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Gisele Bundchen Takes Final Stroll Down Catwalk at Age 34

Image: Gisele Bundchen Takes Final Stroll Down Catwalk at Age 34
Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen (C, front), surrounded by other models, presents a creation by fashion brand Colcci during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week Summer 2016 at the Candido Portinari Park, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 15 April 2015. (Sebastiao Moreira/EPA/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 11:43 AM

Gisele Bundchen has taken her final stroll down a catwalk in a 20-year career that has made her a fashion legend. She strutted her stuff for the last time on Wednesday night at an emotionally charged show in Brazil.

The 34-year-old Brazilian mother of two, who is married to NFL quarterback Tom Brady, has said she wants to spend more time with her family but has also vowed to continue working in the industry, reported The Associated Press.

Brady was on hand for Bundchen's final appearance in Sao Paulo, competing with his wife for the cameras' attention as he took in the spectacle from the first row.

As the world's highest-paid model, according to a 2014 ranking by Forbes magazine, Bundchen is the face of Chanel, Carolina Herrera, Pantene and other top brands. She also designs her own line of flip flops and lingerie.

A household name the world over, Bundchen rivals soccer legend Pele for the status of Brazil's most internationally famous citizen, and her meteoric rise from a middle-class family in a small, rural town to superstar is the stuff of modeling legend.

In a posting Wednesday on her Instagram account, Bundchen wrote, "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."

"I am grateful that at 14, I was given the opportunity to start this journey," she wrote.

In an interview broadcast on the Globo television network Wednesday, she compared her life to a cup of water filled to the brim.

"If your cup is full, how are you going to put more into it?" she said in Portuguese. "I'm emptying my cup so I can put more things into it."

Bundchen made her final catwalk appearance during Sao Paulo Fashion Week for Colcci, the Brazilian streetwear label she has represented since 2005. She made three appearances, opening the show in an A-line dress in white lace and lacey, knee-high black boots and closing it in a sundress with a full skirt in ivory and salmon stripes.

For the final bow, a bevy of models emerged in jeans and T-shirts printed with Bundchen's image, and Bundchen herself wove her way through the pack, sporting painted-on jeans and a top depicting her in a yoga pose. Fighting back tears, she flashed her trademark broad smile and a thumbs-up.

In an interview earlier this week with the newspaper Estado de S. Paulo, Bundchen was quoted as saying she wanted her last runway experience to be in her native Brazil, "where it all started."

She was born and raised along with five sisters, including a fraternal twin, in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, a center of German immigration to Brazil. Bundchen was discovered by a modeling agency at age 14 and she came in second place in a nationwide modeling contest, before moving to New York to work the fashion runways there.

By age 20, she'd become a fashion sensation, her freckled face and flowing dirty blond locks gracing the cover of top fashion magazines worldwide and her unique combination of legginess and curves causing a sensation during her runway appearances. Bundchen's success with her healthy good looks was heralded as marking the end of the sickly skinny and bedraggled "heroin chic" look that had dominated runways for years.

Her romantic life was regularly splashed across gossip magazines, as she was romantically linked to a series of A-listers, from surfer Kelly Slater to actor Leonardo DiCaprio. In 2009, she married New England Patriots quarterback Brady. The couple has two children.

Last year, she out-earned Brady, netting an estimated $47 million on contracts, according to Forbes. The next highest-earning models on the Forbes celebrity list, Doutzen Kroes of the Netherlands and fellow Brazilian Adriana Lima, earned $8 million each, according to the magazine.

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Gisele Bundchen has taken her final stroll down a catwalk in a 20-year career that has made her a fashion legend. She strutted her stuff for the last time on Wednesday night at an emotionally charged show in Brazil.
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Thursday, 16 Apr 2015 11:43 AM
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