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.
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