eight Vogue covers in 2011, more than any other model or celebrity that year. Her July Vogue Brasil 2011 cover that was shot in the Amazon sold 70,743 copies, making it the magazine’s highest-selling issue.
In early 2011, Procter & Gamble’s Pantene shampoo sales increased 40 percent in Latin America after Bündchen started representing the product.
2012–present: Modeling campaigns and music endeavors
In spring 2012, Bündchen was featured in three spring campaigns, Versace, Givenchy, and Salvatore Ferragamo.
She became the face of Banco do Brasil’s first global ad campaign in 2012. In April 2012, Time listed Bündchen on its All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons list, which highlighted the most influential fashion icons since 1923.
Vogue included Bündchen in its spotlight of the 10 women who had most appeared on its covers to honor the magazine’s 120th anniversary in August 2012.
Bündchen in 2014
Bündchen made 5,600 appearances in commercials in Brazil in 2012. She replaced Kate Moss as the face of David Yurman in August 2012. She was photographed by Peter Lindbergh for the fall 2012 campaign.
By 2012, Bündchen had appeared on 120 Vogue covers. She holds the record for appearing on the most Vogue Brasil covers.
In February 2013, Bündchen became the face of Chanel’s make-up line, Les Beiges. The campaign was photographed by Mario Testino.
For Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2014 campaign, Marc Jacobs chose Bündchen, Catherine Deneuve, Sofia Coppola, Fan Bingbing, Caroline de Maigret and Edie Campbell as his muses.
In December 2013, Bündchen became Pantene’s ambassador, a deal worth $4 million per year.
Bündchen at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Bündchen released a cover of the Kinks “All Day and All of the Night” as a contribution to H&M’s 2013 charity campaign.
She contributed to H&M’s 2014 charity campaign by teaming with French music producer and DJ Bob Sinclar to record a cover of Blondie’s 1979 classic “Heart of Glass”, on which she was credited as Gisele. The single charted in France, Germany, Spain, Austria and Belgium.
In May 2014, Bündchen was chosen as the spokeswoman for Chanel No. 5. Within the first quarter of 2014, Bündchen appeared on 17 international editions of Elle, including the Brazilian, German, Italian, Canadian, Japanese and Chinese editions.
Under Armour signed Bündchen to a multiyear deal in September 2014. In 2014 and 2015, Bündchen appeared in more television commercial spots than any other Brazilian celebrity in the course of one year in Brazil.
Bündchen getting ready for the Met Gala, 2017
Bündchen was featured in the 2015 Guinness World Record book as the model who earned the most money from June 2014 to June 2015.
Bündchen’s $700 Taschen book released in celebration of her 20th year career sold out in one day. By 2015, Bündchen appeared in more than 550 ad campaigns, 2000 magazine covers, 3500 magazine editorials and 800 fashion shows.
Bündchen appeared at the Maracanã Stadium at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016.
Bündchen in 2006
Forbes ranked Bündchen No. 61 on its Most Powerful Celebrities list in 2012. Forbes ranked her fourth on the World’s Most Powerful Latino Celebrity list in May 2012.
In 2013, she ranked No. 5 on the Forbes 10 Most Powerful Businesswomen in Brazil.
In 2013, Bündchen’s Ipanema sandals sold about 25 million pairs annually and accounted for more than 60 percent of shoe manufacturer Grendene’s annual exports of about $250 million.
In 2014, Bündchen signed a contract with Under Armour, which is reportedly on par with the endorsement compensations of professional athletes and exceeds her former Victoria’s Secret contract.
In 2016, Under Armour’s CEO Kevin Plank said sales for the company’s women’s brand had increased because of its association with Bündchen.
In 2018, Gisele released her book called Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life, which was a New York Times bestseller and was the bestselling book for over six months in the non-fiction category in Brazil. The proceeds from her book went to support social and environmental causes.