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“Fashion is about good energy. It’s about feelings. That’s what I have to give the people, good energy and good feelings.” -Adriana Lima
Adriana Francesca Lima is a Brazilian model best known as a Victoria’s Secret Angel since 2000 and a spokesmodel for Maybelline cosmetics from 2003 to 2009.
Lima was born in Bahia, Brazil, to Nelson Torres and Maria da Graça Lima. Adriana Lima’s mother was a social worker. She has announced the existence of two half brothers, aged 7 and 11, to the media. Her early childhood was not easy, with her father leaving her and her mother, when little Adriana was just six months old. After years of estranged relationship with her father, she is now reportedly making attempts to reconcile. Adriana Lima claims a family lineage of Native South American, African and Swiss descent!
Lima never thought about being a model, although she had won many beauty pageants in elementary school. However, she had a friend at school who wanted to enter a modeling contest and didn’t want to enter alone, so Lima entered with her. Both girls sent in pictures, and the contest sponsor soon asked Lima to come out for the competition. Soon after, at the age of 15, she entered and finished in first place in Ford’s “Supermodel of Brazil” model search. She subsequently entered the 1996 Ford “Supermodel of the World” contest and finished in second place. Three years later, Lima moved to New York City and signed with Elite Model Management. After acquiring representation, Lima’s modeling portfolio quickly began to expand, and she appeared in numerous international editions of Vogue and Marie Claire. As a runway model, she has walked the catwalks for designers such as Vera Wang, Christian Lacroix, Emanuel Ungaro, Giorgio Armani, Fendi, Ralph Lauren and Valentino among others. Lima became a GUESS? girl in 2000, appearing in that year’s fall ad campaign. She also appeared in the book A Second Decade of Guess? Images.
Lima continued her career working for Maybelline, for whom she was as a spokesmodel from 2003 until 2009. Lima has also worked for famous fashion brands bebe, Mossimo, Armani, Bulgari, De Beers, FCUK, Intimissimi, Keds, Swatch, Versace, Loewe and BCBG. She also appeared on the covers of fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, ELLE, GQ, Arena, Cosmopolitan,V Magazine, Vanity Fair and Esquire.
In February 2008, she was chosen to be the face of Mexico’s Liverpool department store chain and launched the partnership with a press conference, runway show, and summer campaign. Lima returned to the high fashion runway in 2009, walking for Givenchy.That same year, after visiting Turkey, Lima signed a contract with Doritos to appear in print campaigns and commercials which began airing in Turkey in April. She is also one of the faces of Givenchy for the Fall/Winter 2009 season, alongside Mariacarla Boscono and Iris Strubegger.
In 2006, Lima became the fifth highest paid supermodel. In 2007 and 2008, she ranked the world’s fourth highest paid supermodel by Forbes Magazine.
Adriana Lima is best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret. Her first fashion show for the company came in 1999, and since being contracted as an Angel in 2000, she has appeared on subsequent shows ever since, opening the show in 2003, 2007, and 2008, in which she also closed the opening segment. Lima has appeared on several television ads for the brand, including the praised and criticized “Angel in Venice” commercial of 2003 with Bob Dylan and her solo Victoria’s Secret’s Super Bowl XLII ad, the single most-seen ad of the game, watched by 103.7 million viewers. 2008 continued for Lima with hosting the What Is Sexy? program for the E! Entertainment Network and a July tour for the BioFit Uplift Bra launch, with stops in Long Island, Boston, and Miami Beach. She was also featured in November’s Miracle Bra relaunch. Topping the year off, Lima wore the “Fantasy Bra” for the 2008 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In 2009, Lima launched the company’s new makeup line, “Christian Siriano for VS Makeup.”
Lima’s first acting role was the wife, alongside Mickey Rourke and Forest Whitaker, in The Follow (2001), a short film in BMW’s series The Hire, starring Clive Owen and directed by Wong Kar-wai. She also appeared with her fellow Angels in a guest spot playing herself in the series How I Met Your Mother in November 2007.
In 2008, Lima appeared on the American television series Ugly Betty, where she played herself and made friends with the series’ title character, played by America Ferrera. According to her publicist, Liza Anderson, “Adriana has always been a huge fan of Ugly Betty and is thrilled for the opportunity to make a guest star appearance.”
In addition to her native Portuguese, Lima speaks English, French, and a bit of Italian. Lima was shy around boys when she was younger, not receiving her first kiss until she was 17 years old. Afterward, the boy went directly to her mother to ask if he could marry her. She is a devout Catholic who attends church every Sunday. In April 2006, she told GQ that she was a virgin. “Sex is for after marriage,” she explained. “They [men] have to respect that this is my choice. If there’s no respect, that means they don’t want me.” Staying true to her religious roots, she is known for taking a Bible backstage to read.
She has been romantically linked to musician/singer Lenny Kravitz and Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein. On Valentine’s Day 2009, she married Serbian basketball player Marko Jarić, whom she began dating in November 2007. They wed in a private civil ceremony in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The couple originally planned on a large wedding in Salvador in June 2009, but the couple decided to opt for a wedding in each of their hometowns; both are scheduled to take place at the end of 2009.
The couple had their first child, a daughter named Valentina Lima Jarić, on November 15, 2009. Lima’s representative told People magazine: “Adriana and Marko are overjoyed that they are expecting their first child together and are excited to share the happy news and start their family together.” She has also recently applied for Serbian citizenship.
Lima does charitable work helping with an orphanage, “Caminhos da Luz” (Ways of Light), located in her hometown. She helps with construction to expand the orphanage, and buys clothes for poor children in Salvador, Bahia. She appeared on Var mısın Yok musun, the Turkish version of Deal or No Deal, where her prize money went to a hospital in Istanbul for children fighting leukemia.
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