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Monday, May 11, 2009

Gisele Bundchen

Gisele Caroline Nonnenmacher Bündchen (born July 20, 1980) is a Brazilian supermodel. Her image has appeared on countless billboards and magazine covers. Gisele is the spokesperson of more than 20 brands internationally. She has been declared the highest paid model in the business — a title that she has commanded for five consecutive years — and she earned $30 million between June 2005 and June 2006.

Gisele was born in the southern Brazilian village of Horizontina where she comes from a large family. She originally trained as a professional volleyball player. Her friends, in school, used to call her "Olívia Palito" (Portuguese for Olive Oyl, Popeye's skinny girlfriend). Her "discovery" took place at the age fourteen on a school trip to São Paulo while eating a Big Mac when she was scouted by a modeling agent.

A year before that her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela and she had taken a model course instructed by Dilson Stein, to correct their posture, at their mother's insistance. This course was designed for teenagers aspiring to become models. In 1994, Stein took Gisele and other girls to São Paulo to give them an opportunity to walk in a big city and to be evaluated by Brazilian Elite agents. Gisele was selected by them for a national contest, in which she came in second. Later in Ibiza, Spain, Gisele came in fourth in the world contest.

In 1996 Gisele moved to New York City to begin her modeling career, debuting at Fashion Week. Since then, her image has been the face of a variety of advertising campaigns including several seasons for Dior, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Versace, Céline, Givenchy, Bulgari, Lanvin, Guerlain, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Earl Jean, Zara, Chloé, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton. Gisele is the face of several Brazilian brands like Vivo, Brazil's leading mobile company, C&A, Multiplan, Colcci and Credicard.

Grendene has put out her own line of sandals, called Ipanema Gisele Bündchen, which have sold more than 100 million pairs since 2001. Not only is Gisele a successful supermodel, she is also a savvy businessperson.

Gisele's rise to fame has not come without controversy. Like Heidi Klum and several other models, she moved from her original agency Elite to IMG. John Casablancas, head of Elite models, accused Bündchen of being a stoner who slept her way to the top, though he now claims he was misquoted. He also filed a $15 million lawsuit against her.

Gisele has also been forced to defend the naturalness of her figure. At home the press calls her the "Boobs from Brazil." One newspaper report blamed her for the 36,000 breast enhancements in Brazil in 2000. She says that all the women of her family have big breasts.

(Source: Wikipedia, www.wikipedia.com)

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