Bundchen grew up with his five sisters, one of whom is his twin, in the city of Horizontina — a small rural town in southern Brazil. Bundchen’s father worked as a college teacher and his mother worked as a bank teller.
In 1994, at the age of 14, Bundchen was spotted in a mall by a fashion agent from Elite Model Management, one of the largest modeling agencies in the world. In 1995, she entered the Look of the Year model competition (later renamed Elite Model Look), where she placed second nationally and fourth globally.
The following year, Bundchen moved to New York to pursue a professional modeling career and shortly thereafter made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week, one of the industry’s four major biennial events. In 1997, Bundchen appeared on the cover of the leading fashion magazine Vogue Brazil (October), gaining industry acclaim. Despite his more curvy figure, which was in stark contrast to the fashionable frames of the time, Bundchen continued to appear on the covers of industry-leading publications.
She appeared on the cover of American Vogue (July) in 1999, marking the “return of sexy models”, marking the end of the popular and controversial look known as “hero chic” – a very thin figure combined with paleness. skin, dark circles under the eyes and often disheveled hair and clothing. That same year, she was named Model of the Year, an award presented jointly by Vogue and the American cable TV network VH1.
In 2000, Bundchen signed a deal to be the face of Victoria’s Secret (2000–07) and began dating Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, quickly gaining international fame. She soon became a household name, heralded by many in the industry as the return of the ‘supermodel’ – a top model who simultaneously appeared on the covers of the world’s leading fashion magazines and was known worldwide only by name. During this time, Bundchen also walked the runways of some of the world’s top fashion houses, including Christian Dior and Valentino; In 2015 she retired from catwalk modeling.
Bundchen made his film debut in the comedy thriller Taxi (2004), starring Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. Two years later, she starred alongside Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in the film adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s bestselling book The Devil Wears Prada (2004), a story about the humorous adventures of one of the personal assistant editors of fictional fashion magazine, Miranda Sveshchenichi.
In 2009, Bundchen married American soccer player Tom Brady. In the same year he was appointed Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme. Bundchen is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion (2009) in New York, which showcases the models who embody 20th century fashion. She launched several product lines including footwear, apparel, jewelry, underwear, and eco-friendly skincare.
Bundchen also founded the Luz Foundation, which aims to empower young women both mentally and physically by sponsoring various self-esteem building programs. In 2018 he published Lessons: My Path to a Meaningful Life.