Sunday, April 5, 2009
Adriana Francesca Lima is best known as a Victoria's Secret Angel since 2000 and a spokesmodel for Maybelline cosmetics. At age 15, Lima finished first place in Ford's "Supermodel of Brazil" competition and took second place the following year in the Ford "Supermodel of the World" competition before signing with Elite Model Management in New York City.
Early life and family
Lima was born in Salvador on June 12, 1981. Her father, from whom she was estranged for most of her life, is Nelson Torres, and her mother, Maria da Graça Lima, is a social worker. Lima revealed that her father walked out on her family when she was six months old, but has been making recent attempts to reconcile. Lima told reporters at the Hollywood Walk of Fame that although she is her mother's only child, she has two half brothers, aged 7 and 11 in 2007, from her father's second marriage. Coming from a poor family, her first time leaving her country and first time on a plane was when she was 15. She was raised mainly by her mother and her grandmother.
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 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?
Lima continued to build upon her portfolio, doing more print work for Maybelline, with whom she signed as a spokesmodel in 2003 and continues to work with, later appearing in the company's first calendar, along with Kemp Muhl, Jessica White, Julia Stegner, and Anna Wang. The calendar is a limited edition release for the 2009 year. Lima has also worked for notable fashion brands bebe, Mossimo, Armani, Bulgari, De Beers, FCUK, Intimissimi, Keds, Swatch, Versace, and BCBG. She also appeared on the covers and in the editorials of other fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, ELLE, GQ, Arena, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, and many more. Her April 2006 GQ cover was the highest-selling issue that magazine for the year. She also appeared in the 2005 Pirelli Calendar and became the face of Italy's cell phone carrier, Telecom Italia Mobile, a move that earned her the nickname, "the Catherine Zeta-Jones of Italy."
In February 2008, she was featured on the cover of Esquire, re-creating the classic 1966 Angie Dickinson cover on Esquire's 75th anniversary along with fellow Victoria's Secret Angels Alessandra Ambrosio, Karolina Kurkova, Izabel Goulart and Selita Ebanks. She appeared only in shoes, diamonds and gloves for the November 2007 issue of Vanity Fair celebrating 20 years of supermodels with her fellow Angels. Lima was chosen to be a part of People magazine's 100 most beautiful people in the world list, sharing that space with the Angels, with whom she also received a star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" prior to the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. 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.