Gisele has been the talk of the world. One of her latest
assignments was to model in provocative poses for lingerie
maker Victoria’s Secret. The Brazilian president
received her at the end of November and
Globo TV wants her in the cast of a new soap.
By Émerson Luís
Despite repeated statements by the supermodel herself about how ephemeral her career
would be, Brazilian Gisele Caroline Bündchen, 20, continues to shine in the rarefied
firmament of super stardom. After gracing hundreds of magazine covers and appearing in
fashion shows and ads, the model, who leapt to international fame in 1999, was chosen as
the entrée for the 2001 Pirelli calendar, a free, limited edition publication (40,000
copies) that is sought after the world over. Giselle was chosen for the month of January.
Having started as a staple of greasy auto shops, the Pirelli calendar today is a luxury
item, an object of desire that few people ever acquire.
Gisele needs no introduction. She is the world’s most famous übermodel today. The
beauty, who won Vogue’s Model of the Year Award last year, was discovered at the
age of 14. She was born July 20, 1980, in the little town of Nova Horizontina (pop.
17,000), in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil. She told French
magazine Paris Match: "I was called Olive Toothpick, after Popeye’s wife, or
even The Skeleton. I looked like a little mosquito. My legs were the same size as my arms.
And I was never allowed into the group of girls who tarted themselves up to go dancing and
entice the boys."
Gisele has been the talk of the world: dozens of websites with her pictures have
sprouted and magazines write about her romance with Titanic’s Leonardo Di Caprio.
One of her latest assignments was to model in provocative poses for lingerie maker
Victoria’s Secret. The Brazilian president received her at the end of November and Globo
TV wants her in the cast of Porto dos Milagres (Miracles Port), a new novela
(soap opera) on the dominant network TV in Brazil, which is rumored to be the most
expensive serial Globo has ever produced. Each half-hour episode is expected to cost
$100,000 compared to today’s per episode cost of $75,000.
Four months ago the model went through a screen test for the leading role of Jacobina,
a movie by director Fábio Barreto, whose O Quatrilho (1995) was nominated for an
Oscar as Best Foreign Movie. Gisele never thought she would become famous for her beauty.
Now British tabloids say that the Brazilian model is the first name on Revlon’s list to
replace Cindy Crawford, 34, who was fired after being the symbol for the cosmetics company
for 11 years.
Gisele was the target of criticism recently for having posed for the British men’s
magazine Arena. Controversial American photographer David LaChapelle took the
pictures that some people called "depraved." While the model is not shown
totally undressed in the 25-page photo essay, her poses have provoked furor. In one of the
pictures Gisele is shown lying on a kitchen table with her right leg raised as she holds a
rolling pin in her left hand touching her black panties. On the table there are an empty
egg carton, a pan with flour on it and a just baked phallic-shaped cookie. Standing on a
chair facing Gisele is a child with closed eyes and raised arms.
In another picture she holds a nightstick while wearing a police cap, black bra and
panties. Another page shows her holding a green snake while gardening on all fours. On the
cover of Arena, in which the model appears for the third time since 1998, she is
washing a red car. Once again the image recalls sexual fantasies with the Brazilian belle
clutching a water hose with one hand while holding a sponge full of soap in the other.
Brazil’s bevy of beauties doesn’t stop with La Bündchen. The Pirelli calendar itself
has three other belles in its pages, all of them (including Gisele) shot by Peruvian
photographer Mario Testino in Naples, Italy. They are Ana Cláudia Michels, Fernanda
Tavares and Mariana Weickert. Four nods from Pirelli to Brazilian charm and good looks.
While only 40,000 privileged individuals throughout the world will get the calendar
everybody is able to see the four Brazilian beauties at http://www.pirelli.com.
They are all there together with beauties of other countries: January: Gisele
Bündchen; February: Aurelle Claudel; March: Karen Elson; April: Rhea Durham; May: Mariana
Weickert; June: Fernanda Tavares; July: Angela Lindvall; August: Ana
Cláudia Michels; September: Liisa Winkler; October: Noemie Lenoir; November: Frankie
Rayder; December: Carmen Kass.
Fernanda, 20, also started early as a fashion model. She was still 13 when she starred
in her first TV commercial. Born in Natal, capital of Rio Grande do Norte, the model moved
to São Paulo with her family when she was 14. She got her big break three years ago when
she went to work for the Marilyn Agency, which invited her to live in Paris. Within a few
weeks her career took off. Soon she was modeling for Chanel and Chloé and appearing in
Europe’s main fashion magazines.
Ana Cláudia, 19, is from Blumenau, state of Santa Catarina. Her face and body should
be recognized everywhere since she is starring in the new Calvin Klein’s jeans campaign.
She’s being called the new Twiggy by fashion writers for the way she looks at you. She
became well known in Brazil after appearing on billboards for M. Officer, a clothes
Mariana, 20, has been called Barbra Streisand due to her likeness to the American
actress and singer. She is what can be called an exotic beauty with freckles and a not
very appealing nose. In a recent ad campaign for Ellus she appeared as one Charlie’s
Angels or Ellus Angels as they are called in the promotion of the Brazilian clothes
manufacturer. Mariana has been living in New York City for the past three years.