Gisele Caroline Bündchen was born on 20 July 1980 (age 40). She is a Brazilian model, activist, and businesswoman. She is of Brazilian, Portuguese, and German origin.
Born to Vânia , a bank clerk pensioner, and Valdir Bündchen, a sociologist and writer, in Horizontina, 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 her native Portuguese, she can speak English, Italian, Spanish, and some French.
Bündchen aspired to be a volleyball player but joined a modeling course with her sisters Patrícia and Gabriela in order to correct her mother’s image. 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.
CAREER: MODELLING, BUSINESS VENTURE, ENVIRONMENTAL WORK, GOODWILL AMBASSADOR
In 1997, Bündchen traveled to London where she auditioned for more than 40 shows but she only took part in 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 and i-D 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, Lauren Hutton and, Patti Hansen. In December of that year, she once again appeared on a solo American Vogue cover. She won the Vogue Model of the Year for 1999. Bündchen was shooting five major campaigns at the age of 18, and in the light of this New York magazine editor Sally Singer deemed Bündchen an “über- 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.
In 2000, Bündchen appeared on 37 international Vogue covers, including three in the American edition. From 1998 to 2003, Bündchen was in every Dolce & Gabbana fashion campaign, 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. She 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. Bündchen was chosen by Time magazine in 2007, as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. 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.
Gisele Bündchen made an estimated $197 million in 2010. In May 2007, Bündchen ended her contract with Victoria’s Secret; she described this decision as closing that chapter of her career. She would later reveal in her 2018 memoir that she also left on account of feeling “less at ease” being photographed walking the runway in just a bikini or thong. In August 2008, the New York Daily News listed Bündchen as the fourth most powerful person in the fashion world. In May 2007 The Independent called Bündchen the biggest star in fashion history.
In April 2010, Bündchen was photographed for the cover of American Vogue for the 11th time. By 2010, Bündchen had appeared on two Vogue Shape issue covers.
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 11 April 2008, a black-and-white photo of Bündchen that was shot by Irving Penn was auctioned for $193,000.
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 skincare product line using all-natural ingredients. 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 by 40 percent in Latin America after Bündchen started representing the product.
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. 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 made 5,600 appearances in commercials in Brazil in 2012. 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.
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.
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 multi-year deal in September 2014.
Bündchen appeared at the Maracanã Stadium at the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on 5 August 2016.
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. 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 best-selling book for over six months in the non-fiction category in Brazil. The proceeds from her book went to support social and environmental causes.
In February 2021, it was reported that Bündchen was leaving IMG Models after 22 years and that her twin sister, Patricia would be taking over as her manager.
A February 2008 survey of more than 20,000 plastic surgeons in 84 countries revealed Bündchen was the celebrity most mentioned for patients having work done on their abdomens and hair, and the second-most mentioned celebrity in the breasts category.
In January 2011, Bündchen’s was the most desired female body on the 14th Annual Famed Hottest Looks survey. In 2011, Bündchen was one of three women to make AskMen.com’s annual “Most Desirable Women” list every year for 10 consecutive years. In 2016 Bündchen participated in The Beginning of Life documentary showing that the early years are the ones that structure the life of a person and that one of the biggest advances in neuroscience is the discovery that babies are much more than a genetic load.
Bündchen donated $150,000 to Brazil’s Zero Hunger program. She designed a limited necklace edition for Harper’s Bazaar, which was sold to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Bündchen became the face of American Express’s Product, Red-affiliated card in 2006. A portion of earnings from the credit card is donated to HIV/AIDS victims in Africa. In the same year she took part in the I am African fundraising campaign to make AIDS treatment accessible to all of Africa.
Bündchen started The Luz Foundation in 2007, a project to empower girls and help them deal with self-esteem issues.
In 2010, she donated $1.5 million to the Red Cross to aid the relief effort in Haiti after seeing the devastation done by the earthquake. The donation put Bündchen tied for 14th on The Giving Back Fund’s list of 30 celebrities who made the largest donations to charity in 2011. In 2010, together with former president Bill Clinton, Bündchen joined the event that partnered Pantene and the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program to provide clean water to people in need.
In 2020, Bündchen formed the Luz Alliance fund in partnership with the Brazil Foundation with a donation of 1,000,000 reals. The fund supports the purchase of hygiene kits, food, and financial assistance to families in Brazil through eight different charitable organizations and emergency-response efforts to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2009, Bündchen was designated Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. She made her first visit to Africa as UNEP Goodwill Ambassador in January 2012.
In January 2012, Bündchen visited Kenya to experience the reality of energy poverty as part of the Energy for All 2030 project. On the eve of World Environment Day in June 2012, Bündchen planted the first of a series of 50,000 trees in Rio de Janeiro.
In January 2014, Bündchen joined the Rainforest Alliance board of directors.
In 2004, after visiting an Amerindian tribe at the Xingu region in Brazil and seeing firsthand the problems those communities were facing due to water pollution and deforestation, she advocated for the cause, and through the years she has supported different projects, especially forest and water-related projects in the Amazon rainforest and Atlantic Forest.
In 2013, Bündchen supported the United Nations campaign against food waste, THINK.EAT.SAVE. Bündchen and chef Eric Ripert participated in the Today Show program where they showed that it is possible to cook more efficiently.
In January 2014, Bündchen joined the Rainforest Alliance board of directors. Later that year she attended, as a guest of honor the spring annual gala, a ceremony that recognized the industry champions that have sustainability as a priority. In 2014 Bündchen supported the SOKO, a partnership to support the financial and physical security of women and girls around the world. Since then, Bündchen has helped UNEP in the mission of raising awareness and inspiring action to protect the environment.
In 2016, she joined the climate change documentary show Years of Living Dangerously as one of its celebrity correspondents.
In 2019, Bündchen executive produced a documentary entitled Kiss the Ground. The feature focuses on a group of activists, scientists, farmers, and politicians who band together in a global movement of “Regenerative Agriculture” to balance our climate, replenish our vast water supplies, and feed the world. The film features Bündchen alongside. The documentary premiered at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. In 2020 on her birthday Bündchen launched the Viva a Vida initiative and donated funds to plant 40,000 trees along the Xingu and Araguaia River in Brazil.
PERSONAL LIFE: HUSBAND, CHILDREN
From 2000 to 2005, Bündchen was in a relationship with actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
In late 2006, Bündchen began dating NFL quarterback Tom Brady, after a mutual friend introduced them on a blind date. The couple married on 26 February 2009 in a small ceremony at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California. In April 2009, the couple had a second marriage ceremony, in Costa Rica. Bündchen and Brady have two children: son Benjamin Rein (born 2009), and daughter Vivian Lake (born 2012). She is the stepmother of Brady’s first son from a previous relationship with actress Bridget Moynahan. Bündchen and Brady are Roman Catholics.
Bündchen and her husband promote the Earth Hour global movement, a symbolic act promoted worldwide by the World Wildlife Foundation in which governments, companies, and people demonstrate concern for the environment, turning off their lights for sixty minutes.
They have lived in Brookline, Massachusetts, when Tom Brady played for the New England Patriots, and reside part-time in New York City. They have since moved to Tampa, Florida after Brady went to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In December 2020, the couple reportedly bought a home in Indian Creek, Florida.
Gisele Bundchen’s Net Worth is estimated at around $400 Million.
Bündchen was the highest-paid model in the world from 2002 to 2017. Forbes estimated Bündchen’s 2016 income at $30.5 million.