There is a piece of news that saddens us to no end. It is a new development that will leave a hole in the fashion industry for some time yet, reminding us that there was one a beautiful supermodel named Gisele Bundchen, who has officially retired from the runway. A star has been extinguished in the world of designers and runway shows as we bid farewell to one of our very favourites to appear on that catwalk. Gisele Caroline Bundchen, the 34-year-old Brazilian fashion model who was scouted at the tender age of 14 will have walked her last runway show at the Sao Paulo Fashion Week Colcci show in Brazil. It is a nice way to retire from her 20-year-long career as she has been the face of the Brazilian brand for several seasons, wrapping up this chapter in her life as she struts her stuff on stage in her own hometown. We will definitely be peeling quite the pang of loss in seeing her go.
Gisele Bundchen is a sixth generation Brazilian hailing from a German descent and born in Southern Brazil. She was raised in an area where many were of the same ancestry along with her five sisters, including fraternal twin Patricia. In 1993 the twins joined a modeling course and Bundchen discovered by the Elite modelling agency a year later during a school excursion. It was in 1996 that she finally got her big Fashion Week break in New York City. In 1998 she was chosen to walk Alexander McQueen’s ready to wear show called Rain because of her ability to walk in towering heels on a slippery runway. Securing her first British Vogue cover, she soon became an in-demand cover girl, particularly big in her generation, being featured in over 10 covers in fewer than four years. Even Kate Moss didn’t have more than nine.
Gisele has posed for Missoni, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gianfranco Ferre, Ralph Lauren, and Versace campaigns. By the year 2000, Bundchen was just about the world’s hottest model, known as the Brazilian Bombshell. She’s been credited with ending the “heroin chic” era of modelling and pioneering the “horse walk” stomping movement as she picks up her knees and kicks her feet out in front. She was one of Victoria’s Secret Angels from the turn of the millennium to around mid-2007, having been named one of the only remaining supermodels in the world. If we are talking about awe-inspiring facts, in 2004 she was the highest paid model in the world, while in 2007 she was named the 16th richest woman in the entertainment industry. On 12 May 2009, The Independent called her “the biggest star in fashion history” and within the same year Harper’s Bazaar rated her among the top 26 greatest models of all time. In 2012, she was the top earning model on the Forbes models list, while in 2014 she was the 89th most powerful woman in the world. She is, and always has been, an incredible individual in the world of fashion and her status throughout the years as placing in the top lists has proven her mettle.
Gisele Bundchen has also dipped her toes in the world of acting, playing a supporting role in Taxi in 2004, for which she was nominated at the Teen Choice Awards for the Choice Breakout performance category, as well as the Choice Movie Bad Guy. She’s also taken a supporting role in the 2006 movie The Devil Wears Prada. Furthermore, by the end of 2014, the famous supermodel had appeared in 6,013 television commercial spots in the course of a single year in Brazil, much more than any other Brazilian celebrity; she even outranked Neymar, who had made 5,625 TV commercial spots, one of the highest in the country.
But 22 hours ago, the news about her retirement was made official by an Instagram post where she stated: “I am grateful that at 14, I was given the opportunity to start this journey. Today after 20 years in the industry, it is a privilege to be doing my last fashion show by choice and yet still be working in other facets of the business. #firstrunway #14yearsold.” Now, with a coconut in her hand, she states that she is almost read. For what though, we are not yet sure. Whatever it is, we are hoping to see some awesome photos, even throughout her quasi-retirement period.
We simply cannot imagine retirement suiting the lively Gisele. It may be that she takes a few years off, but we fully expect to see her step back onto that catwalk and prance down that lane with all the confidence and gusto we are used to seeing in her step. She would thus be joining in the ranks with Cher and Michael Jordan, even Jay Z, by appearing in the spotlight a given time later, only to shine bright once more and set our hearts on fire. While retirement may be expected to be golf trips and tanning under the Bahamas sun, it may actually look more like Chanel campaigns, Vogue covers, and endorsement deals that rake in the cash by the millions. At the same time, we are sure that she will never stop with her charitable activities that she has been known for so well, from being a Goodwill ambassador to donating $150,000 to Brazil’s Zero Hunger program. In 2010, she wrote a check for $1.5 million to the Red Cross to aid the relief efforts in Haiti after seeing the devastation left in the wake of the hurricane. Only time will tell what happens next, but we know that no matter what it is, it has to be big!
Photos courtesy of Zimbio