Born on July 20, 1980, in the small town of Horizontina in the Rio Grande Sol region of Brazil, young Gisele Caroline Bündchen grew up in a large, nurturing family with five sisters, including her twin Patricia. Early life was a tapestry of shared dreams and tight-knit bonds. Little did she know, this Brazilian beauty would ascend to the pinnacle of the fashion industry. Gisele’s journey into modelling began after her mother enrolled her and her sisters in a modelling course to help increase their self-esteem. The course included a trip to São Paulo, and it was on that trip that Gisele was unexpectedly discovered by an Elite Model Management modelling scout at the São Paulo shopping mall. Gisele was just 14 years of age at the time.

What started as a casual encounter soon transformed into a whirlwind career that would define an era. Gisele’s arrival on the global fashion scene marked a paradigm shift. Her tall, athletic frame and sun-kissed beauty challenged traditional standards, and particularly the so-called ‘heroin chic’ look popularised at the time by models like Gia Carangi and Kate Moss, ushering in a new era of diversity and natural allure.

Despite a slow start, by the late ’90s, Gisele Bündchen was featuring in major campaigns for fashion houses Versace, Missoni, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren, and gracing the covers of prominent fashion magazines such as Vogue, all while strutting down fashion show runways with an effortless and incomparable grace. Her iconic walk (known as the horse walk) and vivacious spirit set her apart, earning her the moniker “The Body”. Gisele’s star continued to rise in the 2000’s when she signed on to what is arguably one of her most famous gig’s as a Victoria’s Secret model, where she famously modelled two of the brands fantasy bras – the Red Hot fantasy bra worth and eye-watering $15,000,000 and the Sexy Splendour fantasy bra worth $12,500,000.

Gisele’s appeal and level of fame overflowed from the fashion world and into popular culture when she began dating Hollywood heart throb Leonardo Dicaprio in 2000. The pair dated for five years before calling it quits in 2005. When asked about the relationship in a 2016 interview with People magazine, Gisele said,“It brought a lot more attention to me, which is something I didn’t feel very comfortable with. To this day, I still haven’t gotten very used to it.” After she and DiCaprio parted ways, Gisele’s popularity continued to soar, and it was not long after the break-up, the supermodel met NFL superstar quarterback Tom Brady.

After meeting Brady, Gisele’s personal life underwent a transformation that would become the subject of public fascination for years to come. In 2009, she tied the knot with NFL quarterback Tom Brady, forging a union between two high-profile figures in the sports and entertainment realms.

The power couple quickly became a symbol of success, grace, and wholesome love. Gisele’s public image, once synonymous with the runway, seamlessly blended with her role as a supportive partner to one of football’s greatest quarterbacks. The birth of their two children, Benjamin and Vivian, further solidified the Brady-Bündchen family as a beacon of warmth and unity. Gisele embraced motherhood with the same passion and dedication that defined her career. Balancing the demands of international fame with the joys of family life, she offered the world a glimpse into the harmonious blend of glamour and authenticity that was the Brady-Bündchen family. “Family is everything to me. It’s the anchor that keeps me grounded in the midst of a whirlwind career,”

Gisele once shared, echoing the sentiment that has guided her choices both professionally and personally. Which is why the announcement that Gisele and Tom Brady were parting ways in late 2022 came as a shock to the world. “When I was 26 years old and he was 29 years old, we met, we wanted a family, we wanted things together. As time went by, we realised that we just wanted different things, and now we have a choice to make. That doesn’t mean you don’t love the person. It just means that in order for you to be authentic and truly live the life that you want to live, you have to have somebody who can meet you in the middle, right? It’s a dance. It’s a balance,” Gisele told Harper’s Bazaar magazine in a recent interview.

As the pages of Gisele Bündchen’s illustrious career turn, the present moment sees her embracing new roles and ventures. While she officially retired from the runway in 2015, she has recently returned to her roots starring in a new campaign for Louis Vuitton and hosting an event at New York Fashion Week for denim brand Frame. Gisele has always had a passion for the environment and continues to channel her energy toward environmental activism, leveraging her platform to champion sustainability and conservation. As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme, she advocates for causes close to her heart, emphasising the urgency of protecting our planet for future generations. “Being a mother has made me more aware of the impact we have on the environment. It’s a responsibility we owe to our children and their children,” Gisele passionately states, underscoring her commitment to effecting positive change.
In addition to her environmental advocacy, Gisele has explored entrepreneurial pursuits. From her line of eco-friendly skincare products to her best-selling autobiography, Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life and now her new cookbook, Nourish launching in 2024, she continues to diversify her portfolio with ventures that align with her values.

With a foundation built on resilience, authenticity, discipline and a deep sense of purpose, Gisele remains an enduring force in the realms of fashion, family, and philanthropy—a testament to the transformative power of a woman who lives her extraordinary life authentically and beautifully.


images: MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: Gisele Bündchen attends the IWC Schaffhausen Live Talk With Gisele Bundchen , in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images IWC Schaffhausen).