- Hannah Slapper
It was only a matter of time before we celebrated the life and style of, arguably, the most beautiful, successful and jealousy-inducing model alive today. Gisele Bundchen has definitely created a brand out of her name but, vitally, she hasn't ceased to be a woman too. Against all the odds, this perfect specimen of the human race is actually very down to earth, in a literal sense. She's a sporty, environmentally friendly green goddess, and perfectly encompasses everything we love about laid back style.
Growing up in Brazil, with five sisters and a twin, it must have been difficult to stand out or get attention. We're certain that in 1993, when Bundchen's mother heartily swept her and her sisters to a modelling school, she never expected it to be the kick-start to her career. However, she did enjoy it and learn a lot, and it wasn't long before, during a school trip to São Paulo, an Elite Model specialist scouted her in a shopping mall.
After various editorial shoots and successful competitions, Bundchen got international attention at New York Fashion Week, and in 1998 received her big break when, during a casting call for Alexander McQueen, organisers were impressed with her ability to walk in super high heels over his iconic 'rain' runway. Her panther-like performance on the catwalk caused ripples and waves throughout London Fashion Week and she was dubbed 'The Body' from the brand that had promoted her.
The rest, as they say, is history. Many people credit her with ending the 'heroin-chic' supermodel trend, which Kate Moss was famous for, in 1999, when she appeared on the cover of Vogue for the first time as 'the return of the sexy model'. Her hips and breasts and thighs, although lean and flawless, were actually there. She was a woman, and everybody on the planet appreciated that.
Men in particular appreciated her from 2000-2007 when she worked as a Victoria's Secret angel. She also holds the record for wearing the most expensive lingerie, the $15 million 'red hot fantasy bra' during their millennium show.
Not only has Bundchen redefined the modelling industry, she's also proven that she's a pretty savvy business woman. Since 2004 she has been known as the highest paid model in the world, and is the 16th richest woman in the entertainment industry. Just take a minute to think about how many women there are in this industry, and thus your mind will be blown.
Being both rich and beautiful, you'd expect her to have a string of lovers left in the wake, but before marrying her husband Tom Brady she only had one high-profile romance and that was, of course, with Leonardo DiCaprio. No words can describe how jealous we are of that five year courtship.
At the end of the day, flicking through pictures of Gisele and her incredible life gives one overarching message: that she loves it. She's very at peace with herself, and cares a lot about her family, her two children, her impact on the world and ensuring that we provide a safe and beautiful future for other generations. Her spiritual nature can be seen in her regular Facebook posts with a philosophical edge, and her meditation/yoga poses she shares on her social media platforms.
So you can don a bejewelled bra if you like, or drape yourself in designer digs. However, if you really want to delve into her day-to-day style then you'll need a more laid back edge. Knits, leather jackets and jeans to make you legs look positively endless are on call for a chilly day, while an easy marl vest and micro denim shorts or a bright Brazilian bikini are staples for sunshine. For Gisele, clothes are all about emphasising what's excellent about your own body, so here are some Bundchen inspired pieces which will universally flatter.
1. T by Alexander Wang, Ruched Mesh-jersey Dress; £163, motilo.com
2. All Saints, Level Leather Biker Jacket; £458, motilo.com
3. Gucci, Mid-rise Flared Jeans; £410, motilo.com
4. Paul Smith, Orsett Sunglasses; £192, motilo.com
5. T by Alexander Wang, Classic Jersey Racer-back Tank; £63, motilo.com
6. Saint Laurent, Woodstock Leather Sandals; £428, motilo.com
7. Current/Elliott, Panhandle Denim Shorts; £195, motilo.com
8. Jerome Dreyfuss, Multi Material Large Bag; £690, motilo.com
9. Lady Grey, Horizontal Cuff; £177, motilo.com
10. Charlie by Matthew Zink, Paulina Cross-back Halterneck Bikini; £175, motilo.com
11. Richard Nicoll, Bi-colour Waffle-knit Sweater; £455, motilo.com