Alessandra Corine Ambrósio (often spelled without the diacritic mark; born April 11, 1981) is a Brazilian model. Described by Tyra Banks as “the future of the modeling world”, Ambrosio is best known for her work with Victoria’s Secret and was chosen as the first spokesmodel for the company’s “PINK” line. Ambrosio is currently one of the Victoria’s Secret Angels and the former face of the UK company Next.
Aside from modeling work, Ambrosio serves as an ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Ambrosio was also selected by AskMen.com as Number 2 out of the “Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2008″.
Ambrosio was born in Erechim, Brazil on April 11, 1981. Her parents, who are of Italian and Polish descent, own a petrol station. 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 modelling class at the age of 12 and at the age of 14 she was one of 20 finalists for an elite modelling competition in Brazil. Ambrosio was always insecure about her large ears and at eleven had cosmetic surgery to get her ears pinned back, though two years later she suffered complications. In 2006 she appeared on The Tyra Banks Show, and said that the surgery was a bad experience and has discouraged her from ever getting plastic surgery again.
When Ambrosio was 12 years old, she enrolled in modeling classes, then began modeling for Dilson Stein at age 15. Winning Brazil’s Elite Model Look started her modeling career in earnest. Her first notable modeling job was the cover of Brazilian Elle magazine. Elite passed along some of her Polaroids to Guess which led her booking the Millennium GUESS? campaign along with friend and fellow Brazilian Ana Beatriz Barros. She has since worked with brands including Revlon, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, Rolex, Oscar de la Renta, Gucci, Escada, Rocco Barocco, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, as well as the Pirelli Calendar. She has walked the catwalks for designers such as Prada, Laura Biagiotti, Dolce & Gabbana,Christian Lacroix, Shiatzy Chen, Byblos, Fendi, Issey Miyake, Kenzo, Christian Dior, Nicole Miller, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Vivienne Westwood,Giles, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. She has appeared in numerous 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 American 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. Ambrosio then garnered attention in the 2008 edition of the Fashion Show, walking the runway only three months after giving birth to her first child. She opened the show the following year.
Ambrosio’s Angel status has brought her to the public’s attention, 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, along with fellow Angels. Ambrosio is among the world’s top-earning models.
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.
She is very conscious of her figure and works out with her Brazilian trainer doing the Brazilian Butt Lift, which is a mix of samba, capoeira and aerobics.
When Ambrosio first came to New York, Gisele Bündchen lent her apartment for two weeks and Adriana Lima helped her translate English.
She described her typical week as jetsetting from one country to another for photo shoots and in between she has some phone interviews. She still visits her family in Brazil regularly and calls Erechim, Brazil her favorite place in the world and having traveled the world has not yet convinced her otherwise.
Ambrosio’s best friend is fellow Brazilian model Ana Beatriz Barros.
On August 24, 2008, Ambrosio and her fiancé, California businessman Jamie Mazur, had their first child, a daughter named Anja Louise Ambrosio Mazur, in Florianopolis, Brazil.