- Before being a model
- Modeling career
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Before being a model
Alessandra Corine Ambrosio was born April 11, 1981 in Erechim, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Her parents, gas station owners, were of Polish and Italian descent. Ambrósio was just eight years old when she decided that she wanted to be a model, after seeing a picture of top covergirl Karen Mulder in a magazine: “I wanted to be like her”, she recalls. She enrolled at a modeling class at the age of 12 and at the age of 14 she was one of 20 finalists for an elite modeling competition in Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears and at eleven had cosmetic surgery to get her ears pinned back, but two years later she had complications. In 2006 on The Tyra Banks Show, Alessandra admitted that the surgery was a bad experience and she would never have plastic surgery.
When Ambrosio was 12, she attended modeling classes, and then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Winning Brazil’s Elite Model Look started her modeling career in earnest. Alessandra’s first modeling job was the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her photos to Guess and she got to work for the Millennium GUESS? campaign along with friend and fellow Brazilian Ana Beatriz Barros. She has since worked with such brands as Revlon, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Rolex, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Escada, Loewe, Rocco Barocco, Moschino, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, as well as the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Laura Biagiotti, Christian Lacroix, Shiatzy Chen, Byblos, Fendi, Issey Miyake, Kenzo, Christian Dior, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood, and Oscar de la Renta. She has graced over 50 international magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan, Elle, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Ocean Drive, Vogue and the only model to appear on the cover of Glamour in the United States in 2006.
In 2004, Ambrosio launched her line of swimwear called Alessandra Ambrosio by Sais, a division of Rosa Chá. It sold 10,000 units in only its first month on the market.
Ambrosio’s best-known collaboration is with the famous lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret. She appeared in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show for the first time in 2000. By 2004, she was selected as the first spokesmodel for the Victoria’s Secret “PINK” line and became a contracted “Angel.” In 2005, she notably walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway wearing lingerie made entirely out of candy. In the Fashion Show 2008 Ambrosio walked the runway only three months after giving birth to her first child and opened the show the following year.
The VS Angel is often being cited by the popular media as one of the world’s sexiest women. She was chosen as one of People magazine’s annual “100 Most Beautiful People in the World,” in May 2007. Ambrosio is among the world’s top-earning models.
Alessandra Ambrosio was the face for the UK company Next and starred in their first television campaign in 12 years. She is also signed to Storm Model Management in London.
On the July, 2009 cover of Marie Claire, Ambrosio appeared in a spread with Sasha Baron Cohen to promote Baron Cohen’s 2009 film Brüno.
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